follower of Christ.

All these words mean nothing.

Everything I’ve said, every time you drooled over that delicious barbecue chicken recipe or giggled at thought of me trying to type while eating fresh-from-the-oven chocolate chip cookies. It all means nothing.

So, I’m writing a blog that means absolutely nothing? Not exactly. What I’m trying to say is that compared to the presence of Jesus Christ in my life, all the laughter and joy that comes from being a wife to a wonderful husband and all the beauty that comes out of painting, sewing, creating and cooking just means nothing.

I feel like I’ve told my “story” a million times, but I’d like to make this one million and one.

I was so blessed to be born into an outstanding family who, without a doubt, love me more than I know. They brought me up in church, they taught me right from wrong, they provided me with more than I needed to succeed in life, and have always supported me one hundred percent. Even when I told them I no longer wanted to go to college to be a teacher, but wanted to be an artist; they supported me. My family came to every one of my plays, band concerts, marching band performances, choir ensembles, piano recitals, and school art shows. I simply could not and would not ask for more than that. It’s more than enough to know that you have people in your life who support you and are proud of you and cheer you on.

Then something changed. I didn’t get to prepare for it, debate whether or not it would happen, or stop it from altering the way my life would look from that point forward. My parents got a divorce. They still came to my plays, band concerts and marching band performances, but they sat in separate sections of the auditorium. They were still proud of me, supported me and cheered me on, but as individuals and not as the same mom and dad who planned awesome two week vacations to Montana or Lake Michigan in the summers. It just changed.

The foundation of my life and everything I looked to for comfort and consistency was fractured.

Okay, so I grew up in the church and knew about God and Jesus and Jonah and the whale and Adam and Eve and all that stuff. I knew the stories, the songs, and when to stand up or sit down I even lit the candles on Sunday mornings. I should have known that God was there for me that He had my back, and I guess I knew that. But what I didn’t understand was that this God, the one who created the world and walked with Adam and Eve, knew me. He knew my life had been fractured before it even happened and was there to comfort me when I needed solid ground to stand on. I just didn’t know that part yet.

So there I was, a fourteen year-old girl with divorced parents whose life has just been turned upside down. A child who grew up in church singing all the songs and standing up and sitting down at just the right time, and I didn’t know that there was someone who loved me more than my family did. I didn’t get it. I didn’t get it for months. Years, even. But here’s the beautiful part; I started to realize that there was this insatiable emptiness in my life as I chased after things I thought would bring me comfort, and somehow before my eyes, all of those things I had grown up in church singing about and reading about and hearing about started to make sense when nothing else seemed to. I finally realized that what I needed had been something that was there all along. I needed Christ in my life. I needed to believe that there was a God who loved me SO much that he sent his son to die for me and for my sins because he no longer wanted to be separated from me! Wow. I wish I could say that’s all it took and I was better the next day. But it’s not.

It has taken years of healing and understanding, lots of forgiveness and shedding of anger and bitterness for me to be able to stand here today on solid ground believing the truth of God’s word. And for the comfort and consistency? I look to Christ’s example of how he lived his life, loving God and loving others before he loved himself.

I am a follower of Christ.

Love,
janine

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