Here is my story…I am a sinner saved by grace.
I was extremely blessed to grow up in a wonderful Christian homeschooling family. My mother and father loved the Lord with a passion and taught us the gospel from an early age through regular family devotions. Despite all this, I was a very rebellious child. I loved stealing my brother’s candy and hiding behind the couch to secretly partake. I went through the motions and asked Jesus into my life several times in my early childhood, but in my heart I still hated our family devotions. I disliked getting up at 6:00am to read together.
Yet, my parent’s faithfulness really paid off. They did not give up. They made our family a priority. We had weekly family nights that were sacred. We participated in events as a family. We attended church as a family and remained together throughout the whole service.
At the age of 12, God radically changed my heart. He made the truth clear to me. I knew that I couldn’t just piggy back on my parent’s religion. I needed to know and understand the truth of the gospel for myself. I am a sinner in desperate need of grace. I saw the beautiful difference that Jesus made in my parent’s lives as they worshiped him, loved on others through generous giving and hospitality, and knew I wanted to follow Jesus too.
Once I confessed my sins, and believed in Jesus as my Savior, I had a new and amazing passion for the Bible. I started rising early every morning at 6:00am to just read for myself and journal all that the Lord taught me. I was baptized shortly afterward, acknowledging that the old man was dead and I was covered in the blood of Christ.
Throughout my childhood, I dealt with a lot of insecurity. I had no friends. And the friends I pursued happened to be the popular bunch and did not care to reciprocate the friendship. I in turn struggled greatly throughout my teenage years with lack of friends beyond my family members. I turned to reading and writing as my means of communicating my thoughts and struggles.
At 14 years of age, I read a book about a missionary from the Philippines. She was 19 years old and loved the Lord. I wanted to be like her. I read numerous books through this period on various missionaries from ages past and present. I began to throw myself into various mission activities – serving on overseas trips to the Dominican Republic, coordinating a trip back, coordinating bringing shoe box Christmas gifts to the children there for a few years, and striving to stir up mission awareness in our church with a team of others. I absolutely loved serving and organizing (come to find out, these were my spiritual gifts!).
Looking back, I realized that I had a weakness in that I often was trying to find satisfaction and praise through displaying my gifting. I struggled with comparing myself to the giftings of my siblings. My sister was more up front and excelled at everything. I on the other hand, struggled to just complete my level 10 piano examination – the only thing I really pursued outside of my high school studies.
During my high school years I become extremely close to my older brother. We would go on dates together and loved conversing with each other. He was my closest friend. Shortly after he graduated, he began pursuing another friend in a serious relationship. My friendship with him was seriously stretched and torn during this time as I had to let go. It was as if God was tearing down my security once again. I was blessed with a prayer partner friend during this time, which I am so thankful for. We would pray together for the nations, each other, and whatever God laid on our hearts.
The summer after graduation, I went to Cambodia to serve for two months with a ministry called Warm Blankets. It was the most challenging period of my life. I went to a poverty stricken nation, by myself, and I had never met anyone there before. I desperately missed my family and often felt helpless and not needed. I spent many hours in my room just crying out to God asking him for purpose and direction for my life. I discovered that He ALONE can and must be my True Satisfaction. No one…nothing else…no other accomplishment…or value…or purpose…can be found apart from Him. I had to cling to the Lord during this intense season of pruning when it was only me and God.
I returned home to find a young man waiting for me. A young man who loved me. A young man that was devoted to me, despite my intense withdraws. He pursued me. Over the next two years, this young man (soon to be my dearly beloved husband) pursued me while I committed myself to serving the Lord. I passionately wanted to please my Lord and use my life as a blessing and gift to others. I had seen the poverty of the world and the needy hearts around me. I led a young ladies Bibles study for a whole year and we served amongst the needy in our community together. I took the Perspectives on the World Christian Movement class with my dad and became and active member in promoting this class and how it changed my perspective on God’s plan for the nations.
I returned to Cambodia with a team of people from my church and my heart was again actively stirred with a love for orphans. I wanted to sponsor a home and see these children raised to change their nation. I still struggled with my appearance and comparing myself with my sisters, but my heart passionately wanted to make my life count for eternity. I attended college for a short season and strove again to prove my abilities, and once again I had to lay aside my pride in trying to prove myself. God closed the doors. And Aaron asked me to marry him. I never got my GED or degree. God has something far greater for me. The privilege of being a wife and mother. The world does not see that. I gave up a potential career in music to dedicate my life to my family.
Together as a married couple, we strove to encourage and motivate our church in missions. We served together on a team to Russia, and led a small missions group in our church. I began my blog shortly after the birth of our first child, a ministry that I never would have imagined. It began as simple as a blog to share about our family and what God was teaching me, and it grew to a huge ministry to ladies around the world. To God be the glory. And I praise Him because all the profits earned have been dedicated to sponsor a home in Cambodia – my heart’s dream is coming true.
After our second child is born, I went through a year of battling insomnia, another dark season in my soul, but God has surely used it to weed out other idols in my heart – idols of sleep, ingratitude, expectations in my marriage, blog, etc. God is continuing to prune, but He is also continuing to be faithful to me. In the last year, God has also completely delivered me from my sinful comparing myself. My sisters have become my closest friends. Christa is my accountability and prayer partner now and one of the sweetest gifts to me. I am a sinner saved by grace. I want to be a faithful follower of Christ. I want my life to count for eternity. I want others to see the joy and delight I have found in Christ and see them set free from the lost state of striving to please others, receive acknowledgment and success from what the world thinks of them. I can testify that God is a good God! He loves you so much!
Learn more about the beauty of the gospel here…