Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Marking the Remarkable: the prequel

So the Israelites did as Joshua commanded them. They took twelve stones from the middle of the Jordan, according to the number of the tribes of the Israelites, as the Lord had told Joshua; and they carried them over with them to their camp, where they put them down. Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.  Joshua 4:8-9
{This is a prequel post to my first "Marking the Remarkable" post...this one has taken me a long time to think through and find time to write.}
Whenever I am somewhere and see where people have stacked up stones, I am always reminded of this passage in Joshua 4.  This photo was out in Yosemite National Park along a hike up to Vernal Falls.  The little stone stacks made me smile...someone's been there and they've marked their place in history.
We were challenged one recent Sunday morning by our pastor to mark the remarkable moments in our lives in one way or another...so we can go back and see and remember the goodness of God and so those after us can come to learn about His faithfulness in our lives and believe in it for their own.
If I don't tell my story, who will?
Often the praise song from my college days at Taylor rings through my head when thinking about this...
"Ain't no rock gonna cry in my place...As long as I'm alive I'll glorify His Holy Name..." 
This song comes from what Jesus said of His disciples to the pharisees in Luke 19:40...
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”
My spiritual growth story...
Born to John and Hazel Wilson on May 31, 1972...watch out world, here I come!
Grew up being a shy girl, embarrassed easily...was afraid of a lot of things.
My mom took us to Sunday School at a church not too far from our house and I remember really enjoying and loving my teachers.  They always had great crafts and helped me learn alot of Bible stories.
In the summertime, there was an awesome VBS at our church. I loved VBS!  Some were two weeks long!  Oh, the good ol' days...
Started staying for big church after a few years went by...it wasn't always my favorite thing, but I know now that it was the first step of many down a path to my now personal relationship with Jesus.
We started attending Bethel Mennonite Church when I was in jr. high.  This was so difficult for a still rather shy preteen girl, but God used this move to grow me into the person I am today.
I accepted Jesus as my Savior during a revival meeting at church one Sunday night.  I cannot for the life of me remember the date.  I was baptized on Easter Sunday in 1987.
It took me until that summer at my first year of Bible Memory Camp, however, to really understand the path that I was now on with Jesus.  There I learned more about what a daily walk with Jesus was all about and that I longed for it and Him with all of my heart.  It was an everyday relationship that required my attention and effort...God was just waiting on me to come to Him with my everything.  That summer I met so many awesome Christian teens and counselors that were genuine in their walk.  They were sinners saved by grace just like myself, but there was a zeal about them that drew me to them like magnets.  I wanted to be like them.  I learned just how contagious Jesus is that summer.
My years in youth group were awesome  No, really...they were extraordinary!  My relationship with Jesus continued to grow and I made great friendships that still hold water today.  Had godly youth sponsors whom offered their knowledge, time, homes, and love to me and all of the others.  We became a family and I felt loved.  Jesus kept us together even through the tough times.  He showed Himself mightily to us in the little things and gave us each a chance to grow in Him while surrounded by people who cared about us.
Church was a favorite place of mine.  Finally.
As college days rolled around, the friendships took new paths...people married, people moved, lives changed...but God remained the same and as awesome as ever.  I stayed at home for two years attending and graduating from a community college.  In those two years, I was a Sunday School teacher for a couple of different age groups...onefor the little guys and one for the 5th graders.  I tried to get those 5th graders to realize that they could begin to think for themselves when it came to making wise, godly decisions about things.  I prodded them for more than the typical SS answers.  We worked on memorizing the books of the Bible and some verses that year.  Some days I was met with tired, blank stairs...other days they seemed interested.  God has grown those kids into wonderful followers of His today.
At the end of my first two years of college, I transferred to Taylor University, Fort Wayne (TUFW).
God grew me in ways amazing those years at TUFW!  I praise Him for His goodness to me in those years.  His will became my sole desire (with marriage a close second, but that didn't happen for several more years).  He opened my eyes and heart one day in chapel to the fact that differences can be blessings.  I was worshiping with a Methodist on my left, a Lutheran on my right and a Catholic in front of me all attending a Missionary Church on Sundays {they had the latest church service in town :) }.  He loved all of His children and died for all of our sins at the same time on the cross.  Belief in Him as Savior was the key...as it still is today.  What you do with Jesus is what matters.
Since those first days of my new walk with Jesus, I've had times of doubt and of rebellion against His will...and times of sincere repentance and  major rejoicing.  Nothing I've done has surprised my Savior.
He knows me and my heart.
He forgives more and loves better than anyone else can.
All along my walk, I have come to know Jesus as my friend, my rock, and my redeemer.
He still draws me to Him in comfort when I need it.
He never has left me even when I have strayed away from His path for my feet.
He has made me to love and is teaching me how to do it His way.

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