I grew up knowing who God was, and having a relationship with God at a young age, in prayer and that sort of thing. I probably didn’t have a true personal relationship with God, hadn’t given my life and my heart to God until I was 14 years old. And I can still remember when I did that, when I just gave my life to God. And yeah, that kind of reminds me now a little bit about another part of my journey when I say that. But anyhow, so I always had a relationship with God, my family went through a trying time when I was a teenager and just had a really hard thing that happened in our family, and I got a lot closer to God through that, and truly felt his presence in my life during that time.
And I think that that time just made me feel how real God is, and just to really feel his presence. And then when I had kids of my own, well maybe even before then, probably, about the time I probably had a little baby, and you start raising your child. And then I started to question a little bit, what if I were born and my parents didn’t raise me in the church? What if my parents were of a different religion? And so I started questioning that a little bit, like, “Well, am I just a Christian because my parents were Christians?” And so I went through a little bit of a journey in my own heart, I didn’t verbalize any of this to anybody, but it was just in my own heart, where I thought, I better really know what I’m teaching my kid is.
I think, when I had a child of my own, I thought, this is a big responsibility and do I just have faith just because my parents had faith? So I got more in the Bible and learned more about the Bible, and about how we can prove that the Bible is true, all the archeological finds and that sort of thing. And I thought, no, this is real. And the God that I’m sensing is real, and the faith that I have is real. And then of course I have passed that on to my kids and I hope that they maybe someday will question their journey too. And it’s okay to question, because that’s kind of how you know who you are and who God is, is maybe through that questioning, and that’s okay.
But when I was talking earlier about giving my life to Christ. So it was probably just prior to my cancer diagnosis, and I’m talking weeks, probably, where I just felt like something was missing, but I didn’t really know what it was, and I felt like I was supposed to go on some path, but I didn’t know where God wanted me to go. And I was just at a loss, and I was on my drive home and I had a heart to heart conversation with God, and I just said, “I am yours, and my life is yours and I don’t know what you want me to do with my life.” Because I just felt like I was kind of stagnant, and said, “I don’t know what you want from me, but whatever you want, I will do, and whatever you want, use me for.” And I said, “My life is your life.”
And I don’t think I’ve ever had surrender like that before. And and I didn’t know what that meant, or what was going to come of that, but it was just like I surrendered my life to God. No matter what it is, if you want me to go back to school, if you want me to get a different job, or whatever it is, I’m yours. I surrendered everything to God, said that I’m yours, use me in whatever way you want to use me. And shortly after that I was diagnosed with cancer. And I think for me it was actually really comforting to know that I had said that prayer, because I just felt like God was with me. I don’t think I ever questioned, “Why me?”, or anything like that. I just knew that no matter what, I was going through it… In my heart, I felt like I was going through it for a reason, and I almost felt like there was maybe purpose in it.
I know that God can bring good from bad things for those that believe in him, and my faith was firmly rooted in him, and I felt like, no matter what the outcome of this, I felt like there’s possibly something good that was going to come out of it. And for me that helped me to get through it, I think, with a lot more grace, just knowing that God was there with me. To me it’s just so common sense that there is a God. There’s this whole world, we’re made up of all these tiny little cells, and who do you think created this? To me, I know that there’s a God just through that alone. And then if you want to get to know God, you can just reach out in prayer and just say, “You know, God, I want to know you, and come into my life, and be a part of my life and show me who you are. Show me you’re real, and show me the path you want me to be on.” And God will lead you to the right people that you need to be with. Or He will lead you to the right church you need to go to, and yeah, just a personal invitation into your heart.
For me, it’s maybe different than it is for some people. Of course, yes, I hope for this cancer to be cured, but I also put a lot of hope in Christ, because I know no matter what the outcome of this, my hope is in Christ, and I know that ultimately he’s in control of everything, and ultimately he’s going to take care of everything. And that just gives me overwhelming peace, to know that, yes, I’m going to do my part, I’m going to do everything I possibly can, but ultimately God is in control of everything, and he’s going to take care of everything. Yes, I’m going to do my part, but he’s going to be the one that has the final answer in at all.