I grew up in a Christian home, attending Christian school for the large majority of my life, and maintained a typical Christian upbringing in nearly every capacity you would expect. Yet, I did not discover God until I was 30 years old. And it radically altered the way that I understand what it truly means to be a Christ-follower. Everything I have gained in my relationship with God since then has been a result of what was unknowingly missing in my life: Jesus.
Of course I knew of Jesus, of his miraculous birth, and of the saving power behind his death and resurrection. But I didn't know HIM.
Here's hoping for some audience participation... Raise your hand if you can relate to these statements: raised in a traditional evangelical Christian home where rule-following and legalism were emphasized; fully believed that the foundation of good Christian faith was good Christian living (e.g. make the right choices, and your soul is as good as saved); sense of self was firmly secured in a carefully-curated sphere (aka bubble) of Christian living.
While righteous living and witness are certainly important for us as Christians, they are not our primary call. Because, as I discovered, they rely solely on our own efforts and control and nothing on the sovereignty, authority, and life-giving grace of the God who calls us by name. When Jesus Christ took hold of my heart at the age of 30 and I was freed to see where my identity was NOT, it revealed to me where my identity OUGHT to be: Firmly rooted in the Creator of the universe who holds my life in His hands.
So, I began my journey to God. Again. Only this time, by the gentle leading of the Holy Spirit, I was starting from empty and waiting to be filled.
God has been truly gracious and wonderfully sweet to me along the way, teaching me more every day that I know Him. Because to know Him is to seek Him; to know His heart is to ask for Him to reveal it to you. And to understand His plans for me is to step boldly before Him, yielding to His response, knowing without a doubt that He loves me greatly and without end.
To say every step along the way has been easy would be a lie. (John 16:33 gives us a big hint on "easy" Christian living.) But each step has been worth it, because each step leads me closer to Him. Which direction are your feet taking you?
Friends describe me
(I asked my students! Quite a risky exercise...) Beloved, mother, teacher, organizer, intentional, prayerful, tenacious, thoughtful, compassionate, passionate, kind, fruitful, tender, learner, humble, leader
discovering new hiking trails, backpacking, tagging along with my 2 kids on their adventures, puzzles with the family, slowly chiseling books off of my Audible Wish List, creating theology materials for children
Fantasy dinner guests
Abraham Lincoln, Sally Clarkson, C.S. Lewis, Paw Patrol characters (my son's pick)
Best advice I ever received
Make scripture memorization a priority for you and your family
My undergrad alma mater
Northwest Nazarene University
My worst subject in school
If I weren't a professor, I would
love to teach high school theology
too many to list...ask me and we'll share our lists!
home-brewed black with my chosen creamer
My latest accomplishment
yielding to God as he healed (continues to heal) me from gripping anxiety
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