My Journey to Haiti: Part One

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I've started, stopped, re-started, and deleted this post multiple times.  I can't seem to find the right words to do justice to this story.  To give enough praise and honor to God, who has orchestrated it all.  It's such a large story that I feel too small to write.

However, it is my story.  It's the story God has taken me through and continues to write.  It is my job to follow God's call, and share all of the spectacular things He has done in my life.  The whole point of this blog was to encourage, challenge, and inspire others through my story, and I know if I don't share the most important story of my life with you I would do more harm than good.  While I am not proud of all the steps that it took to get me to this point, they were all crucial and equally important.  God uses those hard, painful, and even shameful moments in our lives to shape and mold us into the people He wants us to be.  While I don't enjoy sharing my sinful moments, I know that God can use my story to mold other people, so I must be faithful in sharing the good, bad, and all the in between moments up to this point.

So here goes...Let me give you a little background of how I came to know the Lord, because lets be honest:  I wouldn't be here today, sharing my story, if that had never happened :)

When I was six years old, a close friend of mine shared the ABC's to becoming a Christian with me.  (A- Admit that you're a sinner and acknowledge that you need Christ to forgive you,  B- Believe that Jesus is God's son and he came to Earth to pay the penalty for your sins by dying on the cross, and C- Confess that Jesus is Lord and commit your life to Him.)  My friend had just finished VBS at her church, and was so excited to share this with me.

Now, I grew up in a loving Christian family who always took me to church.  Our family was there, no questions asked, every Sunday Morning, Sunday night, and Wednesday night.  I was no stranger to the ABC's, but in that moment I finally got excited about it.  I remember jumping off the swings in our backyard, and running inside to tell my mom about my decision.  We met with our Pastor, and I got baptized shortly after. I remember how excited my family and friends were. I remember another close friend of mine getting saved around the same time, and the thought of being baptized together was so exciting for me.

Needless to say, I had a 6 year-old's mentality of what it meant to be a follower of Christ.  It's honestly hard for me to say if in that moment I truly understood how huge the commitment, I was making, really was.  I know my family and pastor would not have let me get baptized if they didn't believe I truly understood, but I genuinely don't remember what I knew at that age.

I do, however, know that from that moment on I looked at myself as a Christian.  I remember always making it a point to tell my friends about my beliefs.  I loved being "the Christian girl" in my group of friends.  It was something I took pride in.

And then, high school came.  Oh high school....the four years of my life I regret the most.

High School is when I truly lost myself.  I got in a very unhealthy relationship (which I was completely blind to at the time),  I pushed my parents, family, and friends away in every unthinkable way.  All I cared about then, was myself, and that relationship.  Anything that got in the way was simply unacceptable, and I did whatever possible to remove the hurdle.  I get knots in my stomach just thinking back at all of the horrible things I did and said, to so many people back then, that I truly loved and cared about.  If I could redo anytime in my life, it would be that time.

I am not proud of those years.  I ruined so many relationships, hurt so many people, lost track of all things good and Godly, and totally lost myself along the way.  I had fallen so off course with where I wanted my life to be, that it honestly, felt impossible to repair.

I still claimed to be a Christian during that time, and always made it a point to tell my friends.  I tried to justify my sinful actions, and make excuses to hide them.  I had gotten so far off course from what it meant to be a Christian, that it's a wonder my friends ever believed me when I said I was a Christian.

Luckily, we serve a great God.  One who NEVER gives up on his children, no matter how hard we try to push Him away, and no matter how many times we sin.

It wasn't until college that I finally stepped back and realized how far my life had gotten off course...

Stay tuned for parts 2 & 3.  This story was too big, and too long, for one post :)

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