“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love, He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will – to the praise of His glorious grace which He has freely given us in the One He loves.”
God’s love for me is overwhelming, and I stand in awe that He had a plan for my life before he created the world. Because He loves me, he pursued me. I was not raised in a Christian home, in fact, I was raised in a messy, broken home. My exposure to God came through random church visits when friends would invite me. I would not start consistently attending church until my sophomore year in high school. My high school best friend and her family would take me to church with them, and they strongly encouraged me to seek Jesus. During that time in my life, I was making poor choices and often fell to the temptations of the world.
On March 30, 1997, Easter Sunday, I accepted Jesus in my heart. In my immaturity, my acceptance of Jesus was less of seeking His will, but more of my own. I viewed this relationship as a give and take, and I was always wanting to take. In June of 1997, my mother was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer. I had heard teaching in church about laying on of hands, and God-honoring those who prayed in faith. I took it that if I laid hands on my mom and prayed hard enough she would be healed. I prayed, pleaded, made bargains – anything to convince God to grant me this wish of healing my mom. One day I presented the gospel with my mom. She made a confession of faith and allowed me to lay hands on her. The next week she passed away. I felt betrayed and fell deeper away from the Lord.
In April of 1999, I was invited to a Christian camp “Ichthus”. At that camp, one of the band leaders lead devotions, and I felt he was talking only to me. He had an invitation to follow Jesus, the one who gave it all, because of His great love for us. He asked for those that had accepted him to recommit their lives to following and serving him, not seeking just to be served. That is when I had a shift in my relationship with the Father. From that point on I had a hunger to know Him, have a relationship with Him, and not just seek my own desires.
Life has had its ups and downs and will continue to do so. However, now I see how the Father is sovereign in all circumstances. There are times in our life when we may question why, and feel like he doesn’t hear our prayers. In those times time I rest on God’s truth – “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28. He hears our prayers, but He works according to His will, not ours, and His will is always for our good.