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Day 24 - Have You Ever Heard Lisa's Story?

It's getting tougher and tougher to top yesterday's story. :) So how about a story from the past about Lisa. It's interesting connecting with old friends online to see where they are at in life and what has happened to them. Some of you knew Lisa from her younger years and some of you didn't. But here is the short story of what happened to her almost 20 years ago...

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.... (ooops wrong story). ;)

As a child I went to church nearly every week since my birth. This may sound very well, but it was merely a ritual that I performed. Jesus, God’s own Son was not a concept that was understood by me. I never really thought about Christ, my sin, and where I would end up eternally.

Growing up as a child I enjoyed playing, swimming, and all the things that normal children enjoy. In others eyes I would have been considered a good kid. Then I entered into my teenage years and landed head first into many problems. I looked for contentment in having nice clothes, boyfriends, and working towards a successful career. In the process of chasing after my dreams my school work lacked. When troubles arose during those years, I chose the route of bitterness. My goal was to show everyone that I could make it by myself and show them that I didn’t need anybody.

After graduating from high school, I attended college to follow after my dreams. During my first year of college I had a number of things that entered into my life that were hard for me to deal with. I moved out of my parents home taking on my own needs, which was scary to me. My grandfather, who was one of the most significant people in my life was diagnosed with cancer, passed away. The death of my grandfather was one of the most devastating things that happened to me up to that point in my life. He was everything to me, and stood by me, and believed in me. I was losing the strength that I thought I had. That summer was one of many challenges.

In the fall, after my grandfather had died, my boyfriend (John, the crazy guy I'm married to now :) ) asked me to go to a Bible study. I was totally opposed to the idea. He was transforming before my eyes. He longed to be a church and around others who loved this “Jesus” they all talked about. My relationship with my long time boyfriend was deteriorating before me. He was insisting that I attend this Bible study, only because of his pressure did I attend the study. I had no desire to listen to what was being taught. After attending the study for about two months, I started to listen and was convicted by the Word that was being taught.

In October of 1991, I met the Master, Jesus Christ who died that I might not live to myself any longer, but to Him. I realized that I was a sinner, Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”, that meant me. I saw that I needed Him to help me carry out my life. I had run out of strength and hope and knew I had been following the wrong path for quite some time. Isaiah 53:6 sums up my life to that point, “All we like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way...”. I placed my trust in His sacrifice that He gave when He died on the cross for my sins that I might not be punished for all the things that I had done. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

My life is no longer mine, but His. He took my old self which was filled with hostility, anger, unforgiveness, pride, and bitterness and removed it. He replaced it with peace, love, forgiveness, and humility. I am no longer a slave to my sin, I have been freed by the blood of Christ, as Romans 6:7 “for he who has died is freed from sin.” Virtually nothing has been the same. I am able to forgive others with the same love I’ve been forgiven. My goals are not mine any longer, I want what He wants for my life. My life is not self-centered now, but Christ centered. Second Corinthians 5:15 “And he died for all , that they who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.” My desires do not direct the sail on my ship, but His word directs my path. I am not independent, but dependent on Him who died for me. I am eternally indebted to serve my Savior and Master, I am His bond-servant.

I would lie if I said that I never sin and am perfect, I am not. I still sin against Him, but praise the Lord He has given me the power to overcome my sins. He is teaching me that He is all I need. He is my El-Shaddai, my all sufficient one. He wraps His loving arms around me when no else can or would want to. He is my Jahweh, the Great I AM, He is the God who is not dependent upon me or anyone else, He is. He is my Jehovah-Jihreh, He provides me with everything I need. As the hymn so eloquently rings “And I met the Master, He touched me and made me whole”, Jesus Christ has made me completely whole. Praise be to God the only One who can truly change anyone. The One who truly changed a sinner like me.

God has carried me through difficult times since I have come to know Him. He’s been there through financial struggles, rejection, the birth of my daughter born with Down Syndrome, and everything else I have encountered. He’s so good to me.

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