I was sitting in the pew in my normal spot with my mom by my side. Most Sundays I would drift off into my imagination or lay down on the pew and doze a little. This day was different. I listened intently as my dad proclaimed the Word of God. It stirred my heart. He got near the end of the sermon and asked if anyone would like to make a decision to follow Jesus. My heart began to beat wildly out of my chest. I knew he was talking straight to me. My feet moved at the pace of my heart. That day I sat with my parents in their room as they explained the gospel once more to me. I responded to God's call on my life to follow Jesus, and I was never the same. As a seven year old little girl, I began walking with God in the ways I understood were right. I sang songs I made up to Jesus every night when I was falling asleep (side note - I wanted to be a Christian singer growing up), and I told everyone that I loved Him. That's about as deep as it went at that point. My God-fearing parents modeled for us what it looks like to live a life that puts God first. I was always the early morning child and was usually the first, and cheeriest, to greet my parents in the morning. I could always faithfully find my momma sipping her morning coffee and reading her Bible in the recliner. The scene always looked so peaceful, so anointed to my eyes. I would usually crawl into her lap and be kissed by her, coffee breath and all! My dad would be sitting at his desk doing the same reading. This was the norm for my parents and still is to this day. Their faithfulness to follow God and give Him their best still influences my walk with Jesus today.
Years went by and I eventually attended a private school where I attended Bible class everyday. The teachers I had greatly influenced my walk with God and called us all to a deeper knowledge of Christ. Instead of just singing songs to Jesus at night I began to understand that following Jesus means to much more. It is a commitment, a call, and makes me a new creation. I was not my own anymore, and though I battled with all of the teen struggles in those years, God faithfully led me into a more intimate relationship with Him.
Looking back on my life and every event that has taken place, I am amazed at the sovereignty of God. Hindsight truly is 20/20, or it at least allows us to see what God was doing behind the scenes. Today marks the 18th year I have been following Jesus. As I was thinking about this early this morning, all of the struggles and unanswered prayers I have had lately drifted away. It puts things into perspective and to look back and see a journey where God has only been faithful. And He will continue to be. Bless the Lord, oh my soul!
Nancy Leigh DeMoss has faithfully written about her spiritual birthday every year and made a list for all that God has taught her. This year is my first year to take part in this beautiful blessing of praising God for His faithfulness. Below are a few things God has taught me in this 18 year journey:
- He is enough. He is more than enough to satisfy our desires, meet our needs, and give us hope. (Philippians 4:19)
- He is my First Love. Even as a married woman, this one rings true in my heart. He is the Love that will never fail me and holds all things together. (Revelation 2:4)
- He hears us when we call. We may not always feel like we are being heard, but we are small, finite creatures. God is the infinite Creator of the universe and He promises to hear us and answer us. (1 John 5:14)
- He has good plans for those who seek Him. We may not always know the plans, but we have His Word and His promises to cling to and the reminder of Joshua 21:45 that none of God's promises ever fail. (Romans 8:28, Jeremiah 29:11)
- He sings over us and is a mighty warrior! My mom's favorite verse is Zephaniah 3:17. She always reminded us when we were little that God sings His love songs of faithfulness over us, His children.
- Even when those around us fail and the world seems to be falling apart, God is still in control and still worthy of our praise. (Habbakuk 3:17-19)
- He created everything, holds it altogether, and He created my body for His glory. After struggling with years of insecurity about my body and God's plans, I have learned this to be abundantly true and life-giving! (Colossians 1:16, Psalm 139:13-14)
- Sanctification is a gift. All of life and it's circumstances are for our sanctification, that we would be more like Christ. We go through soul-scrubbing situations everyday that God uses to make us more like Jesus. Though hard to go through at the time, these are a gift of God! (1 Thessalonians 4:3, 1 Peter 1:16)
- Even in the darkest moments, He is there and has the power to save us. (Deuteronomy 31:6, Isaiah 43:1-3)
- God is always at work. He never sleeps and He never worries. He is in complete control at all times. (Isaiah 40:28)
- He is not bound by time. He is never slow about keeping His promises. We have a tendency to become trapped by the constraints of time, but God is not limited. We can rest in this promise. (2 Peter 3:9)
- We are all called to be witnesses and to preach the good news of the gospel to the nations. (Matthew 28:16-20)
- There is no joy apart from Christ. (Psalm 16:11)
- God's Word is not just a book of words to sit on our shelf, it is living, active, and it is has the power to change us. We are to hunger after it everyday and fill our hearts and minds with its' truth! (Hebrews 4:12)
- The sovereignty of God gives us peace and hope. He knows it all and He is not surprised by anything. (Proverbs 16:9, John 1:1)
- Suffering has eternal purposes and no one is exempt from it. (2 Corinthians 4:17)
- He really, truly, deeply and perfectly loves us and cares for us. (John 3:16, Jeremiah 31:3)
- He is coming again and we are to live in anticipation of that day and eternity! (Revelation 22:7)
Writing those down makes my heart beat wildly again, just like the day I accept Christ. I pray that you would spend some time, too, looking back and writing down all God has taught you through the years (or even the past few days). May we be a people who worship recklessly without fail and wildly adore Him, because our God deserves our every breath!
Grateful for these 18 years and excited for the mysteries God will reveal in the coming years!