Chris was the cutest boy I had ever laid eyes on and I was sitting right next to him in the back of his mom’s station wagon. I remember it like yesterday. We were headed for the beach and someone started singing the song Jesus loves me. As a 13-year-old girl, I was completely taken aback by their pure glee and abandon as they sang. I truly believed that Jesus loved them, but was just as certain that there was no way He loved me.
I thought going to church was a big waste of time. I believed in God, but wasn’t sure about Jesus. Especially in my college years, I thought my parents were old and backwards and I was up and coming. When I argued with them about religion, my father would tell me how important it was to have faith in Christ. I wondered how someone as smart as my dad could believe in something so groundless.
After marriage and especially after having kids, I began to contemplate the meaning of life. Was the meaning of life to be happy, avoid pain, make money, be nice to people, live somewhere beautiful? What was the point? I desperately needed to know the answer so I could guide my kids. I loved them so much and wanted more than anything in the world to teach them correctly.
During the summers my children’s preschool offered a two-week vacation bible school and I signed up to do art projects. As the co-leader read from the bible I helped the kids dip a big scaly fish from the meat department at Randall’s into washable tempera paint and stamp its image onto a piece of construction paper. “Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves…” I don’t know about the kids, but feeding 5,000 people with two fish and some bread was impressive. Jesus was not just meek & humble he was also powerful.
Years later, I remember saying to a dear friend, “I am 38 years old and can very easily live another 40 years and I still have no idea the point of this life.” That thought weighed on my mind and made me feel completely lost, alone and actually terrified. She asked if I had ever asked Jesus into my heart. I thought, “You have got to be kidding!”
But one night, soon after that conversation, I drove around and cried out to Jesus. I told Him that I wanted to believe in Him and that I was so sorry for all the things that I had done wrong. I asked Him to please forgive me and to take my life and make it His.
First, the Lord led me to church and to study the Bible. By His grace, He helped me give up a cigarette habit. Then, He gave me a way to help people going through hardship via Stephen Ministry. He wooed my husband to attend church, strengthened our marriage and gave us a desire to give of our resources to God’s work. He brought a Godly couple into our life to be mentors who connected us to ministries that reached out to high school kids and business professionals. He showed our children the way to find Him. Through the people at these ministries, God taught us how to pray and serve. He gave us Godly friends and brought us close to Himself. Most recently, the Lord provided an awesome missionary class called Perspectives and a mission trip to Haiti.
It’s been thirteen years since the Lord gave my life meaning and purpose. Life on earth is merely a story about God’s glory.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17