Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Jesus Proof

I am a wife, mom, daughter, grand-daughter, niece, aunt, sister, and friend.
I love to read Gone With The Wind once a year.
I love to dance and I own up to the fact that I don't do it well.
I could eat only Mexican food for the rest of my life.
I love all things in this world best when they come in written form. Novels, love letters, anything having to do with pen and paper, computer and keyboard.

But those are just bits and pieces of me. If you ask me who I am, I will answer every time:
I am a follower of Christ.

And I can sum up my reasoning and prove to you that He's real, too. With just one simple scripture. You don't have to believe the Bible is true to try this out. You've got nothing to lose by exploring this one scripture and seeing if it applies to you.

In the New Testament of the Bible, you'll find the book of Philippians. What you're looking for is chapter 4 and verse 7. It goes like this:

"And the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Peace is a rare commodity today. But I've been in heart-wrenching, despairing situations and I've applied this verse and I've found pure, inexplicable peace even in the midst of my world falling apart.

The reason I believe in Jesus is because He's brought me this amazing peace that really does surpass my understanding.

The first time I experienced this strange, inexplicable peace was when I was 18. My parents separated, my grandfather passed away from cancer, and my best friend of more than a decade, well, ceased to be my best friend anymore. I fell into a deep depression. Until I picked up the Bible and read. It didn't matter what I read. Maybe Proverbs, maybe the statistical book of Numbers, anything I read from the Bible would bring me peace. My circumstances hadn't changed. My life was still lonely and I still didn't have any answers. But, I did have miraculous peace. Deep down in my heart. Can't-understand-it-but-surely-can't-deny-it peace.

The second time I put the words of the Bible to the test was in April 2010 when I found a tumor in my left breast. It was very large. It had spread to my lymph nodes. It would require chemotherapy, radiation, and a mandatory and immediate mastectomy.

I had a three-year-old and a one-year-old. As a 28-year-old Stay at Home Mom, I had minimal life insurance and I was at the epicenter of my little boys' lives. I was their whole world. What would happen to them if I died?

These are issues and questions that popped up many times in 2010 and still pop up in weak moments today. And every time, every stinkin' time, that I come to God and plead with Him to show me the truth of His word and the power of His love, He does.

I ask Him, "God, bring me peace, despite these circumstances." And He does. Ours is a broken world of heart-ache, divorce, family estrangements, political uprisings, and heck, even toddler temper tantrums! In this world, those of us who choose to believe can find peace and joy despite our surroundings.

I've got proof.
I've got no doubt that it will work for you, too.

The last two words of that awesome scripture are key, "Christ Jesus."

I don't follow Him blindly. It's my assurance that He's the real thing that allows me to follow Him with abandon.
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Sunday, July 29, 2012

My Husband Who Loves My Heart

Terry has been the best part of my life since January 2001. I've never doubted God's involvement in our relationship. His hand is evident throughout our time together. We weren't always faithful to God when it came to having a marriage or relationship that glorified Him. But we have always strived to, at least, show Him gratitude for our love story, even when we haven't always shown Him perfect obedience.

Our song is, "Feels Like Home." Because from very early on in our relationship there was a comfort that suited us both. We felt like we'd found our home and it's always been a peaceful place. One of the first things I tell people about why I love my husband so much is that he loves my heart. From the first day of our relationship, I wasn't self conscious being around him without makeup. In fact, his love and attention led me to adopt a t-shirt and jeans wardrobe throughout college. He never cared how I looked.  He just cared about me.

And now, having gone through a disfiguring disease like breast cancer and operation after operation, I can see how those early days might have been God laying the groundwork for things to come. If I didn't have complete faith that my husband wasn't judgmental about my appearance, I wouldn't have been able to be as unaffected after my mastectomies or when I was bald. Oh, how my world might have crumbled even more if I'd felt negativity from Terry during that time. And even now, as I sit all wrapped up and bandaged from yet another reconstructive operation, I don't doubt that he won't be there to change the gauze or wash my hair when I can't lift my arms.

This husband of mine, he's authentic. Genuine. Doesn't know how to fake it.

It is my greatest hope for my sons, after accepting salvation through Christ, that they'll someday be this kind of husband to two very lucky women.

And it's my prayer for this next generation of women, my nieces and the daughter's of my friends, that they live in a world where fashion and fitness are only hobbies and not seen as requirements for success or love. It's my prayer that Christians can bypass the beauty standards of the world and leave the vanity behind.  
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