I sometimes wonder how much different things would have been if I would have chosen to do things differently. I was thinking about this the other day, actually talking to a friend about it. And a memory hit me! I am not sure if this is what led me away, or not, but when I think about it, it very well could have been.
When I was 16, I was pregnant with my first child. I had a family member who was a Christian and she invited me to church. I accepted her invitation, and was really kind of looking forward to it. The evening came, she picked me up, and we went to her church. When I walked in I witnessed a room full of people with hands held high, people at the altar knelt in prayer, and a few people jumping up and down, yelling and screaming. Her church was having what she called a Revival, and they had a guest Evangelist. She went forward and joined her church family. I sat quietly in the back row with my 9 year old little brother. I must admit I was a little bit scared. I had never seen this kind of thing before. The church that my parents took us to that handful of times was very small and conservative. Eventually the guest evangelist noticed me and my brother in the back. He approached us and introduced himself. He stood before us, reached out his hand and took mine. He asked me if I was saved. I had no clue what he meant. I was thinking to myself, saved from what? I told him that I didn't know what he meant, and he proceeded to sit down and tell me that I should not be wearing makeup, I should not be wearing jewelry, and I definitely should not be having a baby at my age. He also told me that he would not leave that pew until I told him that I was saved by the blood of Jesus Christ! Not knowing what to do, I said, "I am saved!" He finally left, and I took my brother and went to the car. That was the last time I thought about going to church really, for many years.
Finally, when I met my husband, he introduced me to Jesus! He was like a gift from God. He was like no one I had ever met in my life. He was kind and caring, and treated me with respect. He also introduced me to a church family that I have fallen deeply in love with over these past 12 years.
Since my husband and I have been together, we have been blessed with seeing 2 out of our 5 adult children accept Jesus into their hearts, and be baptized. Praise God! We have committed to specifically praying each week for 1 of our remaining 3 that have not come to know the Lord. We are alternating weeks and lifting them to God, fervently praying that God will break every chain that binds them to the ways they are living. We have 9 grandchildren that we desperately want to see grow up knowing Jesus!
Dear Father, I lift our children and grandchildren up to You! Father, I pray that You would remove the veil from their eyes, and let them see You. I pray that as their eyes are opened that You would bring about situations and circumstances that would lead them to the truth. I pray that You would soften their heart's, put a new Spirit in them, take out their stony, stubborn heart, and give them a responsive heart. Lord, please draw them to You, and give them a desire for You. Please put people in their paths that would help guide them to You. Let them see You wherever they go, so much that they could not escape You. Please wrap Your hedge of protection around them, so that any ungodly influences around them would lose interest and depart. Lord, please break any chains that bind them, and free them from Satan's influence over their minds and emotions. I pray that their minds, hearts and lives would be transformed and renewed. I pray that they would be convicted by the Holy Spirit, and that they would have Your attitude toward sin. Father, please let Your kindness lead them to full repentance and help them to turn away from their sin. Thank You Father! In Jesus Name I Pray! Amen!
Linking up with Karen Beth at Finding the Grace Within/Tuesday at Ten The prompt this week is: