A series of Christian based letters to my Grandgirls
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 parents were living. I felt no hope, no joy, and no purpose for my life.
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 took me on a journey after that prayer. He opened my eyes to the emptiness of a 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.’ Popular boys invited me out to all the parties with the cool kids. But I ended up disgusted by what went on at their parties. I was equally appalled by what guys tried to get from me. I saw the shallowness, cheapness and emptiness in all these relationships. These friends seemed 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 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 existed, 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 explained 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 a 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.
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.
God answered my desperate prayer to know Him; 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.
because I love you, Nana