My life before I knew Christ was a very destructive lifestyle.
I did everything to run the opposite direction of our Father. It was all about me. I was in charge of my life. I called the shots. I didn’t want anything to do with religion. My motto in my twenties was work hard, play harder and that is exactly what I did. Eventually, the alcohol and drugs slowly started to take over. I was losing control of my life. At that time in my life, I didn’t care. I just wanted to die.
I Had to Make A Choice
I will never forget the moment God came to me. I can still picture my bedroom. It was dark outside. Not a sound could be heard. The drugs had me. I was on a three-day binge that weekend and I was lying on my bed when I heard a voice. It was gentle and firm.
God showed me that I would die if I continued with the way I was living. Honestly, I wanted that, but I didn’t want to die by my own doings. I had to choose God or my own death. I knew that I was very close to the grave. I don’t know how long I lay there. I know I didn’t move for a very long time. I know that I believed Him! I believed when He said that I would die. When I finally made my choice I got up, packed my bags, and walked out of that apartment and didn’t look back. I quit all drugs cold turkey! I refused to hang out with anyone that used them. Alcohol was another story. That was a long process.
A Slow Journey in Finding Jesus
I was 25 years old when that happened. It took me eight years to understand who God was and who He wanted me to be. It was a slow journey in finding Jesus. I didn’t know anyone who knew Jesus. I didn’t trust anyone. I found a church and kind of went with the flow. I didn’t know why I was going to church but I knew I had to go. I volunteered every chance I could.
Once I fully found Him, I understood what it meant to know Jesus. When I finally let Him into my heart, life and soul He just flowed into me like a river. When I turned 37 years old, I found a church where I went to my first bible study, learned about home schooling and Jesus continued to fill me and grow me. He filled me so much that I went under water to be baptized when I turned 40 years old. He did that to me! I wanted to do that for Him!
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?
Matthew 16:24-26 ESV
Looking back, it pains me to remember what I did to Jesus. I purposely denied Him many times. I am so thankful that He didn’t give up on me. His blood runs through my veins. I would die for Him!
Seek the Lord and his strength; seek his presence continually!
1 Chronicles 16:11 ESV
I've Got Jesus!
Jesus has changed me so much that sometimes I don’t recognize myself. How could I have been that other person? How could I be so damaging? Without my past I couldn’t be who I am today. Karl got the wife he knew I could be. My kids got the mom God created me to be. And me? I’ve got Jesus!
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2 ESV
Jesus has taught me forgiveness. Letting go of my past I can move forward into His arms. God is good. He has shown me so much love that I can share that love with my husband and kids. God has shown me a love for children that I didn’t know I had. I love sharing His word with the little people of my church. I want to learn and grow stronger every day of my life. I want Jesus! That is my daily prayer: to be filled with His love and never let go. Never!
Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you...
Acts 13:38 ESV
Hooked on My First Visit
I was involved with Village before I ever went to a service. I met Keith Duff through a mutual friend and that’s when I began designing banner ads for Village at the Sugar Grove Campus. I did this for several years before I met Trudie Wentzlaff. I met her at a home school co-op and she invited me to her small group. I went to her small group for a few months before I decided to check out the Aurora Campus. Travis was preaching. I was hooked on my first visit and I’ve been attending for over four years now.
The realness of the people excites me. I feel like I’m part of a bigger family. The smiles. Genuine kindness. Love. Support. The music. The sermons. Connected. Understood. Not judged, but loved.
How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
Psalm 36:7 ESV
My husband playing on the worship team is something I never imagined as a possibility. God knew. My husband coming to church with the kids and me means the world to me! Having Karl share in something with me that I love with my whole being puts a smile on my face. Only God can do that. As a family we can only get stronger through God. We can fight any battles through Jesus. Even fight lupus with a smile on my face, because I am saved. I couldn’t imagine living any other way. I refuse to ever leave His side.
…as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.
Joshua 24:15 ESV