So I haven't blogged in a really long time and I need to just talk about all the marvelous things God has been doing in my life...
All throughout high school I wanted to graduate so I didn't have to see those people EVER again. It wasn't until my senior year that God truly gripped my heart so tight that made me have compassion for those I see everyday and try to make a positive impact on their life. I felt that my mission to spread the gospel in such a dark environment was such a hard task but I was ready to do whatever I had to do...until that meant I would be losing friendships. I love people...I love just being able to sit there and talk for hours about absolutely nothing. People are my passion and so when I'm able to be in their company and chat, it's awesome. When I started to see a difference in the way people were treating me because they knew I would eventually strike up a conversation about what Christ has done in my life, the people slowly started to fade away and I didn't like that. Sadly, the fix this selfish problem, I started to retreat back to my way of fixing things by trying to be the "cool" kid. I want for people to like me and not "shun" me when I walk in a room so for them to like me, I stopped talking about Christ and spreading the gospel! HOW AWFUL OF ME! At the time, things were great because I was able to make more friendships and spend the last couple weeks of high school just hanging out and laughing with "friends". Looking back, oh my goodness...I feel so stupid for letting Satan just win me over like that!!! I wasn't strong enough to turn from my own selfish and sinful desires...this is so frustrating!!! Sin is ugly..I can't stand it...I wish we all didn't sin but we do...thankfully we have a gracious, merciful, and loving Savior who will accept my repentance and wash me white as snow.
This truly didn't smack me in the face until the middle of this week...a good friend of mine received a Bible as a graduation present. (To give a little background of our friendship:
I met him freshman year and he was just this crazy fool who wanted to make new friends and I was a crazy kid who thought he was funny so I wanted to be friends. All throughout high school he always talked about how he never really believed there was a God and so we had many, and i mean MANY, conversations about life and how we came about, the word and how it is God-breathed, and so many other things...but he never quite understood or even wanted to understand. I would consider this guy my best friend...he was always the only one throughout all four years who I could count on to never let me down or judge me. I would always tell him I was praying for him and would casually bring Christ up in conversations ever now and then. Well...in the beginning of our senior year, I told him I would really like for him to come to church with me some time. He said he would eventually when he got around to it, but he just didn't feel like that was where he needed to be. This guy felt that God didn't know him and wouldn't accept him for his awful past. That broke my heart so I told him all the time that Christians don't have perfect pasts and that they come from many different backgrounds and ones similar and a lot worse than his...but he never believed me.) Well, my friend texted me at the beginning of the week and said he had read a little of his bible. It kind of took me back and I was like whattt??? And he started to tell me about a few of the books and chapters he had read. My heart felt like it was doing flips. This was such exciting news. He then asked me if he could come to church with me some time soon. I told him that I would really like if he did and so I told him Sunday would be the best day for him to go. Well after that I gave him so bible verses to look over and some books to read through like Romans and such. Well he did...I had my graduation open house/party Saturday and invited him to come. When he showed up, a lot of my church members were already there so I made it a point to point him out and mention he would be at church the next day. We then were able to sit down and talk face to face about some of the things he was thinking and reading about. I had some answers but then told him that it wasn't right persay for me to be feeding him spiritually. I told him and my dad is a very Godly and knowledgeable man and that he loves to talk about the word and Christ so he should talk to my dad some time. My friend absolutely loves me dad and greatly respects him so this was a great opportunity. Well...they struck up a conversation and it just sort of led into talking about Christ and the things he has blessed us with and dad shared the gospel with him and his testimony. HOW AWESOME!!! I just want to point out that my dad is absolutely amazing and I love him so dearly. They had a pretty long conversation and at the end my friend texted me and told me that my dad had pretty much broke him and told him exactly what he needed to hear. I was never told what was said between them and didn't expect to, I was just super excited they had talked and my dad got through to him.
Today my friend came to church and you could tell he was struggling with some thoughts and he acted very differently than normal. After the service, he joined my mom, dad and me for lunch and we were able to just talk about where he was going to go in his life and other things. When we left he told me that he really appreciated all we have done for him and that he really enjoyed church. The sermon talked a lot about missions and it was funny because just Saturday night I was talking to him about the mission trips I'd love to take and what I want to do. My friend has just a big of heart for helping people that I do so this was neat for him to hear. He asked me about what mission people do. I told him at the very core of everything they do is Jesus Christ and sharing His gospel to all the ends of the earth. My friend didn't really understand what all ministry consisted of so we had a pretty good conversation about it and I clarified a few things I guess...But anyways..he told me he really enjoyed himself and he likes this change in his life and wants to start coming to church more often :) This is such exciting news and nobody but God deserves the glory for it! PRAISE BE TO HIM!!!!!
Well...as I'm sitting here, I'll have to admit, I'm crying. But it's not a sad cry. I am truly blessed beyond measure and I'm just now starting to realize it. When I got home from VBS tonight, my dad wanted to have a little chat on the porch. We ended up talking about the conversation he had with my friend. Like I said, I had no idea what they talked about so my dad was just telling me bits and pieces. He told me that my friend credits me and greatly respects me for never giving up on him. I saw his heart, not him for who he was. He said I never gave up on him by praying for him. This warms my heart...not because I did it, but because I can see God working on this guys heart and it's truly amazing because honestly I never saw it happening...but, our God is truly an awesome God and who am I to put limitations on Him!? My dad just talked to me about how proud he was of me and for the growth I have had spiritually in my life. This was such an encouragement.
I've truly been so blessed to have a such a God-fearing father, mother, and sisters. My mom is truly an amazing Christian woman who I hope one day I am able to be like. She wakes up at 4:15 throughout the week, fixes her coffee, and sits down to start her day in the word and in prayer. How humbling!!! I love my sleep so I always sleep in till the very last second so waking up early to read my bible would be a very big strain and this is horrible! My mother is so knowledgeable and I'll admit that I really did underestimate her...she has overcome so many things and I'm so proud to call her my mother!!! I just wish I could express to her how much she truly means to me and how much I look up to her.
But, it's late and I hate to cut this short but I really have to be getting to bed because I have to work in the morning. Please pray for my friend. God is tugging on his heart...he is just trying to decide if he wants to/how to respond.
Father, I want to thank you for the transformation you have made in my heart. Thank you for your word and what an encouraging and convicting book it is. It ismy prayer that you would be with my friend and continue to work in his life and if it be your will, use me in whatever way needed and that my father will be able to invest more in his life. God, I thank you for every circumstance and situation you have placed me in and allowed me to experience and grow from...