Today at church we had the pleasure of a visiting preacher.
I've known their family forever. I literally do not remember a time when I didn't know them.
He started off the sermon today with a poignant statement.
"Before a car stops running, it starts missing."
This struck me slap in the face. I'd never heard it put like tat before.
I grabbed my planner and started noting as he spoke.
These are just my thoughts -- I hope you, the general public, respect them --
even if you don't agree.
A long time ago, I went to church faithfully. Looking forward to each service, whether it was at my own church, or a fellowship meeting, Saturday night service somewhere else, revival, youth camp or campmeeting...it was so exciting to think about going. As a child it was more about playing with my friends that I didn't get to see often. As I grew into a young teenager, it became a balance of being excited to show off the perfect outfit or the perfect hair and anxiously wondering what the Lord was going to do for someone in that service.
Sometime around the time I graduated high school, my "car" started skipping.
You know, a person doesn't just stop going to church on a dime, just like a person doesn't commit a murder at the drop of a hat. The downfall happens slowly...it starts with something minor and then eventually snowballs into the inevitable. In the past few weeks, I had began to allow myself and my girls to do things that weren't necessarily sinful, but was more along the lines of putting ourselves in situations that could eventually place me on the road to a life that I did not want anymore.
I didn't go through what I went through to turn back now.
Several months ago, we were in campmeeting, and this same preacher told of a story.
His oldest son was just a child, and on a particularly rainy day he came out of the church basement and told his parents that "Jesus took my heart all to pieces, but now He put some sunshine in!"
At that precious, young age, even he realized that there was a greater Power that we could have in or hearts to comfort us and guide us.
Fast forward ten years later. We all know what happened in 2011 --
and if you don't, the short of it is that I was diagnosed with Leukemia and was on my literal deathbed.
When I woke from my coma, I immediately prayed, laying in an ICU bed alone, for Jesus to save my life. There is an old hymn that we sing that says -- Jesus took my heart all to pieces and He let a little sunshine in. Well, Jesus literally took my body, mind, and health all to pieces, and tore my life into shreds. But it was ALL worth it, because he let a LOT of sunshine into my heart and into my extended family. It's no secret I'm okay with what I went through and even though it sounds crazy, I'd do it all over again. I really, honestly, would. I'm not saying I'd look forward to it, but I would do it.
And mark my words, if some people in my family don't wake up soon -- I'm worried about what will happen next. God's obviously been trying to get someones attention lately. My cousins baby passed away in 2010, three days after our sweet June Claire made it home from her 3 month stay in the hospital. I fought what I had to fought.
What's next? What will it take?
I have often had people comment to me, "I don't understand why ya'll go to church so much. If you do it right, you only have to go once a week."
I heard the perfect response today.
I heard the perfect response today.
If you're living right, then it's not a burden and you will enjoy it.
I know this is different material for me to write about, but sometimes I have to just get it out.
It's all jumbled because I just wrote from the heart and didn't outline anything -- but I hope it helps or touches someone, somewhere.
I want to leave this with you --
Before you get the victory, you have to go through the battle.