It has been 14 years since I have become a born-again Christian. I attended a conference where Adolph Coors III, the owner of Coors Brewing Company was a key note speaker. Mr. Coors shared his Christian testimony with the crowd of college students and I found myself in a pool of my tears. I was ready to submit my life to Christ. I was ready to give up my own will, my own life and all it's loneliness and frustrations over to God. I wasn't sure how to do that. But, I was ready. All I wanted to do was cry; ball my eyes out, call out to God in prayer.
Prior to that evening, I was the party girl in a party sorority. I was carefree and a daily risk taker, binge drinker, pill popper and pot smoker. The only reason I agreed to attend the Christian conference was because I thought there would be nice boys there and a friend of mine was having a keg party following the first night of the conference. I attended the key note presentation because, after all, he was the owner of a beer company, maybe he might have some tasting samples to share! Little did I know that God was wooing me all along.
The morning after I cried out to God to take me and my brokenness, I was changed. I spoke with my mother who became a born again Christian several years prior to this time and she claimed that my voice sounded different over the phone. Returning to the sorority house, I was no longer the one planning the ladies party night on a Monday evening, I was busy searching God, studying the Bible. I had a hunger for the Lord that I was filling with boys, toys, booze and drugs. Now, without the distractions of those empty fillings, I was able to concentrate and fill my empty heart with God's word.
About a month or so passed from that evening of submitting my soul to my creator and although I had no desire to hold on to the crutches of my past lifestyle, I still was struggling with accepting the truth of the tangible man of Jesus Christ. I was not able to accept the historical account of this person, or the story of the cross and how the resurrection impacted me personally.
Finding myself at a Christian camp in upper peninsula Michigan, I was asking another new Christian if she actually believed in Jesus and the story of the cross. She responded with a curt "Why of course, don't you?"
When I replied with a quivering struggle from my heart through my voice spoken with full throttle honesty, "No, I want to believe in Jesus, but I just don't understand it."
She was quick to tell me that I was not a Christian.
Devastated, I ran away, through the woods on this cool morning in this Christian camp grounds. I was running away from the confusion, the pain. I was suicidal on this day. I felt a sense of rejection that was so deep that I thought I couldn't go on. All I could see was me as a big fat failure, both in my own life and then as being a new Christian. I felt hopeless. I found a large stone along the shoreline of a lake, away from the 'good Christian believers.' While sitting on that stone, I cried my broken heart out to God. I asked for guidance.
As I searched His voice, I was distracted by baby birds tweeting nearby in a tree. The chirps of these birds were musical and then, I heard the splish splashing near my feet. As I looked around, I was enamored by the truth God was speaking to me as these baby birds tried to fly and kept dipping in the lake shore. They were so happy and excited and yet they must have been frustrated as they were learning to fly.
With every attempt to fly, they would fail and fall into the water. As they would skip, flap and flutter around, I felt like a Disney princess in their midst as they were encircling me. Entranced in that moment, a large wing-spanned bird, royally flew in from the north. With a sense of prestige, as if I needed to salute as the Air Force One was soaring in for a landing right in my own back yard, this large slender bird arrived, poised on top of a large stone in the center of the lake.
God spoke to me that moment at Cedar Campus. He was telling me that I was just a baby bird, learning to fly, learning to live as a new lil birdie. And someday, I would be a graceful bird gliding in from the north able to perch proudly in the center of the waters. Someday, but not today. Today, it was ok that I didn't understand the eternal truth of God and His rescue plan for me. God had taken my desires of alcohol and drugs and given me a desire to know Him more. If He was able to do that, He was able to raise a man from the dead.
This moment of truth flashed within my soul and has taken root for the past 14 years. However, I have admittedly been so distracted in my journey ever since then. I am thankful that God is faithful and patient with me even when I though I have been greatly distracted with the day to day details that stem from my parenthood, marriage, career path, friendships, church and the health of my family members and me.
This past month, I got involved in a Bible study at my church. It is a Beth Moore study called, Stepping Up: The Psalms of Ascent. These past couple of weeks I have been experiencing a renewal within my soul. I am excited to report and write about some new ways that God has been speaking with me through this study. More to come on this!