Tuesday, July 1, 2008

The Journey Begins...

Growing up in a broken home and following the crowd proved to be a poor combination for most of my teen years. Church was absent in my immediate family. Thoughts of God were few and far between. I was sprinkled in a sanctuary as an infant, but it really held no meaning or significance for me. But in my later teen years, as I grew more and more wrestless, I began asking questions and wondering about the meaning of life.

It was during this time that I grew close to my beloved grandmother, Doris Zeillmann. As I spent time with her, witnessing her devotion to her church and “right living,” I realized she possessed something that was different. While not outspoken about her faith, my grandmother’s life was marked by a quiet peace and stability, which I now recognize stemmed from a firm foundation in her God. Amidst the brokenness and chaos of my life, I was drawn to her. We spent time together; I even went to church with her once or twice. Somewhere in our time together, I acquired her white Gideon Bible, which she had received during her years as a nurse in WWII. I do not recall the specific exchange. I just know that because it was hers, it was important to me.

The Lord used my grandmother to begin drawing me to himself, but it wasn’t until a few years later that my heart finally understood I was “in need” of a Savior. I was still living my way when a life-threatening incident shook me to my core. I spent several weeks searching, pondering, wondering if God really could do something with my life. Finally, one night, I knew I needed to call out to the Lord. So I knelt beside my bed and said “Lord, if you are real, then I am ready. I am yours.” I remembered my grandmother’s Bible and knew it was somewhere. So I searched for it, found it, and turned to the back of it. I filled out the back of the little white Gideon Bible I had acquired years before.

After receiving Christ as my savior, I knew immediately: Some things in my life had to change. From relationship choices to lifestyle choices, I knew I could no longer grieve the one I had just given myself to. For me, becoming a Christian was like Saul’s experience on the road to Damascus. My world changed from dark to light. I had been the world’s prostitute; now all of the sudden, I was the creator’s princess. Through God’s grace, the deal had been transacted. I was sealed with the mark of the king. Now I wanted the transformation to take effect for the rest of the days He had appointed for me. I wanted every day that had been wasted to be redeemed and more, and he has been faithful.

Nearly 20 years later, I am a wife, a mother, a teacher, and a speaker. But his word is the foundation from which I live and move and have my being – the same Word planted by Gideon ministries all over the world. God used you to reach me in my moment of decision. Your faithfulness and prayers and little white Bibles are bringing forth fruit for His kingdom. Carry on!

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