The Day After Easter:

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

1 John 3:16 NIV

I hope your Easter was full of celebration, family, love, remembrance, and joy!

There was a time in my life that Easter wasn’t really a celebration. I didn’t comprehend what Jesus did, and I didn’t know that He was the only one who could do this enormous task of saving me.

I always had an idea that God existed. I tried to live a good life, but failed miserably.

My parents had an idea of who God was, and tried to take me to church to hear Bible stories.

A very sad thing happened in 1971. There was a car accident that injured my mother, older brother, and sisters, and took the life of my baby brother.

I was a few days from being seven-years-old. My dad was grieving for what happened, and still had to work. He felt like he was responsible for what happened, and he had my grandmother stay with me and my younger sisters.

My father was an alcoholic and that problem became worse.

We moved to a nearby town. My mother was taking medication that made her tired, and she became very depressed too.

I was so lonely. Everyone around me was hurting and I couldn’t help. I hurt too.

I used to sleep under a picture of Jesus, the one of Him praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. I thought He was my closest friend, even then.

My mother tried different religions, but couldn’t get connected with other believers. My dad even worked for people in the churches, doing janitorial work on the side. He just couldn’t grow in his faith, and he felt the bar made him feel better than the church. We moved many times during the 70’s.

I did a lot of wrong things. My parents never really tried to control my life or give me advice. I am very ashamed of my past, and even as a Christian, I still make mistakes and do things that I think I would never do. My thoughts and actions always need to be reigned in. God is merciful and forgiving though, and when I confess my sins, I know He is faithful and just to forgive my sins and cleanse me from all unrighteousness.

Earlier in his life, my father accepted Jesus at a Billy Graham Crusade in the 1960’s, but had a hard time with alcoholism, depression, poverty, and the cares of this life, especially after the loss of an infant son in 1962, and losing his second son to the accident in 1971.

My mother found Jesus, and did all she could to read and study God’s word. The more that happened to her, the more closely she clung to the Lord.

Many things have happened in my life. I married at the age of twenty-seven, after putting my life into work and travel.  I had our son when I was thirty-three years old, and because of the birth of my child, I grew in my faith.

I went back to the basics, reading to him about the Bible, and trying to help him grow in the Lord. I struggle with church too. I seem to have a hard time connecting with believers. I do love God with all my heart, mind, and soul. I search the scriptures daily, and like my mother, when the world throws the worst it has at me, I cling to Jesus even tighter!

I am not perfect, but Jesus is. I try to write positive things on this blog, but I am so aware of the hurting people out there. I am aware of the lives that have been damaged by sin, and the tragedies that accompany this life. Being a Christian is a work in progress. It is a moment by moment, step-by-step faith. For some, they experience a miraculous moment of salvation, and faith takes root quickly. I admire that, but there are many like me. Faith is a seed that was sown, and it is growing a little at a time, becoming a strong plant with a deep root.

My young life was filled with so much religion. I was baptized over 30 times. I received the Holy Spirit and could speak in tongues. I had visions and dreams of things that happened. When was the moment I gave Jesus everything, and meant it? I don’t really know, but I do it daily by choice. I love God, I owe Him my life.

In my early twenties, I had gotten angry at God, and tried to do things that would make Him hate me so He would leave me alone. He always was drawing me out though, and protecting me, saving me. I cannot tell you why. I even have hated myself. That someone could love me, while I was yet in my sins, is pretty amazing!

If you don’t know Jesus, and if you are feeling hurt and alone, I can tell you that there is no better friend or help than Jesus!

If you accept Him as your Savior, You will be changed forever for the better.

Dear God, maybe there are some people who have had a pretty colorful past full of mistakes like mine. I know that You saved me, and You can save anyone who is willing to come to You, who will repent of their sins. I know if they confess their sins, You will cleanse them from all unrighteousness by the blood of Jesus. I pray for Your will to be done, and for You to keep us from temptation, and deliver us from the evil one. In the name of Your Precious Son, Amen.



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