Friday, September 24, 2010
When I was in Junior High High School, I was bold about my faith in Jesus Christ. My home life was full of pain and daily I woke up extremely insecure about who I was. What teen doesn't? But my circumstances were extreme because of things going on with home life. My first year of 7th grade was probably the most extreme because I lived with my Dad and he was at a zenith in alcoholism. I didn't know if I would have lunch money, a ride home from school, clean clothes to wear or even a parent alive when I found a way home from school. Often I did not go because of my fear of leaving my Dad and because of that, I failed the 7th grade. Sad story? Yes! But what my Lord taught me out of that was huge.
At five years old, I accepted Christ. It kills me when I hear parents doubt that their children can have a true understanding about God at a young age. There are numerous scriptures about children in the Bible and the faith of a child. And I am here to tell you that I was SAVED, BORN AGAIN, whatever you want to call it at five years old and I NEVER doubted, not even once, my salvation. The Holy Spirit worked in my life as a child in so many ways. I remember the first time I began to recognize the Holy Spirit's voice. I was five years old and called my teacher "stupid" behind her back to one of my friends. Through out the day I began to grieve inside. Obviously I did not know what grieving was as a five year old child but I knew that I felt extremely yucky for being ugly towards Ms. Brackeen. I wrestled all day long. Right before School was out for the day and all the kids were gathering their stuff to leave, I confessed. Twenty years later I was in beauty school and a woman came in for a pedicure. She was assigned to me. It was Ms. Brackeen. She was old in years but I decided to share with her that story again. She did not remember but it was nice to be able to share with her how He has used her. She smiled and said she was amazed by my honesty, especially for a five year old. When I think back to the intense pain I lived through as a child and teenager, I am so thankful. The pain did not push me into the WRONG things like it does so often with kids. It pushed me in to RIGHTEOUSNESS and a relationship with Jesus.
My ability to hear God's voice hasn't come because I am "Holier than thou". It's come from desperation. I've been desperate my whole life to hear Him. And when you are desperate for HIM, He speaks in the most amazing ways. No one could ever doubt how He has had His hand on my life. His work in my life continued in amazing ways through out my school years. The other night I was looking through a junior high year book where a few of my teachers had written that they appreciated my strong faith in God, my energy and my laughter. My Speech teacher told me I was destined for something big. My Physical Science teacher told me to avoid Chemistry (that made me laugh) but told me how much he appreciated my "joy" each and every day in class. Then there were the class mates. Almost every single person in my year book said something to me about how they appreciated me sharing scripture with them or telling them I would pray for them. I could not help but cry. Kelly Ann will know why! I was in so much pain back then. I cried myself to sleep almost every single night and I truly believed NO ONE liked me. I have looked upon those years with so much sadness but reading those little writings inside my 9th grade year book made me realize that even then, my ashes were being turned to beauty.
In High School I would pray that God would use me all the time. I prayed He would sit me next to other kids that did not know him. I was a bold witness for Jesus Christ. You see, HE was the one thing in my life I could rely on. HE was the one constant. HE gave me joy beyond all circumstances. I was learning to survive in my family life, but I also learned to TRUST my Lord.
I am still a bold woman of God but I lack that fearless attitude in a lot of ways. I often get the urge to pray for a stranger or ask them about their life. But I don't act on it like I did when I was younger. The kids and I have been having incredible conversations about sharing the Lord with others. Josiah and Ava Beth have both accepted Jesus Christ into their lives and it is soooooooooo obvious that a true understanding has happened. There is FRUIT!! And their faith is nurtured every single day! A day does not go by where we do not talk about what Christ has done for us and how is changing us. And let me tell you my friends, we get plenty of opportunities for confession and forgiveness. Homeschool teaching brings out the best and worst in a Mama! I
threw tossed a dry erase marker across the room the other day. The kids were quick to let me know that my actions made God sad. But thank God we get to work through those things and they get to hear me pray and confess my sin. It's humbling and amazing at the same time.
This week as we discussed praying for those we know who do not know Christ, Ava Beth perked up. I noticed she was wide eyed and extremely interested in what I was saying. We talked about ways we can show Jesus to others and how we can talk about Him to others. I have so much negative church crap inside of me from the past that I forget what it is like to be bold. I've been told that asking people about their relationship with Christ is wrong and you for sure don't just witness anymore. No, you have to bake them cookies. Serve them. Become friends with them and THEN you show them with your life. Relational witnessing is great and it works but what about BOLDNESS? HOLY SPIRIT BOLDNESS? Well, my daughter has it! After I finished explaining to the kids about sharing with others the message of Christ, Ava Beth chimed in. "Mom, you know that girl who is always riding her bike by herself? I want to ask her if she knows God because she needs to know how much He loves her." I could have jumped for joy right then and there. I was so proud. We finished with prayer and I prayed for Ava Beth to have an opportunity to talk to this little ten year old girl she sees outside on occasion.
Last night as I was taking a bath, Ava Beth came in to talk as she ALWAYS does. I cannot hide from her. :) She wanted to talk so I listened. "Hey Mama, when Daddy took us outside to ride bikes and you were at the store, I asked that girl if she knew God. I saw her and I was nervous but I felt like the Holy Spirit told me to ask her." You can imagine my face and reaction. It was my proudest Mom moment EVER! I joyfully asked, "What did you say Ava Beth?". She replied, "Well, I just asked if she knew God and she said yes. Then I told her I was glad because it was very important to know Him because He loves us so much."
So today is another day I will celebrate the HEALING from my past! Do you see what HE has done to restore those years? The fruit of my womb is bringing RESTORATION AND HEALING to those horrible years. It's a miracle! It's amazing! It's worth celebrating! I will get on this blog as much as possible and BRAG on what my Jesus has done for me and those I love. Homeschool, marriage, parenting, babies, breastfeeding, natural childbirth, whatever else, it's ALL a celebration of what CHRIST has done for me! He has called us OUT! And we are going to serve Jesus Christ with all we have! So sit on a tack devil! You thought I would be your trophy but I belong to THE ONE AND ONLY ALMIGHTY GOD.
I will post this scripture over and over again because it is totally and completely TRUE for my family! Hallelujah!
3-5 Don't you see that children are God's best gift?
the fruit of the womb his generous legacy?
Like a warrior's fistful of arrows
are the children of a vigorous youth.
Oh, how blessed are you parents,
with your quivers full of children!
Your enemies don't stand a chance against you;
you'll sweep them right off your doorstep.
Bragging on my family and kids? Yes! Get used to it 'cause I am not going to ever stop!!! The enemy tried to steal from Jeremy and I both when we were kids. He did steal. But the day we got married was us walking over to the enemy's camp and TAKING BACK what he stole from us. And he's been runnin' scared ever since! And just as I have been desperate my whole life to hear GOD'S voice, I am daily teaching my kids to do the same thing and the devil continues to LOSE the battle against my life!
I am a victor and so are my little arrows!