At about 5pm on a October 23rd many years ago I was born into this crazy & wonderful world. The doctors told my mom she would never get pregnant. Looks like they were wrong–here I am! I was born into a small family- a mom, a dad, and a dachshund(duh!). God/Jesus was kind of important to them but not top priority–until my mom got sick. My mom got breast cancer when I was 1 and when I was 5 she passed away. But during those 4 years of sickness her spiritual life soared and so did my dads. My moms outward body was wasting away but inwardly she was being renewed. She was in many Bible studies and prayer groups– I have a book of notes that all her prayer group, neighbors, Bible study friends, and sisters wrote me after she passed away sharing about her love for God and others. It’s the most precious gift they could have given me.
After my mom passed away my Dad made it a huge priority for me to grow up in the church. And I am so thankful for that. I got plugged in immediately to missionettes, youth group, youth choir– you name it. I loved all these activities. I heard many stories about Jesus and I loved hearing about him–I even traveled in a choir singing about Him. I knew He was someone Special–I just didn’t know how special yet.
Then in February, during ninth grade, it all clicked and made sense. I can still picture where I was sitting at the youth retreat. Our youth pastor gave a super clear Gospel presentation. He shared how people are sinful and separated from God. I knew I was sinful—I was sassy, snappy to my Dad, continually lied, was jealous….the list goes on and on. He explained how God is perfect and Holy and unlike Anything I have ever known. God made me and wants to be in relationship with me on this Earth and forever. But because of my sin I can’t know God because He is perfect. But…God came into this world in the form of Jesus—he entered into our pain, lived a perfect/sinless life and died on a cross for my sin, our sin. “For the wages of sin is death.” Romans 6:23 His death(because He was perfectly God) was enough to cover my sin and all sin for all time. (He also rose from the dead!). He came to bring us life-forever. We can have a relationship with a perfect God today-amazing grace. All we need to do is believe.
For God so L O V E D the world that He G A V E His One and Only Son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
My dad picked me up from the retreat and when I got home I went straight to my room and spent the next 3 hours writing out prayers and singing and crying tears of thanksgiving that God would save my soul. I prayed that night that God would lead and guide my life. I prayed that I would honor Him and live out His dreams for my life. This is still something I love to pray.
It wasn’t too long after that that this desire to be in ministry(to help people know about God) started to grow in my heart. I know that not every Christian is called to full-time ministry, but I found myself sitting on the the youth room floor praying that God would open doors for this to be true for the rest of my life. With every year that passed the desire got stronger and stronger. When I went to Longwood University I majored in Psychology only because I thought it would one day help in ministry. It’s interesting the things that God puts in our hearts once we put our trust in Him.
About 4 years ago Brian and I were meeting with one of my moms friends and also a sweet supporter of our ministry with Cru at a Starbucks in Richmond, Va. She mentioned to me as we were winding up our time with her, “You know, before your mom died she asked to have her friends gather around her to specifically pray for you—she prayed that you would come to know Christ at an early age and that you would go into ministry.” amazing. (At that point I had been in full time ministry with Cru for 6 years.)
Prayers never die. I’m so thankful for the journey that the Lord has me on. I’m thankful for the highs and lows and everything in between. I’m so thankful to get to do what I do– i love working with college students. I’m so thankful that in the Lords kindness that He let me get a glimpse into my mom’s prayer life.
“The Lord will fulfill His purposes for Me; your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.” Psalm 138:8
The Story that the Lord writes for your life is always the best….it may not always make sense, and it definitely won’t be without trials and sorrow, but Joy always will come. always.
“But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him.” Philippians 3:20-21
Thanks be to God.