Hey everyone! Peeps just left and I’ve finally got my accent video done!
I don’t really have a lisp, so I don’t know what that was about. But now that I hear myself, I do kinda have a Southern accent. I blame Plainview. I sound like a hick every time I visit my family in Fort Worth.
Background: I am from Fort Worth, Texas, and my parents are from Missouri/North Carolina and Texas. I was raised in Texas all my life.
Edgar is from a small country town (Canadian, TX) barely on this side of the Texas line. His dad grew up in El Paso and his mom is from Oklahoma. He has also lived in Texas all his life.
Kris was born in Fort Worth, lived his first few years there, moved to Florida for a few years in grade school, then came back to
the Promised Land Texas. He has spent most his life since then in a small town just outside Houston. His parents are both Texans.
Justin’s dad is a pastor and he has traveled all over the country, including New Mexico and Oregon, and has family in Missouri. He doesn’t claim a state.
Aubrey has lived in California and Wyoming. She also doesn’t claim a state.
By the way, I looked it up and the other word for roly poly I was trying to think of was pill bug!
Kris says we should start a morning talk show.
30 Day Challenge
Day 4- My views on religion.
Well, I certainly don’t try to hide my faith.
I grew up in a Christian home. I’ve been going to Baptist churches all my life. When I was homeschooled I was a part of several different Christian homeschool groups. I graduated from a Baptist University and now work there.
But none of this makes me a Christian.
While I’ve believed in God for as long as I can remember, I didn’t make my faith my own until I was 14. I didn’t experience an actual relationship with God until 2003 when I participated in my first mission trip and saw God’s hand working so perfectly and obviously. I had spent the year prior in darkness as I struggled with interpersonal issues with a depressed/self-mutilating friend with whom I was toxically codependent. I boarded the bus numb to the world, but just a few days later found myself standing the middle of a dirty street in Mexico in awesome realization that God had always been there through all my struggles, and He was so much bigger than any burden I carried. I realized the incredible feeling of being small, and it was beautiful. His greater plan for me was so much better than anything I could dream up in my shortsighted, feeble mind.
I look back at my perspective of life the day I left for that trip. It was dark and gray. Just 8 days later, the days permanently switched to light. It’s been almost eight years and even thought I’ve struggled with heartbreak and uncertainty, I have never felt as hopeless as I did before meeting God face to face on that mission trip.
I know it’s not typical for people to change overnight. But I’m living proof that it’s possible. Letting go of my plans and allowing God to move them was was set the entire rest of my life into motion. It was easily the most pivotal week of my entire life.
If I hadn’t gone on that mission trip, I wouldn’t be sitting here writing this blog post today.
On that trip, I met someone who would be my very best friend for the next three years. Through him I learned what it meant to know God, to delight in Him, to be in communion with Him, and to see others the way that God saw them. I learned what it meant to love, which is what God is all about. I learned what it meant to trust God, which is something I’ve always struggled with. I still do, but I do have a hope that I cling to:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
Jeremiah 29:11-14 (NIV)
That verse is the hope on which I have gripped for the past 8 years. That hope has led me to Wayland, to Edgar, to this job which has led me to get healthy, this confidence, the love and friendship I have in my life. I know peace because I’ve actively trusted God. I know hope because I’ve seen my life fall to ruin and be resurrected so much better than before, on every occasion. I know love because I’ve hurt and been hurt. I’ve opened up my flaws and accepted them in others. I’ve given up my own good and have others sacrifice for me.
God delivered me from more than my sin. He delivered me from more than an eternity of hell. He gave me my earthly life back in spades. He never promised me I wouldn’t struggle, but He promised that I would have a way through it. He never promised I would get everything I wanted, but He promised I would get everything I needed. Where there is darkness, there is now light. Where there was uncertainty, there is now trust. Where there was fear, there is now peace. Where there was dread, there is now hope. Where there was heartbreak, there is now fullness of heart. Where there was brokenness, there is now healing. Where there was selfishness, I now know, see, and experience love on every good and perfect level.
I didn’t get there by going to church, or by reading the Bible, or believing in a “higher power.” I got there because He who is so much bigger than me brought Himself down to my level so that He and I could see face to face. He took me in His arms and I opened my eyes for the first time. I saw His face and wept tears of joy. I gave Him all I had and He gave me riches, and I’ve done nothing to deserve it.
My religion is hardly about religion at all.
It’s about relationship.
It’s about love.
It’s about hope, peace, and faith.
It’s about forgiveness.
It’s seeing how small we are compared to how big He is.
Wanting what He wants and seeing as He sees.
Choosing to live in His world instead of the trivial one we’ve created for ourselves.
It’s about sacrifice. “He died for me, so I will live for Him.”
It’s about realizing how depraved we are, how we’ve spit in His face, but He still forgives us when we ask, loves us even when we don’t, and offers us a role in his magnificent plan if we choose. He doesn’t need us, but He wants us.
It’s about wanting, seeking, and loving Him back.
So, do I have a funny accent???