Mountains and Valleys
As I grew up, my family introduced me to the Lord through church, Sunday school, and youth group. As a little kid, I started to understand the idea of Jesus saving us, but I thought I had to ask for forgiveness over and over again. Right around my 7th birthday I remember having that conversation with my mom, who told me that Jesus forgives us once and for all, and once I am a Christian, I am the Lord’s forever and I don’t need to continue to ask him to save me. Praying with her that day was an important milestone, and what I would consider the decision of faith for myself.
At that young age, I had the knowledge of God, and continued to learn about him. However, experiencing and living out faith has been an ongoing journey since then, with ups and downs. During pivotal times, such as in college, and then in my mid-20s, I experienced crossroads at which I had to decide if I was going to continue investing in Christian communities like church, or step away for a while. God in his grace put people in my life at these points to walk with me and encourage me to see the value of staying connected to other Christians.
Through struggles such as an eating disorder, moving, loneliness, having children, experiencing job loss/family struggles, and walking with my spouse through challenges, God has provided in ways that are amazing. He has answered prayers in specific ways that are incredibly humbling, reminding me over and over again that he is the one who brings peace, joy, and fulfillment. What started as a knowledge of salvation and the desire to know the Lord, has deepened over time to include major life experiences in which I have “seen and tasted” that the Lord is good, instead of just knowing factually that he is.
Some of my favorite verses are in Hebrews 13:5-8, which say
“5 Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
6 So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?”
7 Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.
8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Thank you, God for your faithfulness.