Can you believe I never saw “The Wizard of Oz” until I was 21 years old because the TV network showed it only once a year on a Sunday night, and our family was ALWAYS in church at that time! Why, you may ask? Well, you see, my mother did not grow up with God; her dad was an alcoholic and physically abusive, as were her brothers. But as a teenager, her life changed drastically because of going to a church and learning about Jesus. She was determined to raise her children in THAT environment—not the painful one she had grown up in.
Because of my immersion into a Bible-believing church, I never really knew anything different. I learned very early that Jesus had died to pay for my sins, but that did not mean I knew it in any personal kind of way—it was just what we did as a family. In fact, I said the words I thought everyone wanted to hear, and was baptized at age seven.
However, real life in our house with five siblings meant there was always a good bit of rough-housing and smart-mouthing. One day, in the family room, we were doing our usual wrestling matches when I fell onto a lamp that broke with a nice, loud crash. My mom rushed in from the kitchen wanting to know who broke the lamp, and even though I was the one who technically knocked it over, I quickly said “It wasn’t ME!” As soon as I told that lie, it was like a knife went into my heart. I went to my room and sat there thinking about how quickly and easily I had lied, and what that indicated about my rather dark heart—it was as though I couldn’t even help myself when I blurted out that lie.
Jeremiah 17:9 says, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” At that moment, I had such a profound sense of knowing that Jesus had died for me to pay for my sins. Romans 4:25 says, “He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.” I remember sitting on my bed as a nine year old, brokenhearted, and praying to God— the first time I ever remember actually praying in a sincere kind of way. A heart change took place, and Jesus gave me the faith to believe that He had forgiven me.
Ever since then, my walk with Jesus has been a journey of ups and downs, learning, growing, failing, questioning, and always coming back to the truth of God’s word. I’m convinced now more than ever that Jesus is the truth. After all, no one else has ever said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” It’s an astounding claim, and unique among all religions and philosophies throughout history.
So that’s my story. I’m just curious, have you ever had an experience like that, where you’ve understood your sin and asked God to change your heart because of what Jesus has done for you? What has your spiritual journey been like?
"You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time." --Abraham Lincoln
Hiking, kayaking, card games
Best advice I ever received
"If you never take your first drink, you'll never have to worry about becoming an alcoholic."--my Mom
My undergrad alma mater
Southwest Baptist University
My worst subject in school
If I weren't a professor, I would
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