thankful thursday: testimony

I accepted Jesus into my heart when I was in the 6th grade. I’ve talked about it here. After that, I led, what I considered, to be a decent Christian life. In high school, I went to church most Sunday mornings, said a prayer at night, and cracked open my bible every couple of days. I took part in the FCA in the mornings and even kept a little prayer journal. That seemed good enough, I thought.

And then college came along. I made less and less time for Christ. I still went to church most Sundays and still participated in some college fellowship events, but my bible got dusty and my prayers got short. I was too busy chasing a brown-headed boy named Ben. I thought I had more important things to do.

Ben and I went on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic when we were in college. I started to feel a little tug at my heart then to do more. To be more for Christ. To sacrifice more for Him. After all, look at what He had done for me! I was surrounded by awesome, Jesus-lovin’ kids, and I saw their relationships with their Savior and I realized I was missing that deep connection. But yet, I still found myself too busy or too uninterested to make that next step and really commit myself to Christ.

When Ben was a junior/senior in college, he really started working on building his relationship with Christ. He suffered a couple of football injuries and realized that God was ultimately in control. He considered playing football one of his top priorities, and he quickly saw how fast that could all be taken away from him. He started to invest more time in Jesus and he made his relationship with Christ his top priority. I’m so thankful he did that. I was proud of Ben, but I was still a ‘good enough’ Christian in my mind. Besides, I was in graduate school, and I didn’t have the time to make a commitment like Ben did. So there I sat, for several years, as a lukewarm Christian.

Lukewarm Christian. That’s not a good place to be. Revelation 3:16 says “So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.” In the dictionary, lukewarm means having little zeal or enthusiasm, or being indifferent. Yep, that was me.

Ben and I got married and started our new lives together. Ben was becoming an incredible man of God and I was still content being lukewarm. His strengthened relationship with Christ had changed him. I saw the peace and faith that Ben had and I yearned to have it. But ultimately, I’d end up watching and encouraging Ben in his mission, and I would decide I didn’t need to do that. I didn’t have time. I was too busy with work and school. I became the queen of excuses.

And then, I got pregnant.

I was going to be a mom. A MOM. A mom who had a son. A son who would look up to me.

I want so many things for PB, but most of all, I want him to grow up to be a man of God. I want him to have a strong relationship with Christ. I want him to be ‘hot’ for God, instead of lukewarm. How was he going to learn this if his momma wasn’t leading by example?

Ben has always told me that the only way to build your relationship with Christ is to spend time with Him. That makes sense because that’s true with relationships in life. You get closer to someone because you spend more time with them.

So, I started gradually making changes in my life. Now, I’m nowhere near where I want to be, but every day, I’m working on strengthening my relationship with my Savior. I dug into that dusty ole’ bible. Ben and I started getting more involved in church. We helped create and lead a youth program. It’s so awesome to work with these kids. To see what God does in their lives and how He uses even the most unlikely people in His work is nothing short of amazing. 

And, I finally got baptized. I had been putting it off for years, and I’m not really sure why. Too lazy? Not ready? Unsure of the significance? I don’t know what the deal was, but 13 years later, I finally sealed the deal. We went down to the creek near our house with the church and the youth group. We had a feast of a dinner, y’all, right there beside the creek. Then Ben and I walked into the cool creek water (Ben got baptized with me) and, with my dad and Ben holding my hand, my preacher prayed and dipped me in the water.

And with that dip, the old gal, the one who was too busy for God and was too lazy to spend time with Him, was gone….washed down the little creek. It is amazing that I serve such a loving and forgiving God.

I ask, He forgives. I pray, He listens. I need Him, He’s there.

I’m a work in progress, y’all. Sometimes I fall asleep while reading my bible. And I still struggle while dropping that 10% of my income into the tithing plate. And just last night, I cussed when I smashed my finger in the door.

I fall short of His mercy every day. He blesses me and provides for me far more than I deserve. So today, I’m thankful I serve a loving, forgiving, and faithful God. I’m thankful He sees past an ole’ sinner like me. I’m saved by His grace today, and washed by His blood. There’s no greater gift.

“Therefore, know that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments” (Deuteronomy 7:9).

In the DR with some super kids!

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Stay tuned for some new stuff on the ole’ bloggaroosky, including an awesome giveaway. I’ll give you a hint….if you’re photographically challenged like myself, you’ll be in for a major treat 🙂

Ahh, and I’ve got a Q & A session up today on Chaunie’s blog. When she contacted me to ask me some questions, I almost peed my pants. She’s like, a real-live writer, y’all. Her blog is a daily, hilarious read of mine. She’s legit!

Have a blessed & thankful Thursday!

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