I was raised in a Christian home and taught Christian principles from early childhood. At a very young age, I went through the motions of joining the church and baptism without completely understanding the decision and commitment I was supposedly making. Looking back, I feel that I was simply trying to please those around me rather than make a decision to follow Christ. I remember being a very selfish child who always wanted my way and lying frequently to friends in order to impress them. During a choir presentation at my church when I was a fifth grader, the Lord pressed upon my heart the realization that I was a sinner in desperate need of a Savior. It was at that point in my life that I spoke with my Children’s Minister and made the true decision to follow Jesus as Lord and Savior. I knew that I was a sinner who deserved death. I believe that Christ came as the Son of God and lived a perfect life in order to pay our penalty of death and offer us salvation. I chose then to accept that in my heart and follow Jesus as Lord and Savior. At that point, I had a full understanding of what Christ being my Savior meant, but over time, God showed me what Christ being my Lord meant. I learned to follow Him in decisions in life as well as the way I lead my life. It meant I was going to yield the control of my life to Christ and serving Him. I was baptized a few weeks after accepting Christ at my home church.
Discerning God’s Call on My Life
An ongoing story:
I felt a call into the ministry as an 8th grader. At the time, I felt a clear call to serve God vocationally but didn’t understand to what specific field. It took three summers of service in different areas for God to reveal His plan. As the time for college drew nearer, I was still unclear of where exactly God was leading me. He made clear in my heart that I was to attend MSU and major in elementary education. This made sense to me because I have a passionate drive and gift for working with children. At the end of my senior year of high school, God finally placed a specific call on my life–service as a missionary in Thailand. I didn’t know when or how, but committed to follow God wherever he led. At my college BSU, I was introduced to a summer missions program, applied, and was granted an opportunity which most Freshmen do not get–a placement at a children’s dorm in Thailand. God used that summer to grow and teach me so many things. One specific thing I knew coming out of that experience was that although God used that time to teach me, international missions was not my vocational call.
The next summer I was given the opportunity to serve as a children’s ministry intern at my home church. Over that summer through working mostly with preschool and some children, God began to confirm in my heart that this was part of the vocational plan He had for me. At the end of the summer, I shared with my church my commitment to follow God into vocational ministry.
The following year, literally at the last minute, I applied to serve as a counselor at a summer camp called Lake Forest Ranch in Macon, MS. This had been a childhood dream of mine. Amazingly, I was given a position to serve as a girl’s counselor for the summer. It was over that summer of service that God awakened my passion for counseling. People have always naturally felt comfortable talking with me and sharing their struggles with me. After the brief training we got, I realized how powerful counseling can be when you have the tools. Coming out of that summer, I knew God’s call for me–Children’s Ministry with emphasis in Counseling. My vision for what I would love to do one day is work within a church as a marriage and family counselor.
Based on this call, I attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary from 2008-2011 and obtained my Masters in Christian Education and a Masters in Marriage and Family Counseling. I currently work part-time as a Marriage and Family Counselor at a local, private Christian counseling center.
What is God doing now?
God has placed a new call on my life, mother. My first son was born February 11, 2011. I firmly believe the Lord intends for me to be home the majority of the time with Thomas, so that is what I am doing. Currently the Lord is teaching me what an awesome responsibility it is to mother a child. I’m learning to trust in Him and accept His grace where I fail daily in that job. I’m also learning to trust in the Lord with other things that are affected by our decision for me to stay home with Thomas, finances, insurance, and licensure for my career.
We recently chose a “family verse” that we want to be the heartbeat behind what we do in our home. “And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your hearth and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39
Whatever we do, we want to be sure it either expresses love for God or love for people.
I would love to hear YOUR salvation story or what God is doing in your life. Please LINK UP! Feel free to link to an older post! I just want to get to know you a bit!