This past Saturday was the anniversary of me beginning a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Forty years ago, while driving home from college (Univ of Puget Sound) in my green VW bug, I remember asking God to come into my life and take control. I had spent the previous evening with my friends Bill and Dave-who were college roommates, playing the devil's advocate. Both my friends were followers of Christ and wanted me to know that God would never leave me or forsake me once I began a "new life" with Him. I asked so many questions, and they gave me answers. We talked into the wee hours of the morning and I remember wondering how the heck I was going to stay awake for the 12 hour drive back to Palo Alto.
But as I drove, I reflected on our conversation and after a few hours, it seemed right to ask Jesus to come into my life.
40 years later, I consider that to be the BEST decision of my life.
I never walked away from Jesus, but there were times in the early years, that I went sideways a little-trying to live the life of a follower of Christ and a college sorority girl.
I have had tremendous joy and tremendous pain in these 40 years. I have been blessed beyond measure. I have an absolutely amazing man to share my life with. I have 4 wonderful children and 2 incredible sons by marriage. I have 2 cute little grandsons who always can make me smile and laugh. And I have an invaluable support system of some of the kindest,caring, loving and forgiving friends imagineable.
The pain I have experienced has left me raw and vulnerable. It has stripped away my pride and made me feel helpless often. But I have never been without HOPE, because I have the stability of a GOD who will always uphold me.
It is the pain where I grow and learn lessons that otherwise probably would have escaped me. The ones that after the suffering has lessened, I realize that Jesus had something so important to tell me. Painful lessons that I would not trade. Lessons that taught me of the extreme faithfulness, love, grace and mercy of God.
40 years of walking with Jesus. Two thirds of my life trying to become the person that He envisions me to be. So extremely grateful that God never has given up on me.
Now, I can't even fathom what my life would be like without Jesus Christ. I would not be who I am today or who He wants me to be tomorrow. I know I would be more selfish and self-absorbed, more concerned about my wants than anyone else's.
Thankfully, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt , that this life is to be all about JESUS and very very little about me.
I am so so grateful that God has allowed me to know Him. I cannot imagine my life now apart from Christ. Now I just want to know that with however many years that I have left in this life, I will use it for His purposes, for His Kingdom...and happily do so.
"YOU are my place of refuge. YOU are all I really want in life"
Amen and Amen.