I Am A Child of God

A series of Christian based letters to my Grandgirls

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My sweet girls,

Today I began thinking, “I wish I knew more about my grandparents.” These are the kind of thoughts most of us don’t consider until they are gone. So, my thinking turned to what I’d most want you to know about my life. The first thing to pop in my head was the day I became a child of God.

First, Let me give you some background on my road toward knowing the God of the Universe and His precious son, Jesus. If I haven’t already told you, the home I grew up in was insecure and unstable. Alcohol and constant conflict affected our parent’s ability to be there for us. My father had an explosive temper and we never knew what would trigger it. It was a very scary world for me and my siblings. I longed for deliverance.

At age fifteen, I had seen enough of life to wish I hadn’t been born. I did not want to grow up and live the life my parent’s were living. I felt no hope, no joy and no purpose for my life.

Does God Exist?

One day, feeling lost in a fog of despair, my thoughts turned to questions about the existence of God. I reasoned that If there was a God who made me, the world and everything in it, then He must hold the answers to life.

I wanted to know if He existed, but I didn’t know how to find Him. My thinking process soon transformed into a heart wrenching cry to know if He was real and if he cared about me. A desperate yearning welled deep within my soul. Next thing I knew I was laying face down on the floor. I cried out, “God, if you are real, I need you! If you created me, you must want to know me like I want to know you. I feel abandoned and alone. My heart longs to know you, but I don’t know how to find you. Will you please reveal yourself to me?”

God Opened My eyes

God took me on a journey after that prayer. He opened my eyes to the emptiness of life lived apart from God. Part of that journey included the fulfillment of one of the deepest desires, in my young life.

At fifteen, I finally got accepted into the ‘popular group.’ I was invited out by popular boys and to all the parties with the cool kids. But I was disgusted by what went on at their parties. I was equally appalled by what guys tried to get from me. I saw the shallowness, the cheapness and the futility of all these relationships. These friends were consumed with their own desires. It felt like they didn’t really see or know me. Although I found the thing I thought would fill the hole in my heart, it was a BIG fail!

After that year and after my prayer to God, He answered through my best friend’s Dad. I had never known if God was real, nor that He had a specific plan for my life. That night I learned that God wanted me in His family.

That day began with my best friend Debbie asking me to spend the night at her house. I was in the midst of a battle at home and I didn’t want to go anywhere! Debbie persisted. She urged me to spend the night at her house. She would not take no for an answer, so eventually I caved and reluctantly accepted her invitation.

That night, I watched with longing as her Dad took the younger kids to bed piggy-back style. Afterwards, he made his way to his favorite chair. He then turned to me, with eyes that held a world of kindness. He said, “We asked you to come over tonight because I have something very important to tell you.” I was taken aback, thinking, “Who me?” At the same time a warm sense of being valued washed over me. “Who am I that he should care for me?”

As I sat quietly, Dad Haworth opened God’s word and spoke words of truth and life. He explained to me that God really did exist and He was the creator of the whole universe. My heart raced as I inwardly declared,“I knew it!”

He told me that God uniquely created each person. He said God had created me on purpose for a purpose (tears welled in my eyes and the deepest longing to know God squeezed at my heart).

He knit me together in my mother’s womb

He went on to explain that the Lord God is a Holy God who cannot tolerate sin in His heaven, “Oh, I knew all about the ugliness of sin – though I didn’t call it sin.” He then leafed through his Bible and read:

John 3:16  “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son (Jesus), that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

That night, I opened my heart with such eagerness. I was blown away that God wanted to me to be his daughter. He wanted it so much that he gave up (through death on the cross) His one and only, precious son to purchase me and save me from a sure eternal death. “The payment for sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23.

I prayed, asking God to forgive me for my sins. He did. I invited Jesus to be the Lord of my life. As I prayed I felt an immediate lifting in my Spirit and I experienced what scripture describes as …. “Old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.

When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun! II Cor. 5:17

My whole world and direction in life changed that night. I never looked back. The despair I had lived with was gone and I knew I would never again walk alone. I belonged to God and had been adopted as a daughter into His family.

My desperate prayer to know God was answered; my soul came to rest and I was fully at peace. I finally knew that my creator God loved me, pursued me and had a plan for my life here on earth.

I’s been a journey of up’s and down’s, as it is for all of us humans here on earth. But I have God with me who directs my steps as I seek Him. He filled the hole in my heart and I know I am loved, always and forever. He gives me opportunities to share His love with others and there is no greater joy than seeing God at work in their lives.

There is even a bigger JoY that bursts in my heart, girls. It is when I see God at work in your lives. I pray for you, you know? I know God answers and it’s my greatest blessing to witness His work in your lives. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your journey.

Jesus said, “I am come that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly. John 10:10b

because I love you, Nana

God Called Me

A series of Christian based letters to my Grandgirls entitled,

Nana’s Love NotesImage result for free page divider clipart

Hello my Sweet Girls,

It’s time for another note. I am going to take you, in the next few blogs, on a trip down memory lane. My life is filled with so many miracles. I want to share them with you.  I hope they inspire you to trust God and walk in His ways.  Here we go:

I am a Child of God

I am so amazed that the Lord of all creation cares for me. Does that thought blow your mind, like it does mine?

As a new believer, I desired, with all of my heart, to show God my gratitude for giving me a brand new life in Christ.

I studied my Bible and asked God to make me wise.  I listened carefully when Pastor taught the word.  I took lots and lots of notes so I could learn everything I could about my amazing Father and His son Jesus.

One of the things my Pastor said frequently was, “The Holy Spirit speaks in a still small voice, you must be listening when He speaks or you may miss His call.”

One Sunday morning, sitting in Church, I studied the big wooden cross at the front of the sanctuary.  I was thinking about what Jesus did for me. He gave His life that so I could live, not just eternally but right here and right now – abundantly! I was living an abundant life because I was experiencing freedom as His child. God rescued me from despair and placed me into His family. I felt huge JOY in knowing that I was loved like that.

I was living an abundant life because I was experiencing freedom as His child. God rescued me from despair and placed me into His family. I felt huge JOY in knowing that I was loved like that.

Suddenly, I heard that still small voice from God. As I gazed at the cross, this scripture verse ran through my mind,”If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me.” Luke 9:23

I recognized the voice of the Holy Spirit, using scripture. He was talking to me. I prayed,“Oh Lord, you have given me hope and a purpose. I want to follow you but I am so ignorant of the ways of God, I don’t know what you want.”

Just then I felt God speak to my heart. This is what I heard (not literally but as certainly as it had been Gods’ voice) “You need to prepare to serve me. I want you to go to Cornerstone College.”

At first, the message scared me. The thought of living so far away was terrifying. Next, my thoughts went to my steady boyfriend. We had planned to get married soon after our High School graduation.

I never planned to go to college. I had my plans made, college wasn’t even on my radar. My home life was hard, filled with verbal and physical abuse. I was insecure and never ventured beyond my comfort zone. Though I was timid, I had big faith. I knew, deep in my heart, if Jesus called me, I would follow Him wherever He led.

Though I was timid, I had BIG faith. I knew, deep in my heart, if Jesus called me, I would follow Him wherever He led.

Follow Jesus

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I knew Jesus was calling me and that I must follow His call.

Right after the Church service, I searched for my youth leader. I didn’t want to push the still small voice away. I needed to have godly input. I told Jan what God had spoken to my heart.  Her answer, “Oh Susie, I have been praying God would lead you to Cornerstone.”  WHAT!  I had no clue, she had never talked to me about going to college.  Next, I told my Pastor, and guess what, he too told me that he had been praying I would go to Cornerstone. Never did my Pastor talk to me about going to this Christian College.  You see, right there is evidence that God hears and he answers the prayers of those who trust Him.

From that day, I prepared to go to college. My family thought I had lost my mind. My boyfriend was angry and distressed. Much to my boyfriend’s dismay, peace reigned in my soul and I had a song in my heart.

My parents threw questions out like; “How do you think you can afford a private college?” My answer, “I don’t know, I just know God told me to go.” They tried to convince me I was not being realistic. They scoffed and made fun of me .. They would not help me with anything.

I was only seventeen years old but I prepared all by myself. I applied and kept an appointment with a guidance counselor from the college (3 hours away from home.) I shopped and gathered everything I would need as I prepared to leave home at the end of August. I look back and am dumbfounded by the responsibility I handled.

The night before I was to leave, I was packing my belongings, when my mother came into the room. I noted the sadness on her face. She said, “Susie, Dad and I have been going over and over our finances. There is no way on earth we can afford to send you to college.”

They did not have the money. I stopped what I was doing and looked at my Mother. She looked sincerely sorry and I could tell it was hard for her to give me this news.

follow-jesus

I answered her, “It’s okay Mom, maybe God just wanted to see if I would leave my home and everything I ever knew, to follow him.”

After mom left the room, I sat quietly on my bed. Most of my clothing was packed and everything else was prepared to go. I was relieved, in a way, because I really didn’t want to leave my home, my boyfriend or my church.

I decided I better call one of my Youth Leaders to inform her that I would not be going to college. I spoke with Jan that night and told her what happened. She sounded disappointed for me and promised she would be praying. She said a group of people from the Church were coming to her house that very night. She told me she would share the news with them.

My boyfriend was beside himself with happiness.  He took me to a swanky restaurant and celebrated. The next morning he planned to take me with him to a ballgame in Detroit.  He was a little league coach . He was taking his team to see a professional ball game. But, I got sick in the morning and could not go. Do you think God makes people sick and then makes them better in a few hours?  In this case, He did. 😉

Later that morning I received a call from Jim, the head deacon at my Church. He said, “Get packed Susie, you are going to college!” Shocked, I listened intently. He said Jan told the group who met at in her house about my plight. They decided to call my Pastor, who was on vacation at the time. Pastor Jones directed them by saying, “You get her up there and we’ll worry about the money later.”

After I told my Mom and Dad I hurried to finish my packing. You can imagine the chaos and excitement that took over our lives that day.

Jan planned to be at my house within two hours to drive me to college. As I worked feverishly, I heard my Mom on the phone. She was saying, “Susie said that God was going to send her to college, and He is! He really is!

I am forever grateful to God for Pastor Jones and for the godly group of believers who met at Jan’s house and prayed for me. This group made a commitment to contribute to paying my first year of college.That’s one HUGE sacrificial gift.

I applied and received a job on campus to help with my expenses and contribute toward my college tuition. My parent’s pitched in what they could and the prayer group paid the rest. Amazing Grace How Can It Be That You My God Should Care For Me.

because I love you,

Nana