I am growing up in a Christian household. We take our name as Christians seriously. We strive to follow God in all we do. This means that I was exposed at an early age to the gospel message of Jesus Christ coming to earth, living sinless, dying on the cross for my sins, and then coming back to life again and going to live with God in heaven where He is now. My parents were big into an organization called Child Evangelism Fellowship and strong supporters that children can understand the gospel. So, I accepted Christ as my savior from sin when I was 4. Thus, I really don't know a time when I was not saved from my sin and wallowing in pure hopelessness.
I was a really good kid. Of course I had my bad days, but I respected my parents and that they were bigger than me and would punish me. Then the days came when I started growing up. I was no longer that little girl who was content to play with her Barbies and looking at picture books all day off in her own little world. What started happening is I was realizing that there was more to life then just having fun with make believe, there was more to being me than that.This began when I was in 3rd grade. I am part of a Star Wars fan family. I've been watching Star Wars since I was like 5 years old. It was only natural that I would go and see Star Wars III when it came out, even though I was only 8.
I didn't know it at the time but the part about Anakin Skywalker falling into lava and burning freaked my psyche out or something like that. I was then really scared about volcanoes I would stay up until 4 am a lot of nights just because I thought that if I went to sleep a volcano would decide to pop up in my backyard and I would be burned alive. Then one day I decided to start singing songs to God every night as I fell asleep and when I started doing that my fears went away.
Up until then I had never thought about getting to know God. To me He was the powerful and mighty One ruling and controlling everything. I knew He loved me, and I knew He died for me, I just didn't appreciate it. It never occurred to me that He would want to get to know me or want anything from me. When I started singing those songs to God I realized that He could work in my life and that He cares for my life. Before that I guess in my child like way I thought He only worked in other people's life.
This started my soul wanting something even more. So I decided to fill it with friends. It's hard for a homeschooler to start making friends, when before she only had one or two fellow homeschoolers as her friends. But I wanted friends, so I started living for fitting in with the girls at my church. I needed to act correctly, I need to dress correctly, I needed to listen to the correct music and I needed to talk about the right things. That was my life.
It still, of course, didn't make that want for something significant in my life to go away. So, I started filling it with books, fantasy books to be exact. Those were my idols. I loved my books. I would read Gail Carson Levine, Tanith Lee, Shannon Hale, Inkheart Trilogy, Eragon (then) trilogy, .... all those books and lots of other ones. They were my new friends. I dreamed all day long that I was in their worlds, because I didn't like the non-adventure of my own.
This was my life until I got into 6th grade. In my church 6th grade means that you're in Youth Group. That means you get to go to the girl's retreat. That girl's retreat changed my life. During it I saw all these other teens who were so content with God. They loved God and actually got to know Him. I learned from them. I learned all about reading the Bible and praying. I learned about what it looks like to model your life after what it says in the Bible.
These girls had what I wanted, and God knew it. That girl's retreat came at just the right time. After that girl's retreat I started to get to know my God who saved me when I was younger.Everyday I would read my Bible and pray to God like I learned how to do on the retreat. God filled that void. My life still was so not perfect, but I can truthfully say that is when I started growing to be more like God and when He officially took over my life.
As you have probably noticed from my blog posts a lot has happened in my life since I was in 6th grade. A lot of my desires have changed, my type of friends have changed and my hobbies have changed. Instead of reading my fantasy books I now read Ted Dekker, Elsie Dinsmore books, school books, and other devotional books. I'm O.K. with that. God gives me back so much more in return for giving up what took His place in my devotion.
Because of my story of my life I now have a passion for discipleship. I do not want others to waste their time with God. Just recently I read this quote from Know What You Believe by Paul E. Little, "Because Christ is our High Priest in heaven, each of us has access to the Creator at any time and at any place. How the angels must wonder that we make so little use of this privilege of audience with the King!"
Some of you who know me in real life probably know that a desire of mine is to be a missionary. A big part of me loves teaching others and helping them to get to know their Savior. My story is what causes me to want that. Ever since I started to get to know God I've wanted to act. I wanted to do something, anything, for God. When I was first starting out there wasn't much for a 6th grader to do, so I just focused on getting ready for those days God had set out for me. I guess my plan is not for sure to be a missionary, but I do want to do something with my life to enhance God's kingdom here on earth. Slowly, each year more serving/discipleship opportunities have come about. The next bigger than the one before it. My work for the past 4 years of studying the Bible and getting to know God are paying off.
I am able to be a leader with my friends and someone people actually look up to. It's all because of God I tell them. Use to I had no want to follow God. It's only because I responded to God calling out for me and putting things in my path to lead me to His loving arms that I am who I am today.
It's only because I am doing what human beings were made by their creator to be. They were made to live for a being higher than themselves. They were made with something significant in their lives. It was their choice to choose what to fill it with, but God was watching. He was working through their lives, trying to make them realize that He was the thing that fit perfectly in that void. He would leave no empty spaces in the hole of their soul, unlike the other things they could find to stuff in that hole.
God knew that that hole was much more than a hole. If a human could not find a way to fill it with Him that creator of all things, they would not have eternal life with Him in His home. They would go to Hell and be separated from Him. Their hole would burn in their hearts forever.
He went so far as to even send His very one and only son to them, that they might receive eternal life. Of course, if they rejected Him they would not see life and His wrath would remain on them. Yes, He loved His creation so much, but that was how things worked. He was too just for them to rebel against His loving ways. If only they would realize that not one of them is righteous, no not one, and that they had all sinned and fallen short of His glorious standard. If only they would say that His Son, Jesus, was Lord and that He was raised from the dead after having died, taking the replacement of what they all deserved because of their sin. Then He would be able to fill their void, and they would have eternal life with Him who loves them more than any other could.