Monday, September 10, 2012

My Story. (Or, My Christian Perspective in about 500 Words.)

Personal Christian Perspective - Jane O

I believe:
  •          I believe that before there was anything, there was God. And that He alone created the heavens and the earth.  (Genesis 1:1)
  •         I believe that we are all sinners. (Romans 3:23)
  •         I believe that Jesus Christ is God’s only Son. That He died for my sins and rose from the dead 3 days later. (John 3:16)
  •          I believe that because He died and rose again, I can have eternal life. (aka - live forever in Heaven) (John 14:6)
  •         I believe that the Bible is God’s word, and that it's relevant today and always. (2Tim 3:16)

My story:

I had the very good fortune to born into a family with two Christian, church-going, God-loving parents. I grew up in a home that prayed before meals and bedtime, attended a Mennonite Brethren church on Wednesday evenings and Sunday mornings, and knew that Christmas was about Jesus, not Santa Claus.

In order to escape the flames of hell, motivated by fear, I asked Jesus to come live in my heart when I was 5. At age 17, after a lifetime of Sunday School, Pioneer Girls, DVBS, and youth group bible studies, I had a better understanding of what it meant to be a Christ follower and asked to be baptized. After high school, I attended one year of Bible School in Abbotsford to strengthen my understanding and knowledge of who God is and what that meant to me.

Two years after graduating from BCIT, I married my highschool sweetheart. We each worked for our respective family businesses (he with his dad’s company, and me in my mom’s store), joined an MB church plant in our neighbourhood, had three sons, and divorced after 15 years of marriage.

And this is when my faith journey really started; at age 38. My husband had left and was living with his girlfriend. The church family that I loved was dispersing as our church had decided to close down. My mom and I knew it was time to shut down our business. My dad’s heart was wearing out and in need of an operation. The home that my boys and I were living in needed to be sold. At the end of the day, figuratively and actually, it was just me and God. I had no husband, no home, no job, no church, and aging parents. And a God who loved me. Which was enough.

As I relied on Him, He proved to be faithful - He comforted me, filled me with peace during my most anxious moments, and gave me with hope. He gave me the strength to carry on when everything I had leaned on up to that point started to crumle. (Phil 4:13)

He is good. And generous. And lavish with His love. I got a new job, a new home, learned to love a whole new group of people at a new church, my dad got a new heart (not really – just two pacemakers), and I was overwhelmed with all the new opportunities He provided for travel and friendship and growth. Looking back, these were my golden years with my sons. A gift from God.

Life would be boring, and my story would be dull, if that was it. Crisis before 40 and then 'she lived happily ever after'. God is too creative to let my story end there. This I know for sure - He is always going stretch me because He wants me to grow. 

This past Spring, my dad had a massive, paralyzing life-changing stroke. At the same time, I was laid off from my job, and realized I would have to put my home up for sale. On my youngest son’s graduation weekend, someone broke into our home and robbed us. Two days later they came back and stole my truck, then doused it in gasoline and lit it on fire. My youngest son moved out immediately and Just Like That, it was just me and God again.

I don’t know how these current chapters of my life will turn out. I’m still in the midst of them; they are in the process of being written. I don’t know where I’ll live, I don’t know where I’ll work. I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know.

But He does. And, once again, I’m trusting that He has a plan, and that it’s a good one. (Jer 29:11 - "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.")

My prayer these days? Is that His will be done. I am His. And I trust that He will work all things out for His purposes and my good. My life verse, (given to me by my mom at my baptism) is what I stand on when everything in my life is shifting: Romans 8:28 - "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God ..."


What do you think?

Have I clearly explained who I am and what I believe? 

I need to submit this along with a resume for a job I'm applying for. Feel free to email me if you have suggestions or questions.

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