What tops my thankful lists....Is that over 12 years ago now a beautiful school friend of mine named Joanne, shared Jesus with me. She gently + loving told me of her own personal conversion - how she had always 'believed' in Him but that it had never really made sense to her like it did once she intimately met with Him. I didn't want to hear much more but I was secretly intrigued because she had really changed. She was at peace. Anyone could tell a mile off - she was a different girl.
An accomplished pianist, she had played several times before at the Opera House + we loved singing + playing together (although I was no where near as good as her!) She began to sing songs like 'Shout to the Lord' + 'This is my desire'. I wondered more + more about this new connection she seemed to possess overnight with her 'Lord God'.
She prayed for me when I didn't know. She would write me letters (as you do in high school) + would put a lovely Psalm Bible scripture at the end of it. And she didn't get stressed or phased by the workload that we were given, unlike the rest of us. She had integrity. Maturity. And did I mention peace?! I was amazed.
She invited me to church. I turned her down. She invited me again. I turned her down again. She shared about all the great things she was learning about - things from other young Christians, things from the Bible. I finally accepted her invitiation to come to church but only because, as i told her on the phone, 'i think you are in a cult + maybe i should be there to see for myself'. I was so far from the truth but I had no idea. Love you Jo :)
What she had WAS real. And not long after I experienced it for myself. I asked God to forgive my sins - the way I had lived had offended Him since it was not the way He had wanted for me. I had missed the mark, just like a marksmen's arrow misses the bullseye in the centre of the target. I asked Him to forgive me + I accepted, by faith, that Jesus had taken the punishment that I had deserved + He did it because He wanted to obey what His Father + wanted what His Father wanted too. I asked Him to help me to turn away from the life that I had once lived + enable me to live a life pleasing to Him. He flooded me with His peace - words can't even begin to describe it. He exchanged my life for His + wiped the slate clean. I was a new creation. That newness of a precious baby; the freshness - that was what it was like. As if I had once again been born except this time it was a spiritual birthing.
He never promised me that life would be 'perfect' after I began this intimate relationship with Him - in fact He said it could get harder + that I may suffer for Him + just like He did. Ive been through alot in my life in these past 12 years + He has been there through it all; guiding me, shaping me, encouraging me, forgiving me, loving me + teaching me.
I was sent this video today from my dear friend Ali + wanted to pass it on to you my dear blog reader friends. It is what has prompted me to share a little version of my story with you. Because it changed my life forever. Eternally forever.
One person can make a difference. A very real difference for Christ.
If you don't know Him, I encourage you to call on the name of Jesus today.
You can feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org + I'll give you phone number + we can chat about it. He can + will change your life forever.
Love Lus x