My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. With the mighty deeds of the Lord God I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone. O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.(Psalm 71: 15-18)
When my awesome church started this series a few weeks back I was so excited! Every week we got to hear different people in the church, and out of the church, share their story how God has moved in their lives. Sometimes it was their testimonies, sometimes it was a moment in their life where God changed them, and sometimes it was something God was teaching them right then and there. Every week, it was so good to hear how God gives every single person a unique and beautiful story, meant to be shared.
|Wedding June 1, 2012|
My story begins with my mother. After being born and living in Florida for only a couple months, my mom and dad packed up and moved to Houston, Texas (my true home). It was there that my mom, with the help of a new friend, and I began going to church. She prayed for me everyday as a baby and raised me to know the Lord intimately. When I reached school age my mom enrolled me in private school and the big grand world shrunk to a little Christian bubble. Don't get me wrong, I loved my school: I made sweet friendships, I was constantly being fed the Word, and I really enjoyed the close knit classmates I shared my life with, from kindergarten to the 6th grade, but when I moved to public school in the 7th grade I really started to learn what it meant to live life in true surrender to God.
|The friendship that started it all. Georgia (right) drove my mom and little me to church when we first moved to Htown. Her daughter/my best friend(left). 2008|
Step back a little bit: I accepted Christ when I was 7 years old. One day in church, I said the prayer with the pastor, tugged on my mom's arm and together we walked down to the front of the church. Instant life change. Sort of. For a long time I didn't see my story as worth much. I didn't really have that oh-my-goodness-I-need-to-turn-my-life-around-right-now moment and my life didn't really feel too different after that moment ( I mean really, I was 7 years old, there's not too much life change that happens at that age). I remember being excited and knowing that accepting Jesus into my heart is what I wanted but I didn't truly feel that big life-altering-change till the 7th grade.
In the 7th grade I moved to a public school for multitude of good reasons but I was terrified! I was exiting that bubble I knew so well and felt comfortable in, and entering a new world where students defied teachers and I heard words I'd never heard before. Now, it wasn't all that bad but it sure was a shocking change yet Christ carried me through. After becoming more involved in my superb youth group, and truly learning relationship with the Lord; it was here in my new school as a 7th grader that I started practicing and living out what it looks like to be a Christian. God blessed me there with beautiful friendships with girls also dedicated to knowing Christ's love and I grew daily.
|Camp on Western Night 2008|
As a teenager, the most prominent part of my faith life was my church's youth group. My youth group was my second home. It was where my deepest friendships were formed and where every week, every camp, every mission trip...I learned and grew most. My life truly revolved around my youth group and I got involved in almost every way I could, attending 6 years of camp and 5 years of mission trips. I loved and adored every adult who took the time to pour into me.
|Honduras Mission Trip 2007|
Skip forward a few years from the 7th grade to my Sophomore year in high school. My parents started having noticeable troubles and it was making home life hard. I tried desperately to be strong for my younger sisters who, I felt, were depending on me to be so. I was still seeking God but it was such a confusing and hard time in life. Junior year my parents actually went through with a divorce and my heart felt crushed. I never was angry with God but I remember being so confused, hurt and terribly torn. With the help of a close friend and my youth group though I made it through and I became more and more dependent on my Lord. I learned about his care for me, I felt His strong arms around me and I understood the Lord's providence of love.
Senior year rolled around and it was time to start college applications. Of one thing I was sure: I wanted to study interior design and I wanted a school where I knew I could grow in my faith. College hunting became another aspect of my life where I sought God's wisdom in. I prayed that in my five applications that at least two would come back accepted so I could have a choice...and to my absolute surprise God gave me FIVE acceptance letters! A wise leader in our youth group once told us, If God gives you ten acceptance letters, you better believe He can work in you at all ten, whichever you choose...and while that stuck in the back of my mind, I desperately wanted God to just flat out tell me where to go. I prayed and I worshiped and one song in particular was always running through my thoughts, Give it All Away but Aaron Shust. The words: All of my plans, all of my dreams I lay them down before your feet...I now submit to your design...hit me hard. Through a series of surprising yet totally God orchestrated events I came to discover that God was leading me to OU.
Part Two Tomorrow!
- Know that your story is just as awesome as anyone else's out there. God uses everyone's story for His glory! No story is too boring, too ugly, or anything for God, He loves us.
- Trusting God is not always easy but it always works out better than you could ever have imagined
- Have your story ready to go, have a long, have a short one, have a this-is-where-I-am-right-now one (sorry you're getting my long one)
1 Peter 3:15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.