Growing up I was raised in a church and was baptized at 8 years old. By the time I was 15 I had left the faith. After that I started dabbling with the pagan religion of Wicca, but I still felt empty and told myself I was an atheist. Technically I wasn’t, though; I still felt like maybe there was something more to the universe than dying and being eaten by worms. In July, I gave my heart to Jesus and I know it was the right decision. It may have taken me a while but I made it. And the realization I’ve made today, shows me that the journey started WAY before I had any idea it had begun.
Around the Year of 2010
My daughter Paige has always been such a caring, giving, and generous person. She was a preteen that year, and was of course getting into clothes and all things girly. To help pay for this desire for all the cool gear, we told her she needed to get a job. It just so happened that she was offered a job by her bus driver to help take care of her bunnies. It didn’t pay a lot, but she could ride the bus there, and it wasn’t too far from our house. Upon getting this job, she decided to donate money and sponsor a kid through Compassion. She was inspired to do this by her Aunt Colleen and cousins, Jess and Becca, who had been doing the same for years. Such a blessing to see my daughter give so selflessly and help another person.
Fast Forward to Easter of 2014
As a mom of a teenager, a preteen and my baby bear who was 8 at the time, I felt like I needed help getting better morals on board. I remembered from my youth how important the 10 commandments were for helping to develop me, and decided to take my kids to church. What better day to go than Easter? It started out as a blessing; we loved the messages, and the songs. We even switched our radio station from the rock/metal station to the Christian music station. The kids and I had been going to a church for about a year when my husband found out that a guy he was playing racquetball with was a Pastor.
The Year 2015
My husband wasn’t attending church with us, but he ended up asking the Pastor a few questions about the Bible, like which version was the best one to study from. That turned into a Bible study, which turned into a weekly Bible study, which turned into us having Bible studies as a family. Slowly but surely we came around and realized that what we were reading in the Bible didn’t line up with the things we were learning at the church we were going to. It may have helped that we went to a marriage retreat with the other church and saw some behavior involving the pastor that didn’t seem to fit into the “would I do this in front of Jesus” category. We decided to start going to the new pastor’s church, and in September 2016, Troy was baptized. I wasn’t quite ready yet, even though I had initiated all this church stuff.
The Beginning of 2017
I made my mind up that I was mentally ready to start preparing for baptism. I even put it on my vision board. Then February hit. I lost one grandpa, then another, then a regular customer who I loved like a grandpa passed all within less than a month of each other. I’m so thankful I was participating in the Nedley’s Depression and Anxiety Recovery Program at the time. If I hadn’t I probably would have had a larger downward spiral. In all that struggle, it took all I had not to start drinking again. When I was headed to the last memorial service, all I saw along the way was signs for wineries, and it crossed my mind that I could have a drink and no one would know. Worst case scenario I could stay at my sister’s house… I knew that one drink would turn into two, or three, or four. I knew that alcohol would not help in that situation; it’s a depressant, not a joy giver.
July 26, 2017
That’s the day I decided I was ready.
In all honesty, it took me until three days before my baptism to realize I was ready. To realize that even through the chaos and dysfunction of the world, and the doubt of my ability to be worthy of Jesus’ sacrifice, there was no better time than now to recommit my life.
What really made me realize that I am worthy, was the last study I had with our Pastor. I couldn’t think of anything I needed to repent for; I just felt unworthy. I felt like I still wanted to do some of the things that Jesus didn’t want me to do. I felt ashamed to still have those desires. Our Pastor shared with me the story of Judas. Even at the last supper when Judas had already planned to betray Jesus, even when Jesus knew Judas was going to betray Him, He washed his feet. He gave Himself to him in the most humble way. Jesus loved Judas even in his betrayal, and that showed me that Jesus loves me. He wants me to succeed and be closer to him, just like he wants you to be also. I knew I was ready after that. I knew that even if I wanted to drink alcohol, I wanted to be closer to Jesus more.
I can’t help but think that all those little steps were God’s way of coming back into my life. He meets us where we are and helps us grow to where He wants us to be. We just have to be open to what He is sending us. We have to be diligent in studying and remember that like Jesus served Judas, we should be removing self from the equation and serving each other. God is love, and that’s the answer.
Everyday from here on out…
I’m going to continue studying the Bible and continue praying because I know that it will only draw me closer to the Lord. And I want to encourage you to be on the lookout for the signs that He is putting out for you in an attempt to draw you closer too.
✨Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.✨ Matthew 11:29
If you’d like to have someone to study the Bible with I’d love to study it with you. They say the best way to learn is to teach, so even if I’m nervous and mix up my words or panic and turn red in the face, I want to spread the love I have learned about. ❤️
Fill out the form below if you’re interested in starting studies.