I was born on August 17, 1983. My conception took everyone by surprise, as my mother did not have all of the necessary organs to carry a child. Medically, it was a miracle. Upon my arrival, my mother was rushed into emergency surgery due to the umbilical cord wrapping itself around my body. Born under extreme circumstances, it’s no doubt God had bigger plans.
I grew up in church, rarely missing a service. My parents were actively involved, so I spent a lot of time “growing up” there. Having siblings who are 9 and 11 years older was sort of like being an only child. At a young age, they had moved off to college and started their own lives. I can remember their proms and graduations, only from a kids point of view.
I’ll never forget giving my life to Jesus. It was during a service, when I was roughly 7 years old. I felt His conviction on my heart and I made my way to the alter. It wasn’t long after that I was baptized as well. As I grew older and entered my teenage years, I remained active in our youth group. However, deep insecurity and the desire to be accepted caused me to detour in high school. I can remember feeling so torn by what I knew was right and wanting to fit in. I ended up doing things I swore I never would. I hurt myself, my family, and my friends. And more importantly, I tried to distance myself from the voice of the Lord.
When I was 16 , my family and I began attending a new church. It was hard to leave the familiar behind and trust the Lord to lead us to the right place. One Sunday, the pastor gave an alter call, and once again I headed to the front. I was so miserable in my sin. All of the acceptance in the world couldn’t fill the void I had. I needed the peace and love that only Jesus Christ can offer. And from that point on, my life was completely transformed.
But it wasn’t until I was married and our first child was born, that God began to reveal himself to me in a new way. For the first time, I caught a glimpse of the Fathers love. I was challenged on a different level, because parenthood required a deeper faith than what I currently had. I quickly saw how selfish I had been for most of my life. I realized that I couldn’t do everything on my own. And that I needed my Savior. Not just on Sundays…..but every other day as well. I needed relationship.
Looking back on my life, I can see the fingerprints of God everywhere. Not just the big, life events, but in the details. He’s not a God who quickly throws something together, but One who skillfully spends time on developing each one of us. He’s a Father who nurtures us in the growing seasons, while discipling us in the stubborn ones. I’m truly amazed at the grace He has shown me and the mercy He has extended. I use to believe that my testimony was all the “bad” I had endured throughout my life. When, in fact, it’s the opposite. It’s that I’m still here and He is still good. And He’ll always be good. He will always have an abundance of Himself waiting for you and me. If only we will surrender and receive it.