What was life like before you met Jesus?
I've always been someone who needs and craves stability, and there were times in my past when I lacked that stability. I also often times felt left out socially, because my friends seemed to grow up a lot faster than I did, joining cliques and becoming popular, so I often times felt left out. We went to church and I was in "CCD" in the Catholic church, but I didn't have a deep understanding of what I was hearing and exposed to. I always believed, but I didn't really understand much of it. My childhood was great and fun, but the situations that caused a lack of stability, and the fact that I didn't socially progress as quickly, left me feeling discontent for the real stability I needed, which I didn't quite have.
How did you meet Jesus?
I always felt I knew about Jesus to a certain extent, but not as much as I needed to. When we had kids, we were going to church frequently, and they participated in the youth programs and grew up knowing of Jesus. Greg and I had neighbors and friends who were also Christians, and we had a Bible study group. Greg is very knowledgeable about the Bible, and with my kids becoming closer to Jesus as well, I slowly started to feel the pull toward becoming closer to God, and slowly started to pay more attention to His calling. One way He has used to bring me closer is my oldest daughter, Emily, who is baptizing me. Emily has always been a rock... solid in her faith, strong emotionally, physically, stable, and unwavering. Emily and Greg have been very present in my walk of faith. I've frequently found myself in times of instability and feeling anxious about something, going to Emily and talking to her about it has given me calmness, contentedness, and stability. It should be the other way around, right? The daughter should go to the parent for that... but in this case, God gave me Emily, and the situation is often reversed! My youngest, Cassie, is also strong and convicted, a believer, and stable and faithful. God has given me my kids stability, love, and a connection to feel closer to Him. Deuteronomy 32:4 - "The Rock! His work is perfect. For all His ways are just: A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is he."
After being saved by Jesus, what is your life like now?
I now have the contentment and stability I craved. I am solid in my faith as I continue to learn. As I grow older, I have a calmness and appreciation for different, more meaningful things like spending quality time, slowing down, and paying attention to the things that really matter. 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 says “For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” I can let go of situations and things that don't necessarily matter, and pay more attention to the things and people that do matter, and I think that all surround a strong connection to Jesus and why we are really here, and knowing that I am His; it's a feeling of stability and contentedness that you cannot get any other way; it gives peace and joy!