When did you come to the place in your life that Jesus was more than just a stain glass window?
In the spring of 2001, I realized for the first time that I didn’t have Jesus Christ in my heart. Growing up in a pastor’s home, I had always thought that I had received Jesus when I was little, but I couldn’t remember for sure. On the night of my church’s Passion Play, I realized that I didn’t know if I was going to be with Jesus for eternity. I prayed and asked Jesus into my heart and I have been on quite an incredible journey since then.
February of 2005 brought tremendous change to my family. God called us to our present church, The CenterPointe, in South Florida. As I waved good-bye to my friends in Pennsylvania, I looked forward to a new adventure, but little did I know how I was going to be stretched in the months to come. Transition can always be hard. There were many nights when I cried myself to sleep and angrily blamed God for moving me from the town that I had grown up in and people who have greatly influenced my life. Through my broken heart, God brought a transformation. Allowing God to take control hasn’t been easy. I have learned to wrestle with tough questions with God and ask Him why, but I have also seen Him wrap His loving arms around me and lead me through the storm. Now I don’t cry myself to sleep or hurl bitter thoughts towards God. I don’t dance for the world or worry about what they are going to say. The only One I think about is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and I thank Him every day for choosing me to be His princess!
God has revealed His love to me through the people He has placed in my life. While growing up, He blessed me with several role models who have helped shape me into who I am today. He has also blessed me with an amazing family. Without the guidance and direction of my parents, I know that I would be a completely different person that I am right now. I am blessed with my peculiar treasure—my sister, Katie. God knew that we were perfect for each other in every way. We think of each other as our own “peculiar treasure” because God has created each of us uniquely different, but strangely alike in many ways. Our different gifts and ideas complement each other in more ways than one.
One of my favorite verses is Romans 12:2, “Do not conform any longer to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.” This verse reminds me that it’s ok to step out and be different than everyone else. I don’t need to try and fit the mold of the average teenage girl—that is definitely not who God created me to be! Like Esther, I am right here for such a time as this to make an impact on my generation.
Over the past two years God has been laying His vision on my heart. I have been learning in my own life and through teaching in CenterPointe Kidz that all girls are princesses. When we are little we love to dress up and pretend that we are a royal princess with jewels and tiaras and beautiful gowns. However, we fail to realize as we grow up that we are princesses—we are God’s princesses! God has laid these dynamic truths on my heart and I have watched pre-teen girl’s lives be transformed as they come to grips with who they really are. I know that God has a plan for me. His plans are far greater than I could ever imagine, but as I have made myself available, He has used me.
I read an amazing quote that has really changed my way of thinking about life, “Life is not about the air we breathe, but about the moments that take our breath away.” I am learning to live and grow right where God has planted me and not try to rush to the future or wish I had my past back. I am enjoying today and loving it!
What's your story? When did Jesus become real to you for the first time? I would love to hear all about it!