18 Years Ago. . .

Surrendering heart
(I drew this in a lecture at work one day. . . there are a few incorrect pieces that Andrew picked out. I'd say from memory, it's pretty good!)

Though I dislike Halloween, today (October 30th) has a special place in my heart. You see, 18 years ago today, I made the best decision of my life. As a 6 year old processing the world and trying to figure out this thing we call life, I understood in my heart that there's something MUCH greater that I could never fully comprehend. At 6, I understood that something-greater to be God. At 6, I understood that life is not forever, there is an end. With child-like faith (and basic human fear), I decided to live my life for God. To have a relationship with Him. To devote all that I did to Him. To allow Him to guide my paths and give me wisdom. Most importantly as a 6 year-old, I decided that I wanted to spend eternity in that great place called Heaven and not Hell. At 6, it was easy. It was simple. It was clear:

God made me to enjoy my life, to take part in His creation, to follow his path and will for my life, and to share His love and gifts with others. When I die, He wants to spend forever with me because he loves and adores me. Simple right? 
Besides that, who would choose Hell? No one. . . 

That was the point though, I understood that I had to make a choice. God gave me the free will to choose. Because He loves me so much and wants to have a relationship with me, He needed me to choose Him too. What would a relationship be if the other person never chose to take part and was just there? Not a relationship I'd want to be in.

Can I just tell you that the Lord not only knocked on my heart at the perfect time in my life, but that He has never and will never leave. Later that year began my future of being the "new kid" for the rest of my life (no, really... at least until I'm 35). I needed (and still need) comfort, guidance, understanding, wisdom, love, a friend. God filled each of those needs in a way no other person ever could (even my husband). 

I'm not trying to preach, I'm not trying to convince, I'm just sharing one of the greatest parts of my life. Seriously, I wouldn't be where I am today if I didn't have the Lord by my side. He gives me motivation to strive on, serving him brings me joy; His word comforts me when I'm down. 

I am reminded how clearly I knew that this was my desire for my life at six years old. I am reminded of all of the blessings God has given me. I am reminded of that commitment I made to Him and am encouraged that my hope is found in Christ alone.

Though I was young, everything I knew then stands true today as an adult. Life does bring sadness, trials, even turmoil, but His blessings are simply amazing.

 "If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved."  
Romans 10:9

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 Romans 6:23