Monday, April 9, 2012

Happy Easter!! 5 year anniversary :)

No not my wedding anniversary! I am celebrating 5 years of trusting Jesus! This Easter was the 5 year anniversary of getting baptized & beginning to really trust Jesus with my life. What an incredible 5 years it has been! There is so much to say about what God has done in the last 5 years, but I have really been feeling like I wanted to give some honor, where honor is due... because I would not be here today in my walk with God if it weren't for a few key people that really fought for me in the beginning.

The beginning for me is around the end of 2006, and the spring of 2007. I was an insecure and broken little thing, giving God a chance to do some work in my fragile heart. I was so wavering in my faith, its amazing I ever ended up leaving Colorado Springs to do a Discipleship Training School with Youth With a Mission. It's a miracle. But the love of Christ is persistent, and He used some pretty incredible people to draw me closer to Him in those first few months of 2007. You can meet them...

This is the Thurber/Ehrlichman family. A family that adores Jesus and in 2006 saw potential in me that I didn't see in myself. They prayed for me, encouraged me, loved me, housed me, clothed me, and had the faith that I needed, even when I didn't know it was what I needed. 
They taught me to work hard, pursue my gifts, and trust Christ. 

 In early 2007 I was cast as "Mary of Bethany" in an Easter production called "The Thorn" at New Life Church. This group of people in the show with me, taught me the story of Christ. Not only did they teach me, but they welcomed me in as a part of the family and loved me like crazy. 
They taught me that God created me with a purpose and it was crucial that I discovered that purpose. 
They also taught me about the purity that could be restored in Jesus. 

My friend Lauren, (in the photo above) came to my shows & many of my rehearsals. She was faithful to be there with me when I felt unsure of myself. 
She taught me to dream bigger & do whatever it takes to find heaven. 

Meet the Millers. This is not a complete family photo... we are missing two of the daughters. But this precious family let me live with them for a few months in the beginning of 2007. They didn't ask me for anything. In fact they just gave to me in extravagant ways... taking care of me... feeding me... cleaning up after me... supporting my life. It was amazing. 
They taught me that family is more important than possessions and that God is the only One who can really satisfy our needs. Liz (the mama) also taught me that God knows how weak we are and His grace is enough for us.

Liz Wetherby. Secretary of my high school. My angel. "Mama Liz" fought for my life in more ways than I even know. She prayed, she asked hard questions, she pursued me and read the Word of God to me. She got involved in my life issues and faithfully reminded me of the ONLY way to freedom. To this day I look to her as a role model and mentor. 
She taught me that intimacy with God is possible & necessary. 

Tara kept me smiling in times when I felt weak. Meredith kept me living in times when I wanted to die.
Through these two I learned lots.. but one of the most valuable things they taught me is the power of humor to carry us through the storms in life. They help me to believe that life with God is fun. 

My other family. The Danleys have loved me since the days when I was a little chubby and mostly awkward. During that time when I first started trusting God in 2007 Judy (the mama) would have long conversations with me, teaching me the ways of God in her life. She helped me to understand the reality of God and how He affects every part of our lives. She also taught me to be generous. 

Angie Jacobsen was my young & courageous example in trusting Jesus with an eating disorder. Together we battled bulimia and did our best to follow God. 
She taught me to be brave. 

There is so much more to say and so many more people to honor for fighting me but for now I will leave it at this. I do not want to discount everyone else in my life who has believed in me.. especially those in '06 & '07... like the Bruces, Grants, &&Jacobsens!!!.. and other amazing families that gave of themselves for me. I also want to honor my own beautiful family for their love.
I am so grateful for them and all they have done for me. 

The real purpose of this post is to just reflect on how God uses people to draw others to Himself.
His love is so amazing.

Thank you Jesus and thank you friends for everything you have done to make me who I am! 
Happy Easter sweet loved ones! Jesus really is alive and His power truly does change lives! 

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you. 
Romans 8:11

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