I grew up and became a prodigal daughter.
You see when I was much younger and only for a brief time, I met God and His people and was impacted forever!
I prayed, wanted to be baptised and learn and participate in ALL church activities...for church was the best thing ever, for me and my family. I don’t even know if we went for a full two years to be honest, but it was enough, because God was there.
Fast forward some time and my family had moved and stopped going to church...not long later my family fell apart.
I was like a sprouted seed that received no further nurturing, yet was dropped into a field of weeds and that little Jesus girl I was, began to get choked by those big, strong weeds.
The little girl who knew Jesus, instead of blooming into a beautiful young plant, began to compromise in that big field of weeds…the enemy was so subtle…One compromise led to another, then another, then another…So much so, that no-one would have been able to tell the difference between me, and the other weeds.
I grew wild and untamed…I was beginning to drown yet no-one but God seemed to notice…for I knew He was calling me, but I ignored Him. I can even remember the night I deliberately chose to stop praying before I went to sleep. It wasn’t much long later that the panic attacks started. I was on a slippery slope and it was miserable. Yet I still chose to be miserable and not repent, for I was trapped in my sin…my flesh was an awful master that was never satisfied.
But God still waited…
I can remember always being anxious, so I busied myself with work to not ‘think’ too much. I was scared of facing Jesus one day, so I was fearful of death, and/or Him returning and me not being ‘ready’. I was also anxious of my marriage breaking down.
I was a mess, waking sometimes during the night in a fright and then calling out to God for help…but not to commit. I have a vivid memory of passing a church one day and thinking, 'How could God possibly expect me to love Him more than my family?' I did not understand how I could possibly put Him first and still have enough love for my family. I thought there was no way I could be a Christian. Even 2 decades later, I knew that a true Christian was someone‘sold-out for Christ'. I knew that if I was going to be a Christian it would have to be all or nothing, no sitting on the fence, or hypocritical stuff would cut it...I still knew deep down!
When I was 28 years old I opened a Bible and God spoke to me…Oh so loudly that I knew, that this was THE moment in MY life that I was to choose my destiny. He confronted me in His love, with my sin, and I knew I had a choice. I finally chose Him over me, and I became ‘sold-out for Christ’. He re-birthed me then and there in that hotel room by His Holy Spirit, and I was reconciled to Him forever.
That evening I began a real relationship with God as His daughter, and that relationship required work as all relationships do…I did fall in love with Jesus. I finally experienced and understood the meaning to ‘Amazing Grace’, rather than just reciting the lyrics. I was in love and sought Him constantly. I would pray anytime and read my bible as often as possible, eager to hear His words to me.
His words were medicine to my soul.
I admit sometimes they were challenging and stretched me incredibly, yet other times they took my breath away. I was experiencing the greatest gift ever possible and I couldn’t believe I’d waited so long – I was in love and yes, everybody knew about it!
Oh how foolish I had been in believing the enemy’s lies, that I couldn’t love God first and my family right! For now, I had direct access to ‘LOVE’ Himself, and I was overflowing with it…I finally had true love for other people, not the second rate, self-serving type I gave before.
Once I experienced my re-birth and I knew what true love was, I wanted everyone to experience it and to have peace with God! My relationship with Jesus was first and foremost and still is. It is that loving relationship which has kept me going now for almost a decade telling people about Jesus, and of how they can experience true love, joy and peace.
Yes I am still in love with Jesus today…so how does that continue to play out in everyday life for me these days?
It means that I continue to participate in our relationship...
Relationships are a two-way street.
I pray, read scripture and listen…He speaks, guides and corrects.
I hang out with His people and serve…He speaks to me and practically loves me through them.
I tell others about Him…He gives me the words.
The world batters me…He holds, protects and heals me.
I sing to Him and He fills me with His love, peace and joy.
I give Him nothing and He still gives me the desires of my heart in line with His will.
I sometimes ignore Him…He still faithfully loves me.
I sometimes get stressed and get overwhelmed…He keeps teaching, encouraging and reminding me of His unchanging love.
Yes, I am sold-out for Jesus and there is no better way to live!
May I leave you with this song, by Casting Crowns, 'I know You're there'.
This has been a Writing Challenge post for the Google+ Christian Bloggers Community.