I've had an interesting perspective of the church growing up. I am a second generation "PK" Pastors Kid! I grew up in a church where my grandpa was the pastor and my dad was the youth pastor, and eventually my dad would become a senior pastor.
Many Sunday nights I was the kid who fell asleep underneath the pew. One particular Sunday night the woman who was watching me during service while my dad preached and my mom led worship had to leave early and notified my parents. Who knows what happened but I woke up in a large, dark, empty sanctuary ALL ALONE! My parents didn't go too far until they realized they had left me, but the trauma remained.
I have seen many sides of the church: revival meetings, weddings, funerals, outreaches, late-night counseling, camps, VBS, weekend activities, people sleeping all over my parents’ living room, and now my living room; I know firsthand that the church is a complicated and beautiful thing!
Jesus established the church during His time here on earth. "On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not stand against it" Matthew 16:18
As a kid raised in church, it was easy to get used to the routine. Sunday morning, Sunday night, Wednesday night youth, and eventually I realized I was living on my parents’ faith. I was learning about Christ without the experience or revelation of Him for myself.
I came to a place within myself around my junior year of high school, where I had felt God drawing me and I knew in my heart He had a purpose for me to fulfill.
I began to seek God for myself, reading my Bible and finding out what I truly believed. You've heard it said "God has no grandchildren" which means we cannot make it to heaven on our parents’ salvation; God gives us the free will to either choose or reject Him.
I knew that God was calling me into full-time ministry, and at 17 I didn't know how it was all going to fall into place, but a time of surrender came, when I surrendered my will and my plans in exchange for the plans He had for me.
Not long after this drawing and choice to serve God for myself, I was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma. My spleen was three times its normal size, and the cancer already spread to my liver. I had lost a lot of weight and my appearance was evidence that something was wrong. As we continued to seek medical treatment I noticed my eye sight was being affected, and found out from a specialist a parasite had eaten away at the retinas in both my eyes, and had caused irreparable damage leaving me completely blind in one eye. As a teen this news was devastating.
I graduated from high school and one week later went in for an exploratory surgery and removal of my spleen. After surgery the surgeons came to my parents and said they could not find ANY trace of cancer in my body, but they did remove the spleen to do further testing.
Ten days later those same surgeons came back scratching their heads, not knowing what to make of the situation, because one month previous I had a biopsy of the spleen showing cancer cells. I can't tell you at that moment that I understood the gravity of the miracle God had performed, but as a woman now with kids of my own, I am forever thankful for God's mercy!
From the day I fully surrendered my life to Christ, until today, I have continued to build upon the foundation of my personal relationship with Him.
My life has had more mountains than valleys but my commitment and trust in Him has never been shaken.
I have decided to follow Jesus, no turning back, no turning back!