Born on a cold winter day,
Daddy’s blessing: the sign of the cross
Wanted to bring me up in the way, but
Had trouble finding it himself
Distracted with the “everydayness” of raising eleven kids
And one on the way.

Yet somehow, in chaos

God and man working on my behalf
In the name of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit
a promise to grow, a place to learn…
Family and friends gathered and prayed
God parents, Jewish by birth. The first of many ironies
The first of many inconsistencies….
Sunday school, Awana’s, VBS, Choir
Mother , relieved church child care was free
I was
Saved at seven, eleven and thirteen
Never felt like it took, how could I be new
And still be me.
I knew the wages of sin, the Ten Commandments
Learned of David, Samson, Gideon, Paul
All the stories good and cleaned up and told the right way
So as not to offend.

Learned how to be good, to look good to act good on the outside so
No one would know how I felt on the inside.
We moved from house to house
New church, new school, new life
Over and over again. 19 times in 16 years
Each place searching to fit in the way I knew how.

In Florida
A boy told me Jesus would change my life
I thought he was cute so I got saved again.
Never really knowing God on the inside
I knew that I didn’t feel the way he told me I would feel
Fresh and clean, brand new.
Instead I felt defective, like it was my fault.
But deep within there was a small hope, an ember, a seed that I could be that way
Could feel that way
special, protected… something I used to feel as a little girl, Before I stopped trusting .

Went away to college and forgot I was a Christian
I wouldn’t be convicted it if was a crime.
Too much stuff to fill the void,
Never enough to really heal the hole.
very aware of should haves and could haves.

Yet somehow in all the noise,
I felt God calling my name
Quiet but persistent…..
“You were made for more than this”
I was afraid….so afraid God was
A Father in the sky……. who was out to strike me
For All my sins… I longed for peace…. longed for grace

Married at twenty three, fell hopelessly in love
had a baby
Then another
finally safe
Finally free from all the chaos of youth
Finally free to be a real family
Not one that Pretended…….
But only
Darkness…… Such darkness……
couldn’t get out of bed
Afraid to get up… afraid to lie down
Afraid to be alone
Afraid To not be alone…..
God…..God…. I cried out

How do you love me and yet I feel so much pain?
I was free I thought… Had my perfect family,
Perfect house
Perfect life…

How could it be?
In all the chaos and craziness of youth I held it together
Only to break when I was finally free —
God how can you love me if I feel so much

A still small voice…
“Seek Me” I heard it so clear …in my heart
As if in my ear.
“See how much I love you.”

I wasn’t sure how…
But I knew all those years at the altar
had shown me about God
but I did not really
Know God…who he was…to me.
Not what everyone told me God should be

Set out on a journey to find the Truth.
I read his word
I slept his word
I ate his word
I prayed his word.

For three years I read the bible through.
It fit-It connected. I knew
He loved me, He chose me
He died for me…. For me.
He Loved Me.

Hungry for more I spent hours
Days, weeks in prayer, fasting, growing
He was so real to me.

A funny thing happened when I found Him.
I couldn’t keep Him all to myself. He spilled out all over my life
Running over with joy…

Ended up in Seminary….
Me… a pastor…who knew
Humans plan… God laughs…

Now in transition at the brink of commission
It is clear and constant and strong…
I have grown and though I sometimes long for
The feeling of new Love
When I first believed.
I am steady…I am sure…. content in his Presence.
I know what it is like to
Feel His peace. Feel His love.

I found Jesus despite religion…
He was with me all along….
He knows my name….He calls me by name…..I answer….
Here am I….send me…