I am starting the New Year with my testimony (long version) because one of my goals this year is to save some souls and a walk closer with my Lord this year. God has blessed with with so much and now that my children are grown and able to fend for themselves (of course they will always need their mommy) I am going to step out in faith and do some things that God has been asking me do (he has a Dee-do list too). Top of the list is that all my children are back in church...all of them (that may take some time but I am a patient woman....did I say determined). I don't understand why they don't go, some of them have gone and it has faded to the wayside, they have a wide array of excuses: I am too busy, I work on Sundays, people at church are hypocrites, I haven't been able to find one I like, you forced me to go when I was little so I don't want to go now, we went too much when we were little, I don't fit in at church, I need my beauty rest, you don't have to go to church to have a relationship with God, I have my own church at home, I am going to let my children chose for themselves, and last but not least I hate church!!! Rob and I just watched a 1929 football highlight where California recovered a fumble ran a football for 69 yards (the wrong way) and was tackled by his own team mate...well, kids I am going to keep tackling you because you are going the wrong way (your kids need to be in church). I realize some of you have already made a commitment to find a church and my prayers are with you that you do and that you find one that fits you well.
When my children were little I prayed consistently for all of them, I worried day and night about their salvation, as their mom it was all I thought about, now that I have seen all of them saved, I am turning my attention to my grandchildren and the lost people around me. My children have been so lucky and God has given them so much. I did not grow up in a christian home and it was all I ever wanted. Although my mom (thanks mom) sent me to church on a bus that came around for bible study at a Baptist Church every Sunday, my dad and her never went with me.
I would go to church and watch these strong Christian families with their children (some of them my Sunday school teachers) interact with their children and tell them and me bible stories about Jesus. I dreamed of a day when I would tell my children stories about Jesus and how much he loved them. I remember one time they (Sunday School teachers) came to visit me at my home, my dad answered the door and I was so happy because I thought now they will talk to him and he will go to church with me, but he closed the door in their faces and yelled at me to go to the door. He told me to talk to them outside, I was never so embarrassed, I got saved at age 11 at that church and I was so excited to be baptised, but when I told my parents about it they refused to come and again I was so embarrassed and hurt, the most important day to me in my life and they were not apart of it. Soon after I gave up on church and stopped going, but I still prayed and talked to God everyday. My mom goes now every Sunday, she was saved as a child but because of her horrible childhood gave up on it, but I was praying for her all these years and I believe God helped nudge her a bit.
I knew I needed to be back in church and after I graduated from high school, I went (scared to death mind you) I was all alone and all by myself. I saw a friend from high school there and her boyfriend led me to the Lord this time I completed understood what I was doing (I rededicated my life to Christ) I was baptised again (I wanted to step out and faith and let God know this time it was for good). It was a wonderful time I was on fire for the the Lord there was bible study and women's discipleship, there was door to door witnessing, music, and so much love. Everyone there made me feel like I was apart of a family, and it was there I began my life long love of teaching children.
I met my first husband there and although we had plans to get married (after he joined the Air Force) I got pregnant. He tried to get me to abort the pregnancy (he was embarrassed and didn't want to tell his family). I refused to do it, and told him I raise the baby by myself if I had to, if I could tell my parents he could tell his. I was really embarrassed at church, but you know what my church family never made me feel embarrassed they held me up and made me feel like I could do this, nobody judged me. My mom and dad encouraged me when Chris was away in Tech school while I gave birth to my wonderful Briana, and she became the new fire in my dad's eyes (he was her dad for the first 3 months of her life). My dad did tell me one time that having all the kids in church was a great thing and he did wish that he had done that for me and my brothers.
God has been with me through ever obstacle in my life, my divorce, my miss steps, my sinful rebellions (I have had big and little sins), I have done things I am not proud of, but you know what? All of it has made me who I am, and God has used all it all for his purpose. The great thing is even though I see myself as spotted and flawed child of his, He sees me clean and pure, I have been washed clean by the blood of Jesus. Some times I pick up those spots and wear them and hold on to them and let cloud my life. Then God reminds me what I look like in his eyes (white as snow), and I cry and start all over.
Thanks to all of you for loving me, and Happy New Year, how wonderful that we have a whole new year to try again...to do better....to go to church....to have a closer walk with Jesus. I love you all so much. I know some of this might embarrass some of you, but it is my life so get over it, I will never give up...never!!!