As Christians, telling our story for all to hear is one of the best ways to be a witness for Him. You cannot deny the power of a person's changed life. And mine is one of redemption, protection, and adoption. All covered and made possible by the blood of Christ. We all have significant moments in our lives that define us. The two that greatly stick out in my life are a desert sunset and a divorce.
Divorce is great in our nation. So great that it is hard to come across someone now who hasn't been affected by the split of two parents. My mom split from my real dad when I was around 2. One of the things I'm most grateful for is that I was so young that I don't remember the divorce itself. What I do remember is some of the back and forth weekends spent at different houses, the separate birthday parties, and then the day he never came...
Yet, I am grateful for the divorce itself. Because, without it, my life would be very different. Without it, I wouldn't have an amazing man in my life who stepped up and raised me as his own. He taught me how to ride a bike, tried to put my hair up in a ponytail for school, helped me with homework, taught me how to drive, and played the guitar for me and my friends at my birthday parties and sleepovers.
That same man would share the Gospel with me in our living room by lamplight one night and lead me in a prayer that led me on a wonderful journey to knowing my Savior.
My Dad has played a huge role in my life. He's shown me what a true earthly father looks like and in turn, shown me so many characteristics of my heavenly Father. Just as my Dad came alongside my mom and I and treated me as his own, Christ has redeemed me by His blood. Adopting me as His daughter for eternity.
Although I heard the Gospel and accepted Christ at a young age, it wasn't until late high school and college that my relationship with God really began to form and take shape. In high school, I went with my church youth group on my first mission trip. We went to the Tohono O' Odham Indian Reservation in south Arizona. I'm talking south, south. Like only miles from the Mexican border. It was an experience that changed my life and opened my eyes to a world so much bigger than just myself and my small town.
One night after we had our block party and revival, my group and I went to the top of this hill to watch the sunset. It wasn't a huge hill, but enough to see the town and some of the surrounding area. As the sun set in the desert, the sky lit up with these amazing colors of orange and red. The sun was so bright and the light started reflecting off the clouds and the desert seemed to come alive. It was in that moment that I truly for the first time felt God's presence around me.
That was the moment when I knew that my mission in life was to serve Him.
To serve His people.
To share the Gospel.
To love others.
To serve wholeheartedly.
That trip set off a fire in my heart for missions. I went back to that Reservation three times during high school. In college I served locally and with my college ministry, I spent a summer in Mobile serving in inner-city missions, another summer in New Orleans doing the same, and after college I moved to California doing preschool and resort ministry. In every place there has been a face I have remembered. Someone I talked to. A place that has never left my mind. I've seen hurt, I've seen pain, I've seen surviving. Yet, I've also seen protection, providence, and redemption. In each place the Lord placed me, He has taught me a lesson, each greater than the last. He has shown me over and over again how He provides for His people. How He showers us with grace. And how He gives second and third and fourth chances.
Through divorce He showed me redemption.
Through missions He has shown me love and service.
Through college He showed me true friendship.
Through a car wreck He showed me protection.
Through life He has shown me faithfulness.
He is faithful. Through it all and through anything.
Through a divorce and while in a desert, where things are dry and dirty, and through any journey now and in the future.
He has shown me that He is my victory.
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