Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

1.15.2010

A Life Changed

I remember the day as clearly as if it was January 14, 2010, but it was not—it was April 10, 1995, and I was several feet shorter. My parents were Christians—strong, growing, church-attending Christians, and up until that day I had never really considered whether or not I was a Christian. And then, the weekend before Easter, Mama and Mikaela and I were riding in the back of the car to my uncle’s house, cuddled up after a long day of running through the fields of tulips in Skagit Valley. And in God's providence, Mama asked the question that changed my life: “Are you a Christian?”
I remember that I practically opened my mouth to say yes, and I recall that before I could speak, through my mind flashed all of my four and a half-year old sins, mainly in the form of meanness to my sisters. In an instant, I knew that if I was being honest with myself, I could not be a Christian, and I realized that I had never accepted Christ into my heart. So there, in the back of the car, I prayed with Mama. I do not remember the words of the prayer, I did not suddenly become angelic, and I certainly did not fly into the air, but I was floating all the same. The car had no sooner stopped than I was out of it and racing into my uncle’s house to find someone-anyone-to share my thrilling news with: Jesus came into my heart today, and He has forgiven my sins! In the one sad moment of the day, everyone was busy, and I had to wait excruciating minutes to share my salvation. In those moments, I could have certainly put to use (at the top of my lungs) Charles Wesley’s 18-stanza “For the Anniversary Day of One’s Conversion”, for that joy was mine—“Sudden expired the legal strife, 'twas then I ceased to grieve; my second, real, living life I then began to live…Oh for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise!”
Eight years ago, January 2002, I was definitely a seven-year old Christian, but I was still a child spiritually. I was growing up and just starting to mature as a person, and I was about to mature spiritually as well. I was fighting the same battles, living the same mistakes, and ignoring the same convictions day after day. Slowly, though, I began to get uncomfortable with my status quo and, according to my journal, I was convicted of a host of sins—stealing, wrong thoughts, selfishness, and anger. This was the point in my Christian life where I stood before a fork in the road: one path provided cotton for my ears and a blindfold for my eyes and promised that if I said no to God now, I would never have to say yes to Him again. The other path of recommiting myself to Christ prospected pain, humiliation, and Godly sorrow, but it offered Jesus as my traveling companion and joy as my reward. I chose the other path. From that moment, I made my relationship with Jesus my priority—I confessed my sins, made them right, listened to the Holy Spirit’s conviction, and began a steady quiet time with God. What did God use for this honest revelation? Ester Ried, Scripture, Lew Sterrett’s “Sermon on the Mount”, and my pastor were all instrumental in causing me to recommit my life to the Lord. One of my favorite passages became Hebrews 10:36-39:

"For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise: "For yet a little while, And He who is coming will come and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith; But if anyone draws back, My soul has no pleasure in him." But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.”
I was excited for God! I was on fire, joyful, and victorious. As a public declaration of my faith in Christ and His saving work in my life, I was baptized in the (cold and dirty :-) Columbia River on June 13, 2004. That was a precious day, and my spiritual walk had never been better. In fact, my most cherished desire was to be a missionary. However, I had yet to learn a little lesson called God’s will.
When I was about fourteen, I was ready to learn a foreign language, get the ball rolling, and prepare to head out on my own to a foreign mission-field. And that was when I ran headlong into the will of God, in the form of long conversations with my parents. In their wisdom and the providence of God, they were thrilled that I wanted to share the Gospel with others, but they strongly believed that it was not God’s best for me to be a missionary as a single young woman, for I would be out from under their authority and protection. Tears flowed, frustration filled me, and I spent many hours praying for God to change their minds. It wasn’t until I actually prayed that God’s will be done that I decided to submit my plans for my life to Him. This I described as “torturous” at the time, but I comforted myself that it was simply the death of a vision. And so I submitted. Miraculously, God miraculously got through my hard-headedness (-: and in that submission gradually came comprehension and wisdom. It was when I was about fifteen that I truly grasped the wisdom of my parents and committed myself to being a missionary right here in my parents’ ministry, where I can do so much more with my unified family than I ever could on my own!
So here I am—a filthy, wretched sinner, saved by the grace of God. I am nothing—but I am a child of God. I still sin—but sin is not my master. I am weak—but I love the Lord with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I have many lessons yet to learn—but I have learned so many the hard way already. I am walking the narrow path under the sun of God’s love, and I want to know who my travelling companions are. Are you walking the narrow way?

4 comments:

  1. I remember that day so clearly in the back of the van when you both accepted Christ into your heart. It was one of the happiest days of my life...for there is not greater joy than to hear my children walk in truth! It has been a pleasure to watch your spiritual journies over the years as you have submitted to your heavenly father and to your earthly father & mother. Your joyful obedience has been an example to me time and time again over the years. Your way beyond where I was spiritually when I was your age. Thank you both so much for being patient with us as we have had to learn what the Lord has had for us, which is different than how we were raised. We couldn't have asked for better or more obedient daughters to go on this journey with! The Lord has great plans for your lives & it will be a pleasure to watch that plan unfold as you continue to submit yourselves to his will. I love you both so much....Mama

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  2. Thank you, Mama! Thank you for being faithful to God and for asking me that question as a four year old! I love you, too!

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  3. And what a good missionary you've been! I've been challenged and encouraged by watching the way you interact with those in your family...you've definitely ministered to many through your life!
    Love ya! :)

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  4. Thank you, dear friend! Without your encouragement and example I would not be who I am!

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