I grew up in a Christian home, and so did my parents. So I guess you could say my faith is deep in my roots. In fact, my mom and dad went to the same church with each other (the same church I also still attend now) for most of their lives. Isn't that cute? Anyway, I'm already getting off track. From a very young age, My parents taught me about Jesus, and the importance of being saved. My mom used to read Precious Moments: Stories from the Bible to me every night before going to bed when I was old enough to understand. In fact, it is resting on my bookshelf, waiting to be used again when I have a little someone to read it to.
I can remember sitting on my little bed and praying the salvation prayer with my mom when I was very young: probably 5 or 6. Old enough to make the decision, but not really old enough to understand the importance of what I had done.
Fast forward to the summer before eighth grade. I was at a Christian summer camp, and our speaker for the week was telling the story of the Crucifixion - he was explaining, very graphically, what Jesus had gone through to save us from our sins so we could have eternal life. I will never forget that day. I can picture every detail of the room, and exactly where I was sitting. The story of the Crucifixion and Resurrection changed for me that day. It become totally real for me. Instead of just being a story in a book, it was something that had really happened, in a way much more violently and graphically than I had ever pictured it before. I could feel my heart breaking, and started sobbing right in the middle of the session (along with just about everyone else in the room). I made a decision that night to recommit my life to the Lord, and this time I really understood what the decision meant.
Since that time there have been many storms in my life. In junior high and early high school I was extremely shy and dealt with extreme loneliness and I think, in hindsight, even depression. God delivered me from that and blessed me with some amazing friends my sophomore year and beyond.
I struggled through a horrible first year of college, once again dealing with extreme loneliness and feeling like I didn't fit in. I was in a dramatic relationship with someone and that added a lot of stress. And God delivered me from all of that by letting me fall in love with Luke the following summer. Everything friendship-wise and relationship-wise fell into place after that.
I've never written about this, but a few months after Luke and I started dating, I started having anxiety attacks. I never knew when they would hit, and they were terrifying (anyone who's ever had one knows what I'm talking about!). After a few months of these horrible attacks, I was at a women's retreat at my church and prayed with faith that God would deliver me, and He did. I haven't had a full-blown panic attack since that day, over seven years ago.
I dealt with discontentment with my job and career choice for four years. I knew God had something different for me, and I'm so glad to be able to say that I think, with guidance from the Lord, I found it in speech pathology.
Every one of these situations (and so many others in-between) have brought me closer to the Lord, strengthened my faith, and proved once again that if I let God have control of my life, He will work things out so much better than I could have imagined!
Today I'm dealing with the toughest, most violent storm of my life so far: infertility. After 2 years, I am still going through this storm, and have no idea how long it will last. But today I can say that the hope and peace that I've experienced through this situation has been totally worth it. I know God has an amazing plan in store. I don't know if it will involve starting my career as an SLP before having kids, having my own kids, adopting kids, fostering kids...who knows? But God knows, and I am so happy to be able to sit back, let go, and let God do His thing.
Accepting Christ as my Savior and letting Him have control of my life has been the best decision I've ever made. I can't even imagine where I'd be without Him. There are times in the past couple of years that I don't even know if I would have made it at all without Him. He has offered this free gift of salvation to everyone, and He wants nothing more than for us to accept it and put our faith in Him. If you have not made that decision, it is my hopeful prayer that you will. It changes everything.