This post may be a little long, but I wanted to share my heart of where I came from to who I am now! God is good and deserves all the credit! Still a work in progress! 🙂
When I was 7 years old, my mother was diagnosed with CJD, a brain disease that kills off every function of the brain.
My two older sisters and Dad knew that it was a little more serious than I did at the time. I just remember going to my grandparents house each weekend while my Dad spent his weekends when he wasn’t working and raising us, at the Cleveland Hospital in Ohio. I knew something was wrong when she forgot who I was and asked for me. My Dad called me into the kitchen and she said “No that isn’t Erin where is she?” My cousin was over at the time we were playing chess. She asked what was going on and I just brushed it off hiding my confusion and embarrassment. I had no clue what was going on or why she could forget who I was.
Things progressed and as she grew more ill, hospice came to our house which saved my dad from going to Cleveland every weekend. It was not until she stopped being able to walk, eat, breathe, talk etc that I realized my Mom was not going to be the same. One night at church my Dad pulled my sisters and myself into the Pastor’s office and they told us our Mom was dying.
I loved my Mom so much she was my idol. I guess since I was the baby of the family, she always gave me attention. My favorite memory of her was when I would get off the school bus. We lived on a dead-end street, so she would wait at the end of the street by our house and I would run all the way down the street to her. I would jump in her arms and she would swing me around. I have no remembrance of what she would say to me, but I just remember how much I loved that.
One day my Dad brought home a book called “Someday Heaven”. I took it to my room and began to read how we can know for sure where we will go when we die. I knew my Mom was about to die so I was curious to see where she was going. I didn’t know at the time what her testimony was until later on in my life, I just figured going to church and being good was going to get me to heaven. But I read how because of Adam and Eve’s choice to disobey God, sin entered the world. (Genesis 3) It was because of this that we all are born into sin and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23- For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God.)
This sin separates us from the most Holy God that He cannot have fellowship with us but must punish this sin. (Romans 6:23- for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is everlasting life.) The good news is that Jesus Christ (God’s own Son) was sent to earth to be born of a virgin and live a perfect life. He died on the cross for our sin payment and on the third day rose again. He now is in Heaven reigning with God. (John 3:16- For God so loved the world, that He gave His One and only Son. That whosoever shall believe in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.)
Basically it said if I confessed my sin and my need for a Savior, then by faith I can believe that what Jesus did on the cross for my sin is my payment for my sins and I could be saved from Hell. That easy! It is nothing I can do on my own because if it were something I had to do, then Salvation wouldn’t be about Jesus but about me. (Ephesians 2:8- For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.)
I asked Jesus into my heart and confessed my sin to Him. I don’t remember the exact day, but I do remember it was right before my mother passed away in November of 1994. She was only 42 years old.
My Dad remarried in 1995 and it was a rough transition on everyone. The hurt and pain I had later came out in the way I treated my family. I was never happy when I was home because something inside me was not allowing me to be happy. I had a permanent frown on my face, but the moment I walked into school or work I was a different person.
I remember countless times my Dad would say “Can you just smile? You look like you ate a lemon.” And I would think to myself, “You have no idea how much I want to be happy but I can’t.” I was depressed, had suicidal thoughts, and had no confidence in myself. The problem was that I had no idea how much love Jesus had for me and how my actions needed to be anchored in Him not in my circumstances or in my feelings.
I went to Pensacola Florida for college. It was there that I met my amazing husband, Rob. And it was also there that God started working on my heart again. I started getting rid of the pain and hurt I bottled up against my family and our relationships starting getting a little better. It wasn’t until I moved to Virginia and was married in 2008 that things starting getting better.
I’m not sure where along the way that my relationship with God became boring or just was living in the motions of being a “Christian”. Last November I was going through a study on the life of Moses and God asked me, “Erin, when I did I stop being enough for you?” I broke down in tears. I had been trying to find “myself” in proving things to myself. I never finished college and thought a “career” was what would define me. I tried convincing myself that I was in the right for my actions and pursuits in life, but God knew otherwise. I was trying to find meaning in what the world had to offer to make me feel like “somebody”. It was through this study I found out who I am in Christ and in Him is my meaning.
He saw me struggle with sins and it wasn’t until He revealed to me that the sin wasn’t the issue. It was a heart issue. You see sin is just a side effect of a wicked heart. I learned my issue was anger and pride. I finally gave that to the Lord and I tell you what, it’s like a burden has been lifted. My devotional times now are so rich and meaningful! I love reading His word because that’s how I am getting to know the one who died for me so long ago! My goals, purposes, plans etc are not my own anymore, but what HE desires for me. It is a humbling thing when He turns your life around but it also can be exhilarating too!
My goal for these blogs is to encourage and inspire you to either:
1. Make a decision to accept Jesus into your life. Believing in Who He is and what He did on the cross for your sin, and accept that as your payment for your sin! Once you do that you are now a believer in Christ and He lives inside your heart! You also become a child of God! (John 6:47- Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.) (John 1:12- But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.)
2. If you are saved and have wandered away or God isn’t as thrilling, my question to you then is the same God gave me, “When did I stop being enough for you?” God wants to be your best friend and your confident. He wants to do life with you and bless you by using you for His glory not your own. He wants to take away your burdens that He never wanted you to carry in the first place. (Matthew 11:28- Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.) God isn’t in heaven waiting for you to screw up and throw it in your face. He is compassionate, loving and wants you to make things right with Him. The restored relationship is an amazing relief!
I hope and pray that Jesus will use this post for his Glory and for His work!
If you want to comment on here please do! I’d love to hear from you!