If you follow me on FB or IG, you've seen a transformation over the last year to two years. I'm not talking about my pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum mom journey. I'm talking about Jesus. :)
A little background on me...
I wasn't really raised in a church. We would go for special occasions like Easter and Christmas. I do remember going to Vacation Bible School in elementary school, youth group functions in middle and high school, and maybe church a handful of times in college. I have always believed in God. I have always believed that Jesus died on the cross for my sins. I've always had faith in that, but I didn't walk by faith. I prayed sporadically, said I knew God was in control, but stressed over every detail of my life. I called myself a Christian, but never saw God in every aspect of my life.
Here's the thing... There is a big difference in being a part of a religion and being in a relationship with God.
I won't get into all of the messy details of my life because this post would be forever long, but let's suffice it to say that I did a lot of things wrong. I've always thought myself a good person, but I've also been a lost one. There are a handful of situations in my life, one in particular, that have made me incredibly ashamed. Shame is a terrible thing. It makes you hide and when you hide, you hide from God.
Let's fast forward. After my husband and I got married in 2013, we started trying to get pregnant. I started praying on the regular, and by regular, I think once a day. God knew I needed him, so he really used the 11 months it ultimately took us to get pregnant with Calista. He used those months to turn me to the Bible. He used those months to give me worship songs that continually played in my head. He used those months to move us back home to GA. He made me swallow my pride and my dreams and follow Him. He placed a desire in my heart to find like-minded women, and with that I joined my first ever bible study in December 2014.
I had hoped to find women in their late 20s-30s who had babies. What He gave me was a group of women mainly over the age of 60. These ladies changed my life. They indulged my millions of questions. They encouraged my exploration and stumbling through the lessons. The repeatedly reached out to check on me and offer guidance. They changed me. God changed me.
I don't know how to truly explain to you how much reading the Bible has changed my life. It has rocked me to the depths of my soul. It's changed my entire world. Yes, I still cry. I still struggle with shame and envy. I still have to battle with my temper and my anxiety. I am still the same, but I am not the same.
I have always been loved by God, but now I really know it.
I have always been chosen by God, but now I witness His favor.
I have always been complete in God, but now I know I don't have to have anything else but Him to be complete.
I don't have to earn His love, I have it.
I don't have to be better or good enough or successful enough. I am enough.
I don't have to be ashamed. I am forgiven and free.
I don't have to work hard to make the world love me. He loves me.
I don't have to fear the future because I know His plans are so much better than anything I could come up with.
So now, I try to walk in obedience. I try to not do what I want to do, but go where He calls me. I pray multiple times a day. I work hard to look around and see everything He has given me, not everything I wish I had. I trust in His plan and His love for me. I am at peace.
I can't wait to see how God uses me. He's given me a heart for so many things and I can't imagine what He's got planned. All I know is that it's true. God transformed me. He made me a "new creation". What a blessing!
Thanks for taking the time to read a part of my testimony. I want to share more ways that God is making His presence known in my life. I would love to hear how He is moving in yours. As a community of believers, we can change the world. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and I can't wait to read your testimonies. Love yall!