Wow! I cannot believe that seven years have passed since the day that I decided to be baptized and become a completely, committed, follower of Christ. As I sit here with a loss of words and a heart full of gratitude, all I can think over and over again is this: God is faithful and His love prevails. What a whirlwind the last seven years have been. I don't even know where to begin. As most of you may know, I was in a very dark place prior to surrending my life to Christ and accepting him as my Savior. And boy did I ever need a Savior. If you have never heard my testimony click here. I had carried around so much guilt and shame from my past, and the burden was too heavy to carry on my own. I can remember reading in 2 Cor., the truth that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Cor. 5:17) I desperately needed a rebirth and that is exactly what I got on Feb. 13, 2005. I can remember when I came up out of the water thinking (along with the lyrics from a Third Day song), "It's gone. The guilt, the same, the ugliness, the darkness; I am innocent and I am new." (Makes me cry just thinking about it.) This was by far, the best day of my life.
Over the last seven years, God has sustained me through many life changes. Meeting Jeff at the young age of 17, graduating high school, and getting engaged all in the same year of 2005 . Enrolling in Bible College, planning a wedding, and landing my first job at a daycare in the year of 2006. Getting married in 2007, shortly followed by the passing of my dearly loved Granny, and landing my second job at Geek Squad City. Obviously, besides the Lord, Jeff was my strength throughout the year of 2007. He and I were both in the room when my Granny went home to be with the Lord, and I took this very hard. On top of this, I was completely miserable at Geek Squad. I was having a hard time learning what I was supposed to do, (as they only have a million and one policies to learn) and I didn't exactly fit in with the people I worked with. I was desperately praying for another job where I could work with children again, and at the same time have benefits. I remember feeling stuck with no way out. Then comes 2008...
Jeff and I celebrated our first anniversary, and the day after, moved into our first home. We lived with his mom the first year, and the thought of being on our own was completely terrifying. A month later I met my best friend Stacey at a bridal shower, and she told me that her employer was currently hiring. She explained to me that she worked for Head Start, where she received full benefits, and absolutely loved her job. I filled out an application, begged the Lord that I would get the job, and a month later landed my third and current job. I am so grateful for the opportunity to work with children again. This is where I truly belong.
Throughout the years of 2009-2011, I witnessed my Mom, Dad, brother and sister-in-law come to know the Lord in a deeper way, and also be baptized. What a joy this was. My brother went on a mission's trip to China in 2011, that has forever changed his life. Shortly after coming back home, he proposed to Kathleen, and they are getting married this year. I don't know what else 2012 holds in store for us, but I do know this: God is good and God is love. I have felt His unfailing love and grace more times than I could count over the last seven years, and I know He's not finished with me yet. I pray that the next seven years bring new family members, good health, and many more great memories.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you now on this very special day to thank you. Thank you for your providence, grace, and love over the last seven years. Thank you for pulling me out of the deep, dark pit that I was in and redeeming my life. I was so undeserving. Thank you Lord that this is only made possible through your Son Jesus, whom you sent to die on the cross for our sins. You are so good and so gracious towards me, and I will ever praise you. You have sustained me thus far, and I know you will continue to do so. I love you more than words can express.
As soon as I came up out of the water, all I could think about were the words to this song. I think I listened to it over and over that day.