the golden strand that runs through my life.
As a child I was drawn to the fascination and wonderment of God’s Word.
I remember reading the family Bible frequently. It was like golden treasure written just for me.
Every story was exciting!
As my parents prayed for me, the Holy Spirit was drawing me in closer to the Father. The Lord was preparing me for the days to come in my life’s journey.
During the unsettling years of junior high, I experienced bullying, both mental and physical. Being the recipient of bullying made me feel ugly and unacceptably different. I noticed others also being bullied, which clashed with the Golden Rule I’d learned from Sunday School, “treat others as you want to be treated.”
God used bullying to help me understand sin while also helping me understand in a fresh, new, meaningful way what the cross meant and why Jesus needed to die to pay for sin.
This understanding of sin brought me to recognize myself as a sinner in need of a Rescuer stronger than myself. I saw my own sin, and decided to follow Jesus.
My new relationship with Jesus changed my perspective on bullying because I no longer felt futile, sad, or ugly; my identity had changed. I knew that no matter what, no one and no thing could steal my joy any longer.
Jesus became my anchor during these years,
preparing me for all of life that lay ahead.
Relationships have always been, and continue to be, extremely important to me.
I wanted to be perfect in relationships, because Jesus was perfect.
His example was the very fullness of love itself;
I never wanted to displease Him.
I wanted to always give my very best to my husband and children.
But, more often than not, I found myself running on my own steam and failing miserably in my endeavors to “do right” and “please everyone” in these relationships I so highly valued.
Many times, my feelings of failure found me buried in sadness and feeling futile, always striving for that perfect, happy equilibrium in relationships.
But the Lord pulled me back every time.
It was the Lord who carried me through the fire of bullying.
It was the Lord who carried me through the ups and downs of marriage.
It was the Lord who carried me through failing the “perfect mom image” I so wanted to be.
It was the Lord who carried me through the heavy times of feeling I hadn’t measured up to a “perfect pastor’s wife” by others’ standards.
It was always the Lord carrying Me.
I’ve lived 60 years of life, and it is all because of my anchor in the solid rock of Jesus Christ that I can stand and serve.
I am His and He is mine.
He’s still carrying me.
The Lord brings me joy, perfect joy.
He sustains me with peace, peace beyond understanding, as I await all the tomorrows that have yet to be unfolded.
For today, and each tomorrow, I can live in His presence
unashamed, free, and forgiven
because of His faithful love, grace, and mercy!