Monday, September 14, 2009

.my story.

.this is my story. I grew up in a home where we attended church every Sunday, prayed before every meal, and before bed. Although this happened, I did not have the relationship with God that we are called to have. I thought I was a Christian, mearly because I went to church and knew God would forgive me of all the wrong in my life. In high school I started hanging out with people who did drugs and partied. I joined in, not a lot, but enough. I still thought I was a Christian, and living as one.

My world started to spin when I went to college. I drank a lot, I spend about 4 or 5 nights a week drinking my freshman year. I would love Jesus during the day and party at night. I would go to church still drunk, or hungover. I thought the two worlds I was living could be seperated. I thought I could have both. Christ + The world.

Sophmore year I started dating my now husband, Aaron. He went to a Christian school and had real Christian friends, many of them are well on their way to being pastors (one more year guys... your almost done)! Whenever I visited them I had to change my behavior, I had to change who I ultimitly was - a non-Christian. I started drinking less in that year. I started taking care of my drunk friends more. One night while taking care of one of them I decided to drink a lot less - I still didn't give it up completely - but I didn't want to be the one I was taking care of. I didn't want to wake up anymore without a clue as to what I did the night before. I wanted to remember, I wanted to feel good the next day.

Throughout the next few years I grew slowly, very slowly. I moved into an apartment with Christian friends who moved me to be better. Who encouraged me to live as a Christian.  I slowly detatched myself from who I used to be. I still kept part of it with me, I wanted to keep part, I still wanted to have both.... God worked slowly with me, He was patient.

Towards the end of college I met a girl who changed my life. Mandie was in classes with me and was planning a trip to Liberia, Africa. I told her my husband and I would pray for her, I was married at that point to Aaron- who has also been patient with me on this journey, and has guided me a lot. I did pray for Mandie. I was so interested in her journey to help others. I had always felt love for those in Africa & always wanted to go there, so her going was a major interest. A couple months later Mandie told me to pray for someone to open their heart and go with her, she felt she needed a friend along, someone to help keep her safe, to make her parents feel safer too. I prayed and almost immediatly told her I would go. After talking with my husband, we both agreed that God was calling me to join Mandie on this journey.

Well, we went. It was amazing and that trip, that trip was more then a mission. It is where I realized God needed to be the center of my life, always. I fully understood what it was to repent. I learned that believing in God was walking in His ways, and following His word. He opened up my heart to see that....

I had to get my "Africa" journal and share this with you all: (I have not shared this with anyone, yet... but its time). On February 18th, 2008 I wrote:
The first couple weeks here were rought for me, Spirtually. I questioned if God even existed, and I questioned if I believe in something so big, so grand. I keep lookng at those around me who truly believe, and I wanted that with full certanty. I prayed that God would restore my faith, let me believe with my whole heart. This past week I have felt re-juvenated and spiritually alive again. I know that there is a God. I believe fully that Jesus died for the sins I have committed. How awesome God is, He loves me so much, and I need to work hard (with all my might) to praise His name and love Him too. I will not turn back, I am His, I will follow Him, always.

On that trip I also realized that I can not drink. I cannot be around alcohol that much. I have not gotten drunk since New Years that year (a month before the trip). I did not have a drop of alcohol from the night before that trip until about a month and a half ago. I will no longer have more then two drinks in a night, EVER. If I do I know I will get into trouble.

My journey has been long, and I have taken many dips in the road. I still find it hard to relate to many of my high school friends, to many of my college friends, to my family that believes they can have both. .this is my story.

If you want to know more about my trip to Liberia or see pictures you can go here: Liberia Mission

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