I grew up in a Christian home, and though I hate to say it, I definitely took that for granted. I took it so much for granted that I did not even know what I was believing in. It was not until July 29, 2010, that this blind woman could finally see. It was during my one-on-one time with my counselor when asked about my testimony that I realized I did not actually have one. She walked me through the Romans Road, verses I grew up memorizing and could recite on command. However, it was in that moment that what I had heard all my life finally became personal. I was quickly humbled to my knees, and my soul found redemption. I cannot explain it in its entirety, but it was like I was gasping for air, and then suddenly I could take a deep breath. My heart found a peace it never had before. My soul rejoices in the simple testimony I have because it is a constant reminder of the simple gospel I believe in. I have sinned and, unfortunately, will continue to, but his grace is good, and his mercy is more.
I moved here right when I graduated from college, so I quickly went from having a strong community to having no community at all. The Lord has been very kind in the way that he is slowly building my community here, specifically at FG. He's given me a community where I have the chance to invest in others, and he's gifted me with a community where I get to be discipled and learn from ladies who have already walked through the season of life I'm currently in. The community God is forming around me is sweet. There's great joy and privilege in doing life with fellow believers, and I am just so thankful for the Lord's intentionality in the community he is creating.
Serving those around me takes the focus off of me and my circumstances and shifts my focus to "How can I love them as Jesus loved me?" I can vividly remember moments in my life where the Lord helped me work through frustrations and difficult moments by helping me cultivate a mind of service. I have, by no means, perfected what it looks like to serve well, but I have seen the humility and joy that comes from not looking at my own interests and shifting my heart, mind, and soul to the interests of others. My life's mission statement is to "be a vessel who uses her gifts and abilities to fulfill the Great Commission in the spirit of the Great Commandment." When I created that back in middle school, little did I know how often the Lord was going to force me to implement those exact words. I rejoice in the walk the Lord has led me on because I've learned what a gift and privilege it is to serve those around me. Praise his name!
God is so good. Like so, so good. His kindness and grace are so unmatched, and I am so undeserving. The Lord has me growing in the area of contentment, and I am learning to cling tight to the truth that "Gratitude makes what I have enough." Why? Because true gratitude sprouts from a heart that rests and trusts in the unchangeable, faithfulness of God. Gratitude rests in the recognition that God has given purpose to everything, even this season of life. Gratitude trusts that the dark, deep holes and moments in my life are meant to bring me to Christ. Gratitude rests in the song of Job that "He gives and takes away, but still my soul will sing, 'Blessed be the name of the Lord.'' I'm learning what it looks like to cultivate a life of gratitude. I have so much to learn, but I am so thankful for his continual investment in my life. There’s a smile on my face because there’s a Savior in my heart, and he’s very kind for allowing me to partake in his gospel. To God be the glory! Great things he has done! He is doing far more abundantly!