It's time we start living up to our name...

January 1, did you come so quickly?

Exactly 10 years ago, I was a senior in high school and going through one of the most amazing moments of my life.  Conviction.  Big word, so much meaning.  New Years Eve 1999, my mom and Jeanne Ann and I went shopping in Peoria, IL and the entire trip there and back was spent talking about the end of the world.  I was freaked out.  I literally thought that because of Y2K, the world was actually really going to end at the stroke of midnight that night.  It seemed I only had a few hours to live.  Not so much.  I spent that New Year's Eve sober, which shocked a lot of people.  After all, I was always the one having "euchre parties" at my house and let's not forget the $350 worth of alcohol that I got busted with during half time of our WC vs. Winamac game only 3 months prior to NYE.  

But at this moment of my life, I was going through something.  Something I didn't talk about to anyone because I didn't really know what was going on and I just had a feeling that everyone would laugh at me.  Needless to say, I made it through NYE 1999, clearly past midnight and onto 2000.  

About a week later, it just so happened that my uncle Red was heading to a basketball game and asked if I wanted to go with him.  It was just our high school games, but nonetheless it was complete divine intervention for me.  God's hand was clearly pushing me to go.  Do you ever just have moments where you know you need to do something and you can't really figure out why the opportunity presents itself, but when it's all said and done, it becomes an "ah ha" moment?  Well that's what happened the night of January 7th, 2000.  By the end of the 20 minute ride to North White High School (its amazing that I can recall details like it just happened last week) I was bawling.  It was at that moment that I realized that the emotions I had been feeling for the past couple weeks, weren't just emotions.  It was completely God and He was putting me through His amazing conviction.  The first work of the Holy Spirit in our lives is conviction.  The power behind it can only come from God. It's the only way to understand it.  On the way home from the basketball game that night, my uncle told me that his church was having a revival the following 2 nights and that I should come.  

January 8, 2000 is a day I will never forget.  During the revival, there was an evangelist there named Jerry.  I think he was from West Virginia.  As I'm standing in the pew next to my grandma and singing along to the songs, my heart is just full of despair and longing.  Apparently it was written all over my face, because next thing you know Jerry points to me (never met the man before in my life) and he proceeds to tell me that it's time to turn my life over to God and that God is speaking to him to pray with me.  Whoa....immediately tears came streaming down my face.  How did this man know so much about my pain and agony, yet had never spoken a word to me before that?  I went up to the alter, sat on my knees, put my head down and literally poured out my heart to God.  I can't remember ever crying as hard as I did that night.  The weight of the sin in my life had literally took me to a place that was so dark and cold.  A place I never want to go near again.  Then here I was crying out to Jesus to bring some light to my life.  He heard me.  He answered my call for help.  He embraced me as I dropped to His feet.  

That day, God saved me....He literally saved my soul and every part of my being.  He pulled me up out of the darkest pits of my life.  It was at that moment, I saw a glimpse of Heaven.  I saw what my Creator was about.  I felt Him.  I felt His presence...and from that moment on, I knew I would never be alone. 

One week from today will be 10 years since the day I first met Christ.

I've had so many ups and downs in my life since that very moment.  Some of them, I included God, many of them I didn't.  At least I didn't think so at the time.  For some reason, I was always leaving God out of the equation in my life.  Besides, it is my life right?  My decisions?  Well....not so much.  What I have been through though, has brought me to this exact moment in my life.  I wouldn't change that for anything.  Through the hurt and pain of losing friends, loved ones, life changing decisions, moving 900 miles away from my family, etc...I wouldn't change a moment of it.  And even though I thought I was making all of the decisions, it's awesome to look back and see that as I was taking the pen and writing the story of my life, God had His hand wrapped around mine, guiding the pen in His direction.  

As 2010 begins, God, I just ask that You teach me patience.  Patience with my life.  This life seems to go so quickly, and our moments soon become memories.  Each second has a past.  God, I pray that when it comes to my own longings and desires, you give me the strength and courage to turn them over to You.  After all, You created them.  You know my heart.  You know my yearnings.  I just need more patience to know that there are certain moments for everything.  And those moments shouldn't be rushed.  

I'm the girl who always wants to know the outcome before the beginning even gets started.  I'm thankful that in my life, I already know the outcome.  I already know what the end looks like.  Now it's time to just enjoy the pre-show.  This life is not a rehearsal.  This life is serious.  It's time to get serious about our walk with Christ.  What are we waiting for?  Are we waiting for someone else to get the blessings that God has promised us?  God wants Christ Warriors that are going to fight for His kingdom.  

I won't back down, I'm on a mission....

In the name of Jesus, we will change this city and this world.  Words can't describe how utterly amazing it is that God drew each line of my life that led me straight to REFUGE.  He brought this family to me when I needed it the most.  When I thought I was alone and no one understood what I was going through.  I had to realize that my walk with Jesus is WAY more important than any plans I have.  

My love for Jesus has changed me.  He has awaken my soul.  To be a Christian is to be Christ-like.  It's about time we start living up to our name.  

Here is to 2010!  I'm praying for a change.  I'm praying for a revolution.  I'm praying for REFUGE!  Let's do this!


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