Monday, January 5, 2009
The day I met Jesus
I grew up in a Christian home, constantly surrounded by Bible studies and Wednesday night church. God was something I never doubted, never questioned and never ventured from; Christianity was my religion. I claimed my salvation at the young age of seven and hardly missed a Sunday morning at church, yet God always seemed more like a story to me instead of a Father. Throughout my adulthood, I have struggled to find myself. Constantly searching for who I think I am only to be frustrated when my new vision of myself didn't "stick". I would pray to God at night, the same prayer almost every night, always living in the comfort zone of my lukewarm claim to Christianity. Then came Chunks-a-lot and I began a journey that I only now recognize as life-changing in regards to my eternity. Living at St. Jude's was hard and the constant stress of seeing my little girl sick was sometimes so overwhelming that I felt numb. I would cry out to Jesus, beg Him for intervention and then celebrate in all the small victories and tiny miracles. Each day felt like a learning experience and it all led up to one important day....the day I met Jesus. It was a few weeks before we came back home for good and I was on the treadmill in the fitness center, running off my stress and anxiety while casually listening to Dr. Charles Stanley preach on the television above me. It wasn't anything profound in the message on T.V., in fact it wasn't even a sermon about salvation or eternity, but for some reason something inside of me broke. I stopped running and just stood there, sweat dripping down my face, heart pounding in my chest and I felt Him. I had cried out to Jesus so many times, with such angst and heart-wrenching emotion but this was the first time that I had ever truly met the spirit of God. And there He was, not in a visual sense, but just all around me, comforting my broken spirit. I realized at that moment that this "religion" I've so desperately clung to for so long is not a religion at all....it's a relationship. That might not be a profound thought, but it was more the understanding that came with it that melted me where I stood. I suddenly understood my former frustrations with my identity as the only peace and sense of self I'll ever find is wrapped up in Him. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I quietly surrendered my life to him. Not because I was taught to do so, not because it was second nature, not because that's what Christianity requires, but simply because I longed to. And then the most amazing thing happened, He entered my spirit. He met me right where I was, broken-hearted, vulnerable and weak and opened my eyes to the peace that comes with a true relationship with Christ. Now I look back on this past year of medical and emotional trauma and I feel so humble, for God took something so tragic and used it to bring me to Him. And it's not a spiritual high that you feel after a Church retreat, it's every thought, every action, every breath....you feel Him. Gently nudging you towards patience, softly encouraging you towards obedience and always filling you with His mercy and love. It's taken me almost 27 years to find who I really am and now I finally know......I'm His.