Growing up, I somehow knew there was always a God in my life, watching over me, protecting me. I sensed His presence. But I never felt a connection with my God, and I did not spend the time trying to know Him. I did seek Him out when in crisis and I quickly forgot about Him when I was not.
In my 20s and 30s, despite being blessed with a good job, a beautiful family and a comfortable house, something was still missing in my life. I constantly felt a sense of emptiness, a lack of peace and feelings of being inadequate. I hid behind those feelings by accumulating material possessions, and by distracting myself with self-help books and personal improvements. All those produced only short-term satisfaction and did not fill the void I felt.
Looking back, God must have sensed my internal struggles. He sent my dear friend and angel Kimberly to kickstart my faith. By divine chance, Kimberly broke her foot 15 years ago and I had the opportunity to drive Kimberly to work. In turn, she had the opportunity to share her faith and knowledge of Jesus with me. She connected some dots and helped me recognize the path to God is through Jesus Christ.
God chose others in my life to lead me to Him. When my kids were young, I drove by a local church and saw a sign advertising their children’s bible camp for $25/wk. I immediately signed my kids up. At the end of the week, on Sunday, my kids excitedly dragged out of bed to take them to church. As they attended Sunday school, I began my weekly Sunday service.
Week after week, as I listened and soaked in God’s words, I was able to slowly piece together the kind, loving and gracious God who wanted to truly know me. The Word, at times seared through my heart as I reflected on my past misguided thoughts and actions, and the sinful life I had led. With His Word, I realized there was hope for me to repent and change, and be led by the Spirit. I made the decision to accept Jesus as my Savior and trust in His death as payment for my sin.
I trust in God’s promise,
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh Ezekiel 36:26
Making the decision to follow Jesus was easy. Living it out is more challenging. My faith journey has been anything but smooth because I did not know how to let go and let God. Sometimes, I continue to struggle by losing focus on Him and falling back into my old ways. It feels like “two steps forward, one step back”. However, God is ever patient and forgiving, always welcoming me back with open arms.
Today, I choose to be baptized, not because I’ve figured it all out, but because I want to be an obedient servant to God, and to let Jesus know ‘I’m all in’. Journeying with Jesus will be a life-long process for me. Today I profess that Jesus is my Lord and I am committed to faithfully following Him.
On this Thanksgiving weekend I am so thankful for all that Jesus has done for me. Jesus, thank you for your sacrifice on the cross so that my sin is washed clean. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit who gives me strength, comfort and peace. Thank you for seeing me and loving me for who I am Thank you for teaching me how to truly live and to love through your Words. In Jesus, I have finally found my peace, joy and happiness. I am fulfilled.
The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
he refreshes my soul. Psalm 23