So, maybe my question on Friday was too deep? Hopefully you are still just thinking about it because I definitely want to hear about God’s changing work in your life.
He has definitely changed me. And I am so, so grateful for that. As I began reading through Genesis, I loved thinking about the fact that the same Father, Son and Holy Spirit who were doing a creative, life-giving work creating the world is the same Father, Son and Holy Spirit who have done a creative, life-giving work in my life.
He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:11-13
If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17
I became a new creation in fifth grade. I had grown up going to church but not feeling like I really heard and understood the gospel. The Bible was just a book of stories to me and church was just a part of our weekly routine. My family moved the summer before I started fourth grade and that fall I began attending a Christian school. I was blessed with the most wonderful fourth and fifth grade teachers who showed me what it looked like to have a vibrant relationship with the Lord. One day as I was sitting in my fifth grade classroom my teacher held up the Bible and basically told us that it was a meaningless book unless we understood and believed the gospel. She told us that we couldn’t just inherit our salvation from our parents or earn our salvation on our own and proceeded to drop the Bible in a nearby trashcan to make her point. That really made an impression on my little “rule following” brain as the Holy Spirit began drawing me to Himself. That night as I laid in bed alone I replayed that scene in my head over and over. That same night I decided that I was a sinner who needed a Savior and I wanted to follow Jesus.
I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26
And that was just the beginning. God not only gave me a new heart and a new spirit, but He has been making me new ever since.
I moved two more times throughout junior high and high school. Moving and going through the changes of a new home, new school, and new friends helped me to understand that though my circumstances might be constantly changing, God never does. He used that time to help me find my identity in Him.
In college I saw people around me who had a vibrant relationship with God. They were excited about what He was teaching them through His Word and were applying it to their lives as they made decisions for the future. It was in college that I learned how to study the Word and the importance of daily time with the Lord.
And then Cora died. If we were marking this journey of change with remembering stones this part of my journey would be represented by a huge boulder. I felt like my world had been turned completely upside down. And it was at this point in my life when I had to decide if I really believed what I had always said I believed. If I’m honest, trusting God through those initial weeks after Cora’s death was hard for me to grasp. The only thing I could make sense of was this: I had to decide if I was going to follow Him and stand firm on Truth even when I didn’t understand what He was doing in my life…or I had to turn my back on Him. The only light, the only hope I could see through my pain was in Jesus. So I chose to trudge through my grief and cling to Him. I bathed myself in God’s Word and it was through that bathing I learned that I couldn’t trust in my emotions but had to stand firm on God’s truth even when I wasn’t “feeling” it. Through studying God’s Word I began to understand God’s character and how He fit in with my circumstances. I realized that my view of God was very warped and that needed to change! All the names we read about God in the Bible, I experienced in my own life: my Rock, my Comforter, my Redeemer, the Giver of true peace, good, unchanging, and truly ALL I NEED. Cora’s death gave me a longing for eternity and a new passion to follow hard after God in this painful world. I found hope and peace in a God who encourages us to take heart in this world full of trouble because He has “overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Sometimes I feel like I could stop there. But my heart resonates with what Nancy shared in our study this past week.
“I don’t want to depend on yesterday’s fresh experiences with him. I want there to be an ongoing freshness in my walk with him (p52).”
I want that too. I don’t want this changing work in my life to culminate with Cora’s story. I don’t want to be satisfied to stop there.
So where am I at today? I feel like God has been changing me lately through His Word as I seek Him in my role as a mom. I am slowly learning what it means to be humble as I experience humility on a daily basis with my kids. I can’t do this parenting thing alone. I mess up all. the. time. He is reminding me again of my dependence on Him when so often I am tempted to let busyness crowd out what is important. How important it is for me as a mom to be disciplined with my time in the Word and in prayer even though I definitely have to be creative in how I make that time happen during this season of life. He is teaching me what a servant looks like as I choose to serve my husband and kids when so often I would rather be selfish.
I probably could go on and on but those are the highlights. As I wait for the rest of my story to unfold I long for the day when Jesus will return to make all things new and complete the work He has started in me.
Now it is your turn. You don’t have to take time to tell me your whole story (unless you want to!) but I would love to hear just a piece of God’s changing work in your life!
Head over to Breezy Acres Farm to read Julie’s post about how God is refining her as a mom.