But as the end of my twenties approached things began to feel different. Some struggles came to the surface and I think a lot of people around me saw me draw inward. Being 30 doesn't bother me at all, I look forward to this next phase in my life, but something is stirring inside me and I think this is the year it's being revealed.
My wonderful husband purchased a couple books as an early gift to me, one of them being "Complete Book of Women's Running" and the other "Gardening Eden". This is the first year I've grown a variety of vegetables at our home and it's proving to be more difficult than I expected. A few critters have been found stealing cucumbers, bugs obliterated my beans, and the wind has knocked down a few corn stalks, but through it all I'm learning. This book, "Gardening Eden", talks about our primary job handed first to Adam which was creation care; the care for the animals and planet that we seem to have tossed aside due to lack of knowledge or thinking it's unimportant. The book will challenge you to view everything the way God first saw it, as good and worthy of care.
As I got into the first chapter a paragraph leaped out at me:
" But in adolescense, I became one more teenager adrift, with little motivation and a taste for trouble. Fortunately, my path made a slight detour to the mountains. It's only fitting that I first felt drawn to God at a summer high school camp in the crisp thin air of the Sierra Nevada. For the first time in my life, I heard that I didn't have to struggle alone with problems in my life."
The story of how he accepted Christ is exactly the same as mine, even down to the location. I don't know if it's the same camp as the one as I was at, but it was a Christian summer camp in the Sierra Nevada hills where I felt the prescense of God like no other time in my life. I was 13 and for various reason I was standing at the line of suicide or some other extreme. I felt like my life was never going to get better and I that I had no choices left. I had been going to church since the age of 5, long enough to be praying for God to take my life rather than end it myself. But during this week I heard that there was a different option, give my life to Jesus and he would take care of all the bad that I could no longer bear. I vowed to go home and try hard to be the girl God wanted me to be.
It wasn't exactly picture perfect, I still had problems I had to face up to. I still had to deal with my bad additude and the drive to fill a void of love. I didn't know how to loosen the grip of my pain and let Jesus take over. But at the age of 25 as I was back in a place wondering what my purpose was in life and wishing God had never made me in the first place He woke me up. He showed me how precious my life was to him when I nearly lost it in childbirth, he gave me eyes to see that with Him I could undo the dameage I had done to my body through over-eating and holding onto the hurt. I took his hand that day and I never looked back.
The other morning I came across Psalm 116 in my devotionals and it perfectly describes my heart for God and my love for Him. As my son said the other morning, "You're going to be 30?! Wouldn't it be cook if you lived to be 100?" Lord willing, yes. :)
Psalm 116 NIV
1 I love the Lord , for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live.
3 The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me;
I was ovecome by trouble and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
"O Lord, save me!"
5 The Lord is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
6 The Lord protects the simplehearted;
when I was in great need he saved me.
7 Be at rest once more, O my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.
8 For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.
10 I believed; therefore I said,
"I am greatly afflicted."
11 And in my dismay I said,
"All men are liars."
12 How can I repay the Lord
for all his goodness to me?
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the prescense of all his people...
This is my answer for where I'm supposed to go next. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord and I will keep running for him. Running may not mean actually running right now, but it may just be running to wherever he needs me when he asks. Having that quickness to respond to his call.
Thank you Lord for another year where I can see the purpose and value of my life. Help me to show others their purpose and value in this world. Above all help me to show them how great and deep and wide your love truly is for them. Amen.