Each Sunday, one family from our church has the opportunity to introduce themselves, sharing how they arrived at this church, a little about their walk with Jesus as well as anything else they wish to share. Last Sunday was our turn. I'd like to share that now with you.
I have been part of Spruce Grove
Alliance Church since I was a baby and became a Christian when I was around 4
or 5 years old. I grew up in a secure Christian home and was baptized at the
end of grade 9. Doug and I started seeing each other shortly before I graduated
and after three years, three months and three days of dating, we were married.
This summer we celebrated our
18th wedding anniversary and we have four great kids with us today: Joshua,
Andrea, Arianna and Sarah as well as three more that we will meet one day when
we get to Heaven. In those 18 years, we had seen many ups and downs including
the loss of my mom when I was 23. That event was a very critical point in my
journey with God as my mom was faithfully leaning on Jesus, even when she knew
there were no more answers. One prayer that she wrote in her journal was that
her children would continue to follow Jesus, no matter what happened. I desired
to have a faith like hers, one that was unwavering, confident and fully
trusting in Him.
Fast forward a few years to
November of 2011 when our world was once again turned upside down. We had
received the news that Sarah had cerebral palsy and microcephaly, which means
an abnormal smallness of the head and brain.
These two diagnosis together are what cause her to be severely delayed
in all areas of development. It was also around that time that Doug and I
thought something was going on with him and that’s when our journey with his
depression began. I’m not sure where I thought God was at that time but I know
well enough now, that He was there, holding me close even when my world seemed
When I think of how following
Jesus has changed my life, one of the greatest transformations has actually
occurred over the past 2 ½ years since we started attending Calahoo. My first
encounter with this church was the summer of 2013 when Andrea was helping with
worship for VBS and someone dressed up in a medieval costume showed up at my
door to pick her up. Even before we were attending, people were being Jesus to
us- someone was offering to bring Andrea to and from the church for me. That
simple act by Michelle very quickly showed me how willing she was to bless me.
In the December after we began
attending here, a couple friends and I were doing a prayer study with L. One
of the first questions we were asked was “what is my relationship with God
like?” and then “how would I like it to change?”
Over time, it became clear that God was much more real than I had believed and
He was desiring a much closer relationship with me. I have been a believer
since I was young and I think over time, I had become comfortable in my faith
and that comfort was robbing me of my dependency on God. I have been challenged
physically, with my own heart issues, emotionally as I continue to learn about
depression as well as being the mom of a special needs child and spiritually,
understanding that God is who He says He is. And all the while, seeing God walk
with me each step of the way.
I am learning to lean on Him and
trust that He will carry me through every high and low in life. Making new
friends as we get older isn’t easy but I have built so many wonderful
relationships here and I am blessed by them all. I love being supported and encouraged
by others, I love the group that meets on Wednesday nights and I appreciate
being able to be real and honest with people. I also love how prayer has
changed me. From sending out texts asking for someone to pray for me, to
receiving them in order to pray for others and trusting that Jesus will answer.
This was evident this past week as we were praying for a friend's little boy.
In our most recent chapter in the
ladies study, we learned about Mary's courage when she was informed that she
would be the mother of the people's Saviour. With a submissive spirit and
servant's heart, she tells the angel, "May it be". We are invited to
that kind of faith- one that calls us to face our fears and embrace
uncertainty, because we don't know what God has in store for us. We leave behind
the feeling of security, which forces us to trust in the sweet love of Jesus.
That's what Mary did with a contented and obedient heart and she leads a
wonderful example of how I want to live.
Merry Christmas Eve!