My Spiritual Journey
My journey of faith is a unique & successful one.
As a child, I distinctly remember someone saying "God" or "Jesus," and I was embarrassed, because I thought it was a curse word! I guess the only times I had heard God's name being used was as a crude, negative word, so I was always embarrassed whenever I heard it.
When I was about 8 or 9 years old, my family & I moved out into the countryside of South-Western Ohio, to the same land where my Dad grew up. My parents, who were by that time Christians, began taking us to the church they got married in. It was a tiny First Baptist Church, with a small but committed congregation. It was at this church that I learned about God and His Son, Jesus, and I decided that I wanted to be "saved" from my sins & begin an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ.
Not long after that, I decided that I wanted to get baptized to completely follow in Jesus's footsteps & example. I mean, He was baptized, so I wanted to be too! I was baptized at around age 12, and have never looked back.
High School was difficult because I seemed to be the only Christian willing to take a stand for God. I would occasionally be mocked & made fun of because I wore Christian-themed tee shirts and wore a cross necklace. It was okay, though, because even though I didn't have any support from anyone else, I knew that I was pointing my fellow classmates to the Lord. I posessed a great & wonderful Secret that was not supposed to be a secret! My classmates needed to know & believe the Good News of Jesus Christ! Their souls depended on it! I was involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes group, then I became a leader in that organization, which I loved.
It wasn't until I attended college at Miami University in Ohio that I finally found passionate Christian friends. I forged close friendships with several amazing, strong, & passionate Christian women, and I spent 4 years learning so much about God's character & purpose for my life through my wonderful friends.
I also had my heart broken in college by a guy that (at the time) I thought I was falling in love with. This guy was a pastor's kid who seemed perfect until I got to know him better. Needless to say, I am so thankful that God wanted us to break up, but I was devastated at the time. I even left school for several days & returned home to my parents & brother. I didn't eat much during that time, either. My life had suddenly & violently fallen apart around me, and my heart was destroyed.
It was then that the Lord brought a book called "Captivating" by John Elderidge to my attention. I had heard of this book before from my Christian friends, but had never read it. God suggested that it was time I read it. This book changed my life and healed my heart, and I greatly recommend it! "Captivating" discussed a woman's uniqueness, value, and her special purpose. It described how women are not made better than men, but different in wonderful & purposeful ways. God used that book to speak volumes to me & to heal my broken heart and make it fuller & stronger than it ever was before.
It was also in college that my Christian friends and I started to feel attacked spiritually & emotionally, and we realized that Satan was attacking us, trying to make us stumble & lose our hold on Christ. The Enemy began attacking us in our dreams, in our relationships, and sometimes even in our schoolwork. It was then that I fully realized for the first time the prevalence of spiritual warfare, and my need to be fully prepared for battle.
About a year after college graduation, I had been working a couple of entry-level, barely-above-minimum-wage jobs (1 at a preschool, & I at a coffee shop), when I met a young man named Eric, who was to become my future husband.
Our relationship progressed extremely quickly, which was okay for us, but hectic & confusing for our parents and friends, who didn't want us rushing into anything. God provided for Eric & I's relationship, wedding planning, and purchasing a small house near Cincinnati. We were poor and lived about 45 minutes away from each other; him in a downtown apartment, and me with my parents. We knew that if God wanted us to work out & get married and start a life of our own, that He would have to perform miracles to get us there. And He did! He brought people and money out of the woodwork to provide for us & help us pay for the wedding & the house, and He helped the wedding planning go extremely smooth.
Fast forward to now, 2016. Eric and I have been married for almost 7.5 years now, and are expecting our first child, a SON, expected to arrive on April 17th, 2016. We are so thrilled to become parents and to welcome our little guy into the world. We still struggle with finances (Eric doesn't make as much money as we'd like, and I don't work outside the home anymore, since I got diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, and now that I'm pregnant, I don't have enough energy to work outside the home), and I wish to be a stay-at-home mom with my baby. So we have more debt than we'd like, and not as much income as we'd prefer, but we still count our blessings everyday and realize that God has given us so many blessings, like a very strong marriage, a healthy baby boy, and supportive family and friends. We may not have financial wealth, but we are certainly "wealthy" in those ways!
God has taught me so much, and I realize that I have SO MUCH farther to go, but I can't wait! God continues to teach me about the power & necessity of prayer, of His great mercy & grace, and about how Love makes the world go 'round. Faith, hope, & love are some good things He gave us, but the greatest is Love.
I hope my story about coming to know Christ has encouraged & inspired you, and has pointed you to the Only Way for a fulfilled & joyful life.