A few months ago, our church (The Orchard Evangelical Free Church) hosted a Saturday morning seminar. Dad was doing well that day, so Mom and I were able to get away for the morning -- and we enjoyed the event together. One major chunk of the morning was dedicated to creating the "talking points" outline of our personal journeys of faith. The assignment was to go home and flesh out the outline into a brief story we could share when someone is open to hearing about how we came to trust Christ for ourselves.
We made it a mother/daughter project to complete our stories. And, once we shared them with each other, we realized that each of us was part of the other's faith story.
So often in the dailyness of caregiving responsibilities, it's tempting to lose sight of the bigger reality. We found this exercise to be one that helped us refocus on the main thing--the fact that we have come to know, individually, from years of experience that God loves us, Christ died for us and lives in heaven waiting for us, and the Holy Spirit of God is interceding for us every moment of our challenging journeys.
With that in mind, Mom gave me permission to share her story with you, alongside mine. We'll start with hers--since she's older (don't tell her I said that!).
When I came to a real relationship with God –
As a 7-year-old I came to Christ in a worship service; the children’s minister of the church where my father preached led me in a prayer of admitting my sins and asking Jesus to forgive me. But as I grew, I only had a "fear" of God -- of displeasing Him. I know I loved Him, but I showed it by making sure externally I did all the right things that my church said to do, and stayed away from all the wrong (worldly) things my church said a Christian shouldn’t do. Something was still missing from the vibrant relationship I somehow knew was available to me.
Go Tell Jesus You're Sorry
One command from my mother became the initiator of my one-on-one relationship with God and His Son Jesus. The command came on one of many days when I had sassed back at her. (Come to think of it, she must have given that same command often during my childhood) I wasn't a particularly naughty child, rather compliant, actually, but my mouth was just a little quicker than my mind--and I wasn't able to edit it all back. So I sassed. Again. And Mom got that look on her face: "Go to your room. And don't come out until you've told Jesus you're sorry."
Mom and I hope our sharing these stories with you accomplished two goals:
1) If you have been considering Christ's claims, we pray that our stories will show you the path to your own personal relationship with God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
2) If you have your own story of faith, we pray that you'll take the time to write it down, so you can both see how God has proven Himself faithful to you and then go tell others that amazing news.
Oh, and if either (or both) of those apply to you, drop us a line and let us know. We'll keep it to ourselves if you like. Or, even better, we'd love it if you'd post it here to encourage others to do the same.
Blessings and prayers,
© 2011, Julie-Allyson Ieron, Joy Ieron. All rights reserved. For reprint permission, email: firstname.lastname@example.org