When I was a little girl I went to church with family occasionally. but mostly just vacation bible school. I knew a little about Jesus my parents taught me "now I lay me down to sleep" I went to church occasionally with friends and family but never attended regularly. I was scared into salvation at bible school when i was 11. The preacher gave a sermon to a bunch of children about how hell was real and if you didn't give your life to Jesus you would go there. I was so scared I cried out to this Jesus that I didn't know and begged for salvation. All the adults were around me praying for me and hearing all the prayers and I felt a peace I couldn't understand. I was still so unknowing of the bible or of God to have my true salvation at this point. I did continue to pray every day to God asking forgiveness but as a teen a made a lot of choices I knew weren't right. God left me filled with conviction over all this time although i didn't realize that at the time.
Right after graduation I started a job where I met my husband. I didn't go to church I was confused on faith. Not having a lot of experience in church and not having a lot of guidance and just being a teenager I was confused. Josh however did go to church and knowing I wasn't into it he still asked me to go so I decided to go-just for him.
Wow! I had never been to a church like this one. During praise and worship they were dancing around waiving their arms in the air. This was very different than the churches I had been where you could hear a pin drop and NO ONE could make a noise and the music was all done by a choir. I was intrigued by this church so I went back when he asked me to and within a couple of services I felt God pull me to the Alter at an Alter call. I prayed and I cried. I knew Jesus loved me and he died for me and for the first time I felt like I could be forgiven for all my mistakes. Honestly, I didn't really slow down on making them then though. It was still all the stories of the bible it wasn't totally real.
A little later on Josh's family had changed churches and I really started attending regularly. The main service at this church was an evening service and worked better with my job. The praise music was big draw in for me. I just sat back and listened but was amazed looking around seeing all these people being moved by their faith. I believed in it but I didn't yet feel it.
After we were married for a little over two years we decided to leave our family in God's hands and I quit taking contraceptives. I got pregnant the first month and was so nervous and excited. We saw a little heartbeat at 8 weeks and it was AMAZING knowing this tiny LIFE was inside me growing! When I went back for the first doppler appointment to hear the heartbeat at 12 weeks the dr couldn't find it. After 2 ultrasounds the dr told us we the baby's heart had stopped beating and he or she had stopped developing not long after our last appointment. I was devastated but never got angry with God. I felt he was there and it just wasn't the right time. I became obsessed with having a baby and 3 months after our loss I got pregnant again. This time at 12 weeks I heard that heartbeat and cried. I was sick the whole pregnancy but I prayed for God to protect my baby EVERY day! In June of 2006 my life changed FOREVER!!!
When I was laying in a hospital bed looking into a clear plastic bassinet at my baby I started crying because it wasn't just a story anymore it was REAL!
In those moments the full capacity of the fact that God let his only begotten son die on a cross for ME became real. I didn't know how much I could love such a tiny person til I met Kiersten but looking at her I realized what God did when he sent Jesus to die for me. I had just met her there is no way I would let any harm come to her, but God loved me enough he GAVE that up for ME! His child paid the price so I could have my salvation. That is when it became real to me, looking at my newborn baby knowing how strongly I felt about her and knowing JESUS DIED ON A CROSS for me. I couldn't imagine knowing my child would die on a cross to save a sinner. That is the day I changed my life, it was slow and it has been a long road and I still fall short but the day I became a mom I realized that it wasn't just a story and I felt it instead of just hearing and just knowing it became real.