Saturday, October 15, 2011

Life with a Guest Post #4


Today is the final day of Faith Walk Week.

I told the next writer that she was my Grand Finale! She may have let that go to her head!

Lucy is one of my favorite people in the world. I met her at a time when I needed friends to love me unconditional.

She’s taught me so much about God’s abundant grace.

I’m honored to share her story today.


PS...If you would like to share your story, please link up to this post or add to the comments.

I’d love to read about your Faith Walk.


In a hospital room on May 17, 1983 I breathed my first breath. Tears of joy streamed down my mother's face as she laid eyes on her FIRST (and only) daughter, and after having 3 sons the words "it's a GIRL!" were music my parent's ears. The midwives kissed my dad in congratulations and I was brought into the world with excitement and celebration. My mom still remembers the way they brought me wrapped in a pink blanket...she had only ever gotten blue blankets, and I'm sure the pink blanket was softer and smelled better too.


Life went on. Childhood was grand, and loud, and adventurous...what else would you expect with 3 older brothers? Mom took us to church, Dad worked every Sunday, and I was starting to wonder more and more about this God that my family worshiped. He seemed pretty big, and even scary if you get on His bad side. I didn't want to go to Hell and Jesus looked so sad in those pictures of Him on the cross. How could I not choose to accept Him as my Lord and Savior? And so I did. Somewhere in my early childhood I asked Jesus into my heart, and I was so happy that I wouldn't have to go to Hell, but I had no idea the depth of Love and Grace I would get to discover over the coming years and course of my life.


My real and relational Faith Walk started with something so silly and futile that I almost shy away from even writing about it, but God chose to write it into my story and He is the Author and perfector of my faith, so I will embrace His writing. I was in 7th grade, and I had a (gasp) shop-lifting problem. My family did not have a lot of money and I was starting to realize that more and more as I got older and couldn't do or have the things my friends did. So my best friend and I would frequently go to the mall and take things without paying for them, I can remember several times as I was walking out of a store praying something like, "God please don't let me get caught, this is the last time I promise." Well it wasn't the last time and the guilt grew greater and caused me shy away from Him.


My 'relationship' with God at this point in my life consisted of me begging Him not to let me get busted followed by me begging Him for forgiveness...until one day where His grace came crashing down over me in a way I could not deny. I wanted a beanie...yes those knit hats. They were all the rage amongst my circle of highly refined friends (you know the ones I shoplifted with) but I did not want to steal again, not because I loved God so much, but  more because I figured His patience with me was about gone and I was going to get caught. Unfortunately my desire to fit-in and be accepted by my peers was greater than my fear of being caught and greater than my desire to please God. I walked up to the mall alone ready to steal the first beanie I could find. Well, things didn't go as planned. I just couldn't do it. The guilt was too much and something (God) gave me the strength to leave without stealing. I was walking home and remember feeling glad and proud but most of all relieved from the weight of guilt that I was allowing to get between me and God. I continued to walk and looked in the distance and saw something on the ground...a beanie. Right there in front of me, no one around to claim it, it was meant for ME! This pre-teen girl felt so unbelievably loved. I nearly skipped the rest of the way home. I walked in the house, still giddy about what had just taken place a few blocks away,and found my much cooler older brothers all hanging out talking and my oldest and coolest brother tossed something in my direction and said "Here, do you want this?" ANOTHER BEANIE!!!


Say what you will about the shallowness of that story. God literally used the most shameful area of my life at the time to display His love and grace and my relationship with Him has never been the same. That day; the guilt, the rebellion, the resistance, the confusion, the internal dialogue, the surprise, the joy, God used it all as the launching pad into a real and ongoing relationship. The Creator of the universe knelt low to become real to a girl...His girl.


From that day and until now I have remained His girl. I've been stupid, and selfish, and wrong along the way,and I've been loved, and blessed, and taught along the way. I've had ugly motives in performing religious duty, and I've had glimpses of pure heartfelt overflowing service to Him. At times I've placed my trust in worthless feeble things, and at times I've seen His faithfulness and been overwhelmed by how trust-worthy only He is. I've put people down in an effort to lift myself up with "I'm-better-than-you" ammunition, and then I've been humbled by how level the ground is at the foot of the cross.


It has been a life of sloppy learning, speechless beauty, crazy love, and outrageous grace...and the further I journey the Faith Walk the more I realize... and rest... and remain in the truth that I am His girl.


I. am. HIS. girl.

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