A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress

Monday, April 30, 2012

My Life 5 Years Ago - Then vs. Now

My Life 5 Years Ago - May 1st, 2007

  • I was unemployed.
  • I relocated back to my hometown of South Bend, IN which meant leaving behind 15 years worth of friends.
  • I had been denied unemployment (which I eventually fought and won) so I had no income coming in for over 3 months.
  • My Grandmother was gracious enough to let me live with her.
  • My Mom's cancer was in her bones.
  • I was single and thought I would never find the right guy!
  • That July my Nephew was diagnosed with a heart condition which was a birth defect that wasn't caught until he was almost 13 years old.  He had major open heart surgery that September.
  • The economy in South Bend/Elkhart IN was awful.  It took me a year of looking to get 1 job offer.  After unemployment ran out (I got it for only 6 months), I took a waitressing job in the meantime to pay the bills.  I would cry if I got jipped on a tip b/c I really needed the money.
  • Life was extremely difficult.
  • Life was lonely.
  • It didn't help matters any that I had the "I'm the victim" mentality, in fact it made my situation worse.
  • I was not emotionally healthy.
  • I understood that God loved me in my head, but not in my heart.

My Life Now - May 1st, 2012

  • I have been working at the same job for 4 years and 1.5 months.
  • I have been married for almost 10 months to a man I met thru said job. Our 1st date was almost 2.5 years after I moved back to South Bend.
  • My Nephew Trey is doing great!  God spared his life and his last check-up with the cardiologist showed everything looks great!
  • I saw an amazing Christian Counselor for about 2 years and 3 months and worked on my issues.
  • I have been with my same Small Group for over 4 years.  They have helped me to grow and with God's help to overcome my former "victim mentality", although it still is my first nature and I still fight it!
  • Overall, I am emotionally healthy now.
  • I am not lonely.  I have Jonathan and lots of friends, both old and new!
  • My husband and I plan on being debt free sometime this Summer.
  • Life is challenging, but is no longer extremely difficult.
  • I wish I could say my Mom's cancer battle is over, and that she is in remission, however she continues to fight the battle!  She is the strongest woman I know and has been a Survivor for over 12 years and 2 months!
  • My relationship with my Savior is strong and growing! I know he loves ME unconditionally!

The Moral of my story is:  God has a plan for your life and even if things aren't going so great now, it doesn't mean things will be like that forever.  My life didn't magically get better overnight.  It took many years of perseverance and hard work.  I am in a great season in my life now, so I'm going to appreciate it for as long as it lasts.  My hope is that the next time I hit hard times in my life, that I will "Praise Him in the storm".

Sunday, April 1, 2012

I Am SO Excited For My 2nd Baptism on Easter, April 8th, 2012!!!

Ever since my Dad passed away on December 8th, 1999, Easter has been my favorite Holiday!  Why?  Because of the comfort the Resurrection brings, and what it means in the life and death of Christians. My Dad loved the Lord and trusted in Jesus as his Savior.  I know I will see my Dad again in heaven.  On December 11th, 1999, we said "good-bye" to my Dad, but it really wasn't good-bye.  It was more like "see you later!".  I know I will see him again when I get to heaven! :) 

A few weeks ago at Church, they mentioned they were going to have Baptism on Easter weekend this year.  I had been considering getting baptized again for a few years, but when I heard it was going to be done on Easter Sunday, I knew this was my time!  What better way to spend my favorite Holiday, then by getting Baptized?! :)

I am SO thankful that my parents raised me in the Christian faith!  I was baptized the 1st time at only a few weeks old.  My 2nd Baptism will in no way diminish my 1st Baptism.  If anything, it shows that my parents raised me to love Jesus and to follow him.  I am very thankful for that!

So what does my 2nd Baptism mean to me?  It does not mean salvation. I know I am going to heaven because I believe in Jesus as my Savior.  I believe Jesus saves, not that baptism saves.  I like the way my Pastor says that we cannot choose Baptism without Christ already having worked in our hearts.  I cannot on my own choose to follow Him.  No one can come to faith in Christ on his/her own!  I'm thankful my Pastor and my Church believe that.  My Pastor suggested we read and study the Apostles Creed prior to getting baptized.  That is what my Church believes. That is what I believe.  To me, my 2nd Baptism is an outward symbol of my inward commitment to Christ. It is my way of saying "Here is what God has already done for me! I am committed to following Him!" Just like my Marriage to Jonathan was my public display of my commitment to love, honor, and cherish him for the rest of my life, so my Baptism is my public display of my commitment to follow Christ for the rest of my life.  By the way, I am getting baptized on the 9 month anniversary of our marriage.  The 8th was the day dad died, but now the 8th will hold happier memories!  I married the love of my life on the 8th, and I will be Baptized again on Easter Sunday, which is also the 8th! :)

On April 8th, 2012, I will be picturing the Lord saying to me "This is my daughter, whom I love, with her I am well pleased!",  just as He said to Jesus when He was Baptized at the start of his public ministry.  I am so thankful that my Husband, my friends Sarah & Mike, and my Church family will be there to support me!

I wish you all a Blessed Easter filled with His love! :)