2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new."
I can honestly say that making the choice to live my life for Jesus was the best decision I ever made. Because of that one decision, God has worked in my life in so many amazing ways.
He has, in fact, made me a new creation.
Before I surrendered to Christ, I never really thought much about my life and the direction it was going. I like to think I was a good person. No drugs. An occasional drink. No promiscuous sex. My husband is the only man I've ever been with.
Growing up, I basically did what I was supposed to. I dated early (one guy, my husband). I graduated high school with honors and scholarship money. I stayed focused and graduated college with a Bachelor's in Elementary Education in 3 1/2 years. I was no angel. My parents can tell you that. But I was a good person. I got my dream job teaching and married my sweetheart. We had our first child.
I was happy. I was well on my way to my dream: being a wife, a teacher, and a mom to 3 children (my plan was 2 boys and a girl).
But something was missing.
Jeff and I knew we wanted to raise our children in church. Neither of us were "raised" in church, but we did have a little background. I knew who Jesus was. I knew you had to believe in him to get to heaven. I cherished every little Gideon's Bible I received and even signed my name on the line in them to show I believed what it said about Jesus.
In 2004, Jeff and I started attended church after being invited by a coworker. We were hooked. Shortly after we started attending, we found out that there was going to be a baby dedication. Parents would stand before the church to say they would raise their baby for God. This was exactly what we wanted to do for Colin. That was our whole purpose in going to church.
In the coming weeks, I had much difficulty contacting our pastor about participating. Colin was almost 2 years old, not quite the baby we felt they intended the ceremony for, so we weren't sure we would be allowed to participate. I was finally able to get to church to speak with Dr. Copass about the dedication service, and he agreed that it would be a great idea. However, he had a question for me. Had I dedicated my life to Jesus? I immediately began crying. No one, that's right, no one had every asked me about my soul, if I had surrendered to Jesus. I was instantly overcome with emotion. All I could think was that the preacher must have thought I was crazy, crying like that, dedicating my son to the Lord, not being a Christian myself.
Needless to say, Dr. Copass knew my answer. We talked and we prayed and that day, I gave my heart to Jesus.
That day has changed my life.
That day has changed me.
My entire outlook on life is different. My focus is on God. The choices I make are based on what He wants.
I have given up any claim I thought I had over my life.
Instead of being content in just being me and who I thought I was supposed to be, I have found pure joy in becoming the woman God had planned for me.
I am involved in my church. I teach Sunday School for adults and children. I teach VBS. I have serve on committees. I lead Bible studies. I serve as nursery coordinator. I want to do more for the kingdom of God. I have been blessed to lead children to Christ. I have been blessed to lead an adult to Christ. I love allowing God to work through me.
And that is what all of that is.....God working through me.
I am totally uncomfortable in my own skin. I hate to order a pizza over the phone. I hate to meet new people. I am such a homebody. But because I said "YES" to God, He is doing some amazing things. I could never do those things on my own. I break out into hives every time I have to speak in front of grown ups!
I am supportive of my husband for the the life that God has called him to lead. After 8 years of marriage and 3 children, it is a bit unnerving to begin serving God and country. There are so many questions and uncertainty with this thing called military life. However, we have been able to put our trust in God.
He had gotten me through difficult times. He has given me peace. I remember when my grandfather passed away, I felt a sense of peace over come me. I was in the car and upset over getting the news that he was slipping away from us. I wanted to get to the hospital and see him one last time. But God was there with me. He let me know that my pa knew that I loved him (that was a fear I had, did he know that I loved him). He let me know that my pa was ok, that He was taking care of him. I was calm even though I knew in my heart that I would not see him alive when I got to the hospital. That whole experience was hard. I was his baby girl. He was my Pa Tootsie. I had never imagined my life without him. And then suddenly, I had to.
There are so many instances that God gave me exactly what I needed, not what I thought I needed. He has held my hand. He has wrapped His arms around me. He has held me. He has disciplined me. He has carried me. He has loved me.
God has made me a new creation. He has changed my attitude, my thinking, my habits, my language, my heart.
I am NOT perfect. I am still a sinner. I mess up everyday. But I have God's grace and mercy on my side. He forgives me. He loves me. He wants a relationship with me.
All I have to do is say YES to Him each and everyday. If I do that, He will continue to mold me, shape me, use me.
I am excited to see what God has planned for me.
I am so glad I made the choice to live for Him.
Join us at Wives of Faith for Wife to Wife Wednesdays. We would love to hear how God has made a difference in your life. Even if you aren't a military spouse, feel free to leave a comment.