Last week I promised to share what happened after I received the Christmas card and devoted my life to God. If you missed the earlier two posts, check out My Story Part I: An Unfortunate Beginning and My Story Part II: The Christmas Card.
I had a blessed Christmas that year.
Nothing had changed, yet everything had changed.
My situation hadn’t changed. I had changed.
God softened my heart. The anger that always smoldered just under the surface began to dissipate. I stopped using foul language. I stepped out of the well of self-pity. I no longer hated people. I still had/have issues, which I may touch on later, but that’s another story.
When I visited my family for Christmas, my brother told me he and his wife started going to a new church. He didn’t say where. I didn’t ask. My immediate response was, “I’m going with you next week.”
The church was an hour and a half away. I didn’t care. The moment I sat in the sanctuary, I knew. God was there. I could feel His presence. The pastor spoke, and I felt as if God was speaking to my soul. I had found my church.
God even used the commute. I’d drive an hour to my brother’s house. We’d drive the rest of the way together. We had lunch together every week. I loved that time with my family; growing closer to my brother, my sister-in-law, my nephew, and my niece. It was such a blessing. They and that time together meant more than they will ever realize.
A few days after Christmas, I received a call from the unemployment office. They approved my appeal. I received a check including all the back pay I’d missed.
While my daughter was in school, I took online classes. I was only a few credits short of getting my degree in Behavioral Science. And I wrote my first novel, Astray.
I’d tried to write the book many times but couldn’t make it work. This time, the words flowed. It wasn’t originally intended to be a Christian story, but that’s exactly what it became. I finished the rough draft in a few months. It took many more years to finally publish. But that’s another story.
I reconnected with my first boyfriend in High School. Later, we got married.
What started out as the worst time of my life, ended up being the best time of my life. I got baptized, married, moved into a house across from a lake, earned my degree, found a job, and started getting involved in my church.
Gifts kept raining down from heaven. It was as if God was saying, “I’ve been waiting so long to give you all this. Here you go.” I kept dropping to my knees in awe, overwhelmed with gratitude.
In the years following, my daughter was baptized, I got a job as the secretary at my church, published my first book, and now I’m home, working on the sequel.
Life just keeps getting better as I draw nearer to God.
I’m a new person.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! – 2 Corinthians 5:17
If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth. But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. – 1 John 1:8-9
I know which direction to go.
Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. – Psalm 119:105
My thinking has changed. I no longer follow the world.
Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. – Romans 12:2
I’ve been adopted into God’s family.
So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. – Ephesians 2:19
I actually love God’s rules.
Loving God means keeping His commandments, and His commandments are not burdensome. – 1 John 5:3
I have hope.
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever. – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise. – Hebrews 10:23
I’ve been so blessed. Which is funny. Before writing this three-part post about my story, I planned on writing about God’s blessings. This now seems like a perfect segue into that series…almost as if God knew. 😉 But first, I feel compelled to share what I’ve learned about living as a Christian. It’s not what I would have expected it to be.
Until then, how has God changed you? If He hasn’t yet, why not? What are you waiting for?
You are loved,
J F Rogers