Born and raised in the great state of Oregon, I am number three of six children. My family began attending church when I was in junior high. In 7th grade, under the influence of my Youth Pastors', I accepted Christ. High school was a struggle as I faced many of the pressures prevalent among teen girls. After graduation I attended Christian College, met and married a Pastor.
My life is a work in progress. I am grateful how the Lord continues to graciously mold my heart to be more like His. When I was younger I wanted to be a “good” Christian. However, I lacked the maturity to be real and transparent with myself, with God and with others.
A defining moment came several years ago. The Lord used tragedy to catapult Truth into my life. Cancer unexpectedly came and quickly took the life of my dear mother. My heartache led to a season of despair. My view of comfortable Christianity plagued my need for spiritual maturity.
God’s scalpel penetrated my fragile heart through this loss. In time and by the Spirit’s conviction, God revealed much to me regarding my heart and relationship with Him. In my brokenness, my soul was laid bare and my heart unzipped.
God tenderly showed me how I compared myself to others. I judged people and imposed my agenda on them. I lived and did what was expected of a Christian. Sometimes, the choices I made were for the approval of others and the motives of my heart were questionable. Pride and legalism were also at the top of His concerns to deal with in my life. My relationship with God did not reflect what He desired. I needed a change of heart, not just behavior.
The condition of my heart will always be the crux of my relationship with God. Who I am on the inside is really who I am versus who I portray on the outside. A heart rightly aligned with Christ loves God and His Word out of devotion not duty; out of love not just a list; out of a relationship not merely abiding by rules.
I forge ahead as I experience the power and work of God in my life. His process of refinement and restoration teaches me that my desire should be to give Him all of my heart, not just pieces of it here and there. He continues to bring me to a place of humility and freedom in Christ. I have a firmer grasp of His grace and tender mercy. He enables me to see others through the eyes of Christ, instead of with judgment.
Even in my humanity, there are still times when I live and do what is expected of a Christian. Sometimes the choices I make are done for the approval and praise of others. Other times the motives of my heart are questionable. In these moments of weakness, the Holy Spirit reminds me I am created for more. He teaches me that transformation is a life-long process that requires daily surrender of my will, to God's will, not a one-time decision.
God is shaping me into His masterpiece. I believe He is bringing to fruition a seed He planted in my heart years ago in college. As a result of His call on my life, I walk in obedience. I humbly surrender to the merciful hand of a sovereign God, to His glory.
Although, I prayed and prayed for God to heal my mother . . . He, in His infinite and sovereign wisdom chose rather . . . to heal my heart.
Hi Hester, I am pleased to meet you. I have come to God from a different direction as can be seen in my blog, apesantsandancestors.com/ReplyDelete
I have not been able to find Jesus yet, but I am looking!
Sincerely, John Wylie
Thank you for your comment. Thank you for sharing about your blog; I actually visited it yesterday. ;)
I appreciate your honesty with me and my heart goes out to you. I have prayed for you today and have asked God to reveal Himself to you. Regarding Jesus, . . .He is real and He longs to have a relationship with you. :) You are valuable and precious in the sight of God.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 came to my mind to share with you, "For I know the plans I have you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me an find me when you seek me with all our heart."
My prayer is for you to seek the Lord . . . with all your heart.
Another powerful verse in 1 John 4:9-10, "This is God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and set his Sons as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
God bless you John. Keep searching for Jesus . . . He will be found.