I wrote previously about the night I called out to Jesus and the effect that had on my life, but I want to share more about where I was before that night.
I got “saved” and was baptized in 1996 when I was 9 years old. My mother gave me a King James bible, and I still have that bible today. As a child, I remember having a lot of questions about Jesus and about the bible. I tried to read the bible and I understood some of it on a superficial level. I remember reading Matthew 5 over and over. I loved the teachings, but I had been taught that no one could live up to the teachings of Jesus.
I remember waiting for the school bus one morning and thinking how great it would be to live without sin. I thought, maybe I can, and I will start right now. Well, that did not work out, obviously.
By the time I was in my late teens, I hardly thought about Jesus, much less read my bible. Yet, if anyone had asked me if I was saved, I would have said yes.
By the time I was in my mid-twenties, I discovered that I did not really know who I was, because I spent my whole life people pleasing in futile efforts to avoid abuse and neglect. I just wanted to be liked and loved, but no one really liked or loved me because no one knew me. I did not even know me.
By the time I was in my mid-twenties, I was drinking way too much and I used recreational marijuana regularly, and these substances became a crutch for me that I used to fight depression, social anxiety, and relationship problems.
Yet, I was not all together unproductive. I had ambitions also. In high school, I planned to go to college to pursue a degree in psychology so that I could become a child counselor or child psychologist. I had great grades and graduated with honors. My college education was purposefully sabotaged by my mother, which I did not realize at the time, but she later admitted to.
Years later, I was living with my high school boyfriend and attempting to make something of myself through a community college education. I decided to become a paralegal, because I had an interest in law and I could obtain a degree in two short years.
At some point during that education in the year 2010, I had an interaction with the Lord, but I mostly ignored it. And no, I was not under the influence. He came to me in a dream and said, “a great evil will come from Cairo.” I did not understand it then, but I do now.
I told my grandmother about it, and she told a man at her church and I talked to him about it. That was a strange time, because that man claimed he was a prophet and said things that made me very uneasy. He nicknamed me, “wildflower.” I don’t think it meant anything. If anything, I think this man had some evil spirits, because he was not mentally well.
This encounter scared me off from hearing the calling of the Lord. That, and I was determined to get a degree, even if it was a measly two-year degree.
I got the degree, even though I was high a lot and dealing with some severe personal problems. Soon after I graduated, my first child was born.
I began reading my bible and praying after he was born, but only occasionally. I wanted to clean myself up and teach him right. I also wanted to stay home with my kid because I did not trust daycares, so all of my effort went into finding a way to work from home. I only worked as a paralegal for about 4 months, then I returned to my previous job as a Certified Nurse Assistant.
My second child was born a year and a half later. I was working from home at that time, but with limited success. I was again dealing with severe personal problems, and depression took hold of me in a big way. I began drinking again. I felt like life was hopeless.
I was nothing. I still did not know who I was. I had not made anything of myself. I had been watching a TV preacher every day, and that helped some, but the over-all situation was too much for me. I was poor, my relationships sucked, and I had two children that I did not know how to care for. I had no idea how to be a mother. I was on the verge of losing faith or adopting some strange New Age version of the faith when Jesus intervened.
That is when I called out to Jesus and He took over—and this time, I was not going anywhere. I was a lost sheep for most of my life, but Jesus did not give up on me. Though I have gone astray in smaller ways since, He never allowed me to wonder too far because He has work to do with me, and I know that I will not get away from it. He has made it so that I cannot, even if I wanted to.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
I think we all go through times when we go astray from Him, in lesser and greater ways, but I know for a fact that He does not lose a single person who belongs to Him. He will do whatever is necessary to bring us back. I also believe that He allows us to go astray so that we can experience things, because this makes us better servants. Yet, He is always there. We might not feel like He is always there, but He is.
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.
18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
I intend to write articles every Tuesday about the working of Jesus in my life. If you have questions or if you want to share your own story, please leave a comment or send a private message. I also welcome sharing the testimonies of others.