I think we can look at peoples lives and think they are "better" than ours, or "easier" than ours.
Well we all have difficulties and God uses these to draw us near to Him, and to mold us to be more like Him.
I grew up not really going to church.
My neighbor was watching us one day and asked me If I believed that Jesus was God, and died on the cross for my sins to be forgiven. I said yes, said the prayer and was "saved"!
I was 8 years old and really didn't understand about a relationship with the living God.
We moved to Hughson, Ca when I was in 5th grade, my mom got a job at a Methodist church and my sister and I became friends with the Pastors sons.
We went to church.
It was mostly a social thing for me.
I was a "good" girl in high-school, never partied, got good grades, went to church.
When I moved out I went crazy!!
Partying, Alcohol, Drugs, Men.....
I was searching.
I just wanted peace.
I have had a lot of different jobs, name a place, I have worked there.
I also thought I would be happy when..........
After years of this I was invited by my sister and her fiance to church.
When I first heard the pastor share I could feel my heart strings tugging. God was calling me home to Him.
I had always knew that Jesus was God. I had always believed. But I was a lost lamb searching for my own way.
I left feeling that high from God, but not ready to give up worldly things, my sins.
So I would party on Saturday night and try to go to church on Sunday morning. This would work sometimes. Sometimes not so much.
I was dating someone who was a "christian" and felt like I was on the right path.
This Christian boy and I were not living like we were showing the world we were.
We broke up.
I promised God that I would not have anymore boyfriends.
I was still in charge, not willing to let Him have control of my life.
After a while of going to church and trying to lead a "good" life, my room-mate and best bud was moving to Oceanside Ca.
I could feel the Lord telling me "no this is not for you, not now".
And what did I do?
I moved to Southern Ca of course.
Got a job as a cocktail waitress, started drinking and partying again, stopped going to church.
After a few months of this, I cracked,
I woke up one morning and pulled out my bible and read and prayed.
I could hear God telling me this is not the life I want for you.
I called in to my job and quit, not giving any notice, I knew if I walked back into that place it would be the same old same old.
I started going to a Calvary Chapel Oceanside, got a new job teaching play and music classes, and started a real relationship with the living God.
It was all about letting go.
And you know what I started to have that peace I was always searching for.
One night at work I was closing up the computer and about to lock up. I googled "Christian Nanny" and found a site that connected people internationally.
I prayed about it, felt a peace about it, and started to get really excited about where the Lord would send me.
Maybe Australia I hoped!!
On my commute, that very night, home I got a phone call, it was a lady from the site and she was excited because she thought she found the perfect family for me.
She asked me if I had ever heard of a small town named Escalon Ca??
What??? Not Escalon, that is about 15 minutes away from Modesto.
I met the family for an interview over Halloween weekend, and met Matt at my friends party that same weekend.
It had been a year and a half since that last boyfriend, I thought Matt was a going to be a good friend.
I took the job moved back, and Matt and I, well God had different plans.
So I was home and started going to Calvary Modesto, and became closer and closer to the Lord.
I was not perfect.
Guess what I am still not perfect!!!!
..........for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3 :23
But I am so thankful that He took care of me throughout all of that craziness.
I should be dead, or have all sorts of horrible issues.
No one could have looked at my life and thought I would now be a missionary.
Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 chronicles 12:10
So that is what I am thankful for!
Praying that you know this peace!
Peace in Jesus,