Bethany’s Story Part 6: Jesus is All I Need

In Parts 1-5 of Bethany’s story, we’ve learned about the relationships in her life and how they changed through divorce, loss and pain. Today, we’re going to examine and discover Bethany’s relationship with her Father…her heavenly Father, that is. Did you just decide this blog isn’t worth reading, not worth your time? I beg to differ with you, friend. It’s very interesting and just a little controversial. Trust me, you want to keep reading.

As we learned in Part 1 of Bethany’s Story, Bethany was brought up in a loving, Christian home. She loved Jesus with all her heart. But once her parents divorced, her life was completely turned upside down, inside out. Neither parent took her to church after the divorce and God was all but removed from her life. We know her story. She grew up, married and had three boys. Bethany always believed in God and would sometimes talk about Him to her husband. When John lost his job, Bethany reassured him that God would provide for them.

When Bethany’s oldest son, Ben, was ten, his friend from down the street invited him to church. Bethany allowed him to go and soon he had an encounter with Jesus and became born again. Being “born again,” is when you understand what Jesus Christ did for you by suffering, dying on the cross and raising from the dead…accepting what He did for YOU and knowing that nothing you have done or ever will do (good or bad) can save you from going to hell or get you into heaven. Believing in Jesus and deciding you will live your life for Him…that is being born again. God’s love will fill you and you will feel totally different. And that is just the first step of an awesome and wonderfully fulfilling life, here on earth and in eternity. If you’re not born again, also known as saved, you’re going to want to experience that ASAP.

Ben was going to church regularly with the neighbors and started begging his parents to go, too. Bethany and John weren’t too keen on the idea, but when Ben was persistent, they decided they should go. They began attending church on and off for a while. John wasn’t really “into it” and Bethany felt strange things when she was there.

“At first, I felt uncomfortable. I wasn’t sure if I liked what I was feeling.”

“There was a short period of time a few years before this when I had started to get serious about the Lord, where I had some real experiences.”

She knew this feeling she was having meant that God was working on the inside of her and wanted to change some things about her life. She was not ready to let go of certain things in her life…

“I began feeling God more strongly than before. I knew for sure that He was pulling me. I felt that way on Sundays and then would live my life like normal during the rest of the week.”

So, she was experiencing the love of God and His presence when she came to church on Sunday mornings. But then, during the week, she’d forget all about Him and live the way she wanted. Sound familiar to anyone? Yes, salvation or being born again is all about what Jesus has done for us. BUT, truly living for Jesus, surrendering your life completely to Him is what He wants for each of us. That doesn’t mean our lives will be boring or not full of fun, but on the contrary, our lives will be abundant. Abundant with God’s love and His blessings. There is nothing better than living your life knowing that you are walking in the plan that God has designed especially for you. That’s true fulfillment! And isn’t that what we all want? To be fulfilled? To be happy? To have peace? To be secure?

Okay, here comes that controversy I eluded to earlier..

“I had been smoking marijuana for a few years. I saw nothing wrong with it because it made me happy and less anxious.”

The marijuana helped Bethany deal with the stress in her marriage and her son who has Asperger’s. It was a coping mechanism for her and she felt like she needed it to make it through each day.

“At first, it was a fun thing to do on girls’ weekends. Then I realized that I liked it way too much. But it made my life easy.”

Everything was better through the high of marijuana. Her kids were adorable and funny. Her husband was great. Everything was awesome after smoking a little weed.

“It got to the point where I made excuses to do it more. It helped me sleep, my kids were hilarious. I had no stress when I smoked.”

“I depended on the marijuana to deal with my stress-husband, kids, money. I would turn to it and it would make everything okay.”

After a while, John started to get concerned with the frequency and amount of marijuana that Bethany was using. She was spending a lot of money, too. She admits that it got to the point that she was smoking all day, every day. John told her, “I don’t know you any other way” (other than high).

Bethany was still smoking when she rededicated her life back to God. She didn’t see a problem with it and wasn’t eager to give it up.

“I was afraid to let it go. Marijuana was my friend. I felt there was no reason to quit.”

Soon though, Bethany began feeling like she shouldn’t be doing it anymore. That’s what happens when you start to draw close to God. He slowly refines you like gold in a fire.

Bethany searched the Bible for scriptures that said she shouldn’t be smoking marijuana. She could only find those pertaining to drunkenness. She reasoned that she had already given up alcohol, so that didn’t apply to her. She couldn’t find anything that said it was wrong or not wrong.

“I had a moment standing in front of my dresser one day. I was ready to light up again. I clearly heard God say to me, ‘You put this before me. It’s the first thing you think about in the morning, in the afternoon and before you go to bed. It’s taking the place of me.’ I put it down and said aloud, ‘Okay, I’m done. It’s all about you. I will never do it again. I will completely lean on You.’ I haven’t touched it since.”

You see, God wants us to completely rely on Him. For our stress, our worries, our sadness, our pain, our guilt, our regrets…for everything. Why? Because He is capable of handling it all. Way more capable than we are. That is why we don’t ever need to rely on drugs, alcohol, sex or other coping mechanisms to deal with life.

Since that day in her bedroom, Bethany has been free. This act of surrender and obedience to God opened up doors in her life. It set into motion many good things for her husband and her entire family.

John was saved and baptized. Her younger boys were saved and baptized. Her mom and stepdad started coming back to church and have grown closer to God. Her brother-in-law and sister-in-law and their kids got saved. And that is just the tip of the iceberg of God’s goodness and favor in Bethany’s life.

Bethany experiences true and powerful moments with God.

“There are times when it is very obvious that He is here with me, like He’s standing right in front of me. Sometimes in worship services, I have a hard time physically standing. I feel completely undone. At times, it’s hard to breathe.”

“Being in the presence of God – it’s like nothing else is even happening around me. I forget where I am. It’s just me and Him. It’s the best feeling ever! That’s how you know that God is real.”

One moment with Jesus, that’s all it takes to convince even the biggest skeptic.

“That’s God showing you He is real. When you experience these moments. I mean, you don’t go to church and just make up those feelings. It’s real. He’s real.”

Some friendships of Bethany’s were lost when she became a Christian. But, God has replaced or restored those friendships one hundred fold. Friendship is so important to Bethany. The Bible talks about how you may lose friends when you follow Jesus. When her friends began to reject her, she clung to God’s promises.

“I trust you. All I need is you.”

Bethany says she never even thought to pray for friends, but alas! God knows the desires of our hearts. He knows what we need and desire before we even ask. God gave Bethany a wonderful church family who love her to pieces.

“I have so many people in my life that I never thought I would have relationships with. When I’m at church, I feel like I’m home.”

Because Bethany has totally surrendered her life to God, she and her family are blessed in so many ways. Yes, salvation is ultimately about not going to hell, but it is about so much more. We don’t have to wait to get to heaven to experience God’s goodness and favor. We can have heaven on Earth. If you have ever prayed the Lord’s Prayer, that’s what it is talking about. “Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” That’s exactly what Bethany has been seeing in her life. A little bit of heaven on Earth.

stairway-to-heaven

The Love of a Father

My husband works out of town a lot. When he flies home, the girls and I usually pick him up at the airport. Lew loves nothing more than when his girls are there to greet him with hugs and kisses. Lily and Emma go running to him, jump in his arms and give him kisses galore. He absolutely loves it. He will admit that he lives for moments like these. Being the stepfather of my girls has broadened his heart’s capacity for a whole different dimension of love.

The most recent pickup from the airport was right around Lily’s birthday. Lew asks Lily where she would like to go shopping with him for her birthday, just the two of them.

Now to give you just a little background on Lily’s thought process over the weeks prior to this event…She has been begging me to get a dog.  Lily is an animal lover and desperately wants her own dog. I keep telling her no because we just don’t have room in our lives right now for another animal. My proverbial plate is full and overflowing with living creatures to care for at the moment (2 cats, 5 fish, 4 kids, 1 husband).

So when Lew asks Lily where she would like to go shopping, with head tilted and a little smirk on her face, she declares…”I want to go dog shopping!”

Geez oh Petes! If Mom says, “No,” ask Dad, right? My eyes about roll out of my head! But I keep driving and let the drama unfold. Lew is half turned around in his seat and when she made the announcement about her choice of shopping, he put his head down and sighs out a weak, “Oh no.” He knows this is going to be bad. I can feel his distress.

“I know why you’re acting like that,” Lily says with her little pre-teen girl “I-AM-going-to-get-what-I-want” sweet as molasses voice.

“Why am I acting like this?” Lew literally groans like a cornered animal about to be eaten by a savage lion.

“Because I know you WANNA make me happy. You WANNA give me what I want. But, you guys don’t want me to have a dog, so you feel bad. You know I’m going to be sad because I can’t have what I want. But I know you WANNA make me happy.”

How’s that perception for a 12 year old? Look out Lew…

Emma chimes in, “Yeah, cause our Daddy Lew gives us whatever we want!”

Lew stares at me with a look that says, “Can you believe she just said that?”

I say to him, “Well, it’s your fault. You’re the one who has spoiled these girls and loved them to pieces. It’s because you have shown them unconditional love and adoration. They are 100% comfortable coming to you and asking you for anything their little hearts desire. These girls have you tightly wound around each of their little fingers.”

Lew is not impressed with my analysis of the situation and stews over it for days. I know he’s secretly pleased that the girls love him and know him so well. Of course, Lily did not get a dog. This queen rules supreme in our house, no matter what the princesses do to manipulate the king!

When I witness these little interactions between my children and Lew, I can’t help but compare their relationship to my relationship with God. Lew is not their father by birth, but he has taken them in as his own.  He clothes them, feeds them, shelters them, supports them and loves them. Obviously, they are so secure in his love for them, as proven by their requests for even the most outrageous things. And what can they, as children, give him in return? Love.  And that’s what Lew cherishes the most.

Our heavenly Father loves us so much.  We are the apple of His eye.  His sons and His daughters. I John 3:1 says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God!”

Do you feel secure in your relationship with God today? Do you feel as if you could go to Him and ask Him for anything you need or want? What do you need from your Father today? Healing, peace, comfort, joy, finances, salvation? Go ahead and ask. He already knows what you need before you even speak it. (Matthew 6:8)

The Bible says, “Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man among you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him?”

Do you feel bold in your relationship with God? As His child, you have direct access to the throne room of God. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

You have been given permission to ask whatever it is that you need of the Father. Jesus’ sacrifice on Calvary paid the price for everything. What is going through your mind right now? Don’t be afraid to ask. God loves you and wants to supply all your needs for you. All you have to do is ask! Philippians 4:19 says, “My God will supply all your needs, according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

And lastly, you don’t have to ask Him for ONLY things that you need, but also for that which you desire. He loves to give good things to His children. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.”

How can we ever repay such a Father? By being thankful and loving Him back. Just like Lew, all God wants in return is the undying love of the children that He calls His own.

My Hair-tastrophy

About a month ago, I experienced what I am calling my EPIC hair emergency, a hair-tastrophy, if you will.

The night started out so lovely. Lew and I were running Saturday errands and having dinner together, alone. It was a sweet time for just he and I to reconnect and enjoy one another’s company, kid-free.

Lew wanted to purchase shooting targets at Walmart.  I decided to go ahead and grab some hair dye to touch up my roots.  I’ve been coloring my own hair for the past year and it has been going well up to this point.

Lew says, “Here, babe, try this color!” He was pointing to a beautiful shade of dark red.

“No,” I say, “That’s WAY to dark for me.”

“Oh, come one, just try it.  I want to see what you would look like with red hair,” he pleads.

I, being the pleaser that I am, give in. “Fine, I’ll try it.”

One bad decision.  That’s all it takes sometimes…

I know, you are all screaming….”No, don’t do it, Susie!!!!” You can feel what’s coming. You can see what’s coming. How could I be SOOOO stupid? I don’t know. Love, combined with the desire to please, makes you do stupid things. At least that’s the case I’m pleading.

So we get home at about 11pm.  I head to the bathroom to work the magic. I concentrate the solution on my roots and hairline where the gray is mostly, just like the directions on the box instructs. I carefully distribute the color from roots to tip.  I start to run low on color-I’ve got a lot of hair.

“Oh well,” I think to myself, “I’ll just smear it all together real good at the end. That should be good.”

I wait 30 minutes.  Oh my….it’s looking VERY red.

I start rinsing.  Wow, that’s really red.

I rinse some more.  Whoa…it’s still coming out really red.

I rinse until I can’t rinse any more. I look in the mirror. O.M.G  I’m truly crying out to God in this moment.

I feel panic rising up in my chest.  Calm down.  It just looks really dark because it’s wet.

I start blow-drying. For.the.love.of.all.that.is.holy.and.good. Pure terror chokes me as I stare at my reflection.  WHAT HAVE I DONE????  WHAT WAS I THINKING???

I shampoo.  Still red.  I shampoo again. Still red. And again and again and again…15 times.  Still red.

Defeated, I wrap my hair in a towel and go downstairs to share my disaster with my “wonderful” husband (*please note sarcasm) so he can see what he coerced me into doing to myself. He says it’s not so bad.  Is he out of his ever-loving mind?!?!? He just doesn’t want to die this very night.

I tell him to ask his internet what to do. Google will help me. Baking soda, vinegar, Palmolive.  By the time we’ve exhausted all measures, my scalp is basically bleeding.  Ouch. Nothing is helping. My hair is RUINED! My life is over. You think I’m overreacting?  I assure you, I’m not.

To understand the severity of the situation, let me draw you a picture with my words.  No, there is no actual picture.  There was NO WAY Lew was taking a picture!

Imagine this with me…Someone has come up behind me with a machete and bludgeoned my head. Blood is completely soaking the top of my head and is pouring in rivers down the back of my hair. Drips and splatters of blood soak the remaining hair.  Yes, my friends.  That is exactly how it was. No exaggeration necessary.  You get it now? It was horrific. Have you ever laughed really hard and cried really hard at the same time?  It’s called hysteria. I know how it feels now.

I finally go to bed around 1am.  Nothing more can be done.  I awake and head to Fantastic Sam’s by 9am.  I’m the first customer to walk through the doors.  Why Fantastic Sam’s and not my usual hair salon?  Because it’s SUNDAY and it’s either there or Walmart.  I know, it just keeps getting better.

I walk in, hair shoved all up in a hat.  I tell the girls I have a hair emergency. I’ve done something really dumb. If they just make me look normal, I’ll never do it again.  A girl named, Erin, tells me to sit down and let her have a look. I warn her that she may scream and run away. She doesn’t even flinch.  She says she can fix me.  She’s seen worse before.  I feel hopeful. She strips my hair.  It turns neon pink.  She rinses.  She strips it again.  Now I look like Princess Peach.  She rinses.  I look like an albino.  Seriously. She puts color back in.  Five hours and nearly $200 later, I look almost normal.  My poor head.  Never again will I try to dye my own hair.  Never. Lesson learned.

A month later, my hair is still recovering.  I had some breakage and had to get a good trim.  But it looks okay, praise God. One person, not knowing what happened, told me that my hair has never looked better. Imagine that!

What an ordeal!!!!

Our lives can be like me and my hair. We try to do things our own way, things we have no business doing.  Sometimes it’s our own willful disobedience to God, sometimes it’s pressure and expectations of others that cause us to make poor decisions.  For whatever reason, we as humans, think we can do this thing called life all by ourselves.

It may work for awhile, but disaster eventually strikes.  Sin prevails.  We try and try and try to fix our mess-ups, but nothing we do can make it right again.

But if we humble ourselves, reach out to God, admit our sin, ask for forgiveness and purpose in our hearts to be different, our lives will be changed.

Isaiah 1:18 says, “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord, Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”

Just like Erin stripped the blood red from my hair and literally made it as white as snow, God will do the same to your life.  The process of changing and living a life surrendered to God may be hard sometimes, but the finished product will be even better than the original! The Bible says that Jesus makes all things new!

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things have passed away, all things have become new.”

I urge you today.  If you are not living for Jesus, surrender your life to Him completely.  He will make you clean and new.  He will transform your life into a beautiful masterpiece, something bigger and better than you could imagine yourself!

What’s All This Talk About Grace?

Grace:  the free and unmerited favor of God

GraceDefinition2

I strongly believe in the message of the grace of God.  It’s not always been this way.  I used to strongly believe in the message of good works.  So which is right?

We know the Bible says, “Faith without works is dead.”  That is true, also…obviously since it’s in God’s Word.faithwithoutworks

But where does grace fit into the equation?  Glad you asked.

I recently heard a preacher say that grace and works go together hand-in-hand.  Say what?  

Let’s first examine what grace is and what grace is not.

Grace is NOT a license to sin, an expectation that God will just forgive you over and over and over again, a one way ticket to heaven on the “by the skin of my teeth” highway.  Presuming upon the grace of God is wrong in every way possible.  How do you know if you are taking advantage of the grace of God?  If you are one of those people who sin and sin and sin and say, “It’s okay, God will forgive me.  I’ll repent later.  His grace covers me.”  Do you realize that Jesus SUFFERED and DIED a horrific death for all those sins you’re committing?  YOU are the reason He suffered and HAD to die. Jesus_nailed_to_cross-793004 And the crazy thing is that He would do it again if He had to just for YOU.  Because that is how much He loves YOU.  Thank God the work was finished on the cross that day.  FYI:  that applies to me and everyone else who ever lived and will ever live on this earth.  I’m just speaking the truth in love, folks.

gods love

Moving on…

What exactly is grace?  Here’s how I put it…When I didn’t deserve to be happy, God gives me joy.  When a person with cancer needs healing, God heals.  When the drug addict or prostitute should be dead, God intervenes and saves.  When we all should pay for our sinful ways by death, Jesus suffered and died in our place.  Even though He was sinless and perfect, He paid our way for healing, salvation, righteousness, the abundant life, the Holy Spirit, spiritual gifts and more.  It’s not fair.  Grace is not fair.  images (1)With grace, WE got the better end of the stick.  Grace says, “You owe me a million dollars.  But, that’s okay.  You don’t have to pay me back.”  Or if your bank called you up and said your mortgage is paid off TODAY.  What a great feeling, huh? Grace.

There are plenty of Scriptures about grace that I could post all over this page, but you can look them up yourself.  Go to Biblegateway.com and type in “grace” in the search bar.  You’ll have enough to read for awhile.

For word count sake, I’m going to break it down for you real simple.

Our faith in, belief in, acceptance of Jesus Christ (His life, death, burial and resurrection) produces salvation. Salvation means your sin debt is canceled, marked “paid in full,” by our awesome heavenly Father and ultimately you are getting a place prepared for you in heaven.  Grace.  He no longer holds your filthy sins against you.  They’re gonGood Workse. Hallelujah! That’s good news, right?  

When you become saved or born-again (like we are so accustomed to saying) there is something that happens inside of you.  You are changed.  There is a conversion in your spirit. You are squeaky clean, white as snow. Now when God looks at you, He sees Jesus instead of old sinful you.  You are a new person in Christ!  You are like a newborn baby. As you grow and mature, you become more and more like Jesus.  That’s what the word “Christian” means…like Christ.  As you become more and more like Jesus, you start acting like Him and DOING the things He did.

godsloveloveothers 

And that’s where the “works” come in.  When you have faith in Jesus, are shown the grace of God, you WANT to do good works.  When you realize or understand what God has done for you through Jesus Christ, your heart desires to extend grace to those in your world.  It’s like you received a heart transplant!  So you see now?  True faith and realized grace produce good works.  It all goes together!  You become the hands and feet of Jesus!  

And of course, ALL of this is made possible because of the unconditional, never-ending, ocean-deep, amazing love of GOD. His love shows grace. His grace activates our faith.  His love and grace shining through us produces good works.  

images

Here’s a song that sums it up so well…

Amazing love, how can it be?

That you, my King, would die for me. (Grace)

Amazing love, I know it’s true.  (Faith)

And it’s my joy to honor you.

In all I do, I honor you.  (Works)

Let’s stop presuming upon God’s grace by doing whatever we want to do, whenever we want.  Let’s honor Him in all we do.  Let’s stop doing good works in hopes of earning our way to heaven.  Let’s do good works because we want to show people God’s love and grace like He’s shown us.  

I blog because of the grace and love God has shown me.  I can’t keep quiet about His goodness and mercy in my life.  If you would like to know more about God’s grace, His love or salvation, please just ask.  God loves you so much and wants nothing more than to have a relationship with you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

To My Future Daughter

This letter was written by a high school senior.  Her AP English teacher had given the assignment of writing a letter to a future teenage daughter, giving her advice about life.  I’m amazed at the maturity and clarity with which this 17 year old wrote.

To my daughter,

     My greatest wish is for you to have the most fulfilling life that is possible.  There are many things a young lady your age needs to know. And I, as your mother and your friend, want to be the one to share these with you.  

     Always put God first in your life, no matter what.  Trust in Him and let Him lead your way.  No matter what the situation, God is with you.  Be submissive to His will and strive to be like Him in everything you do.  Place your life into His hands and He will lead and guide you.  He has so many things in store for you.  When everyone else fails you, when your world seems to crumble, and all hope is gone, He will be there.  Jesus will ALWAYS be there, He will never leave you or forsake you.  You are the reason He died and He loves you.

     Your identity is the most important asset that you have.  Don’t be ashamed of who you are and what you stand for.  Be PROUD of who you are and what you stand for.  Never conform to the world, even when your friends are pressuring you from every direction. Be an individual and stand boldly and strongly in your convictions.  Always be yourself, never pretend to be someone that you are not.  People will like you for who you really are, not someone fake or superficial.

                                                          Image

     Respect yourself at all times. Don’t let people walk all over you.  When dating, respect yourself enough not to give away your innocence and purity to every young man you fall in “love” with.  We, in ourselves, as mortal human beings with wild hormones and extremely strong emotions, do not always have the strength to resist temptation.  If you fall, you can be forgiven, never lose hope. But, remaining chaste until marriage is a wonderful thing.  Giving yourself to ONE man and he to you,uniting as one flesh, is the most sacred and holy experience.  Intimacy is best within the sanctity of a strong and happy marriage.  If it happens before, emotional scars may be left and the pain unbearable if you lose him. 

     When you DO get married, you should be marrying not only your lover, but your best friend.  Share you innermost thoughts with your mate and you will draw closer to each other. Finding that special someone is very important, so make sure he is THE one or you could lead an unhappy life.  Once again, seek God for direction.

     Concerning friendships, hold on to those true, best friends.  Don’t gossip or tear your friends down, don’t “stab them in the back.” Be faithful to them, treat them as you would want to be treated.  A good friend will stick by you through thick and thin.

     Be kind and patient with others and tolerate the seemingly intolerable.  Sensitivity could be helpful to you as well.  Being sensitive to others will let them see that there is something different about you.  Let your uniqueness be a tool for letting your light shine for Him.  Remember, you have a mission to tell others about Jesus Christ-never forget it.  There are so many hurting and broken people who God can touch through you.  Let them see His love in you.

     With God as the center of your life, leading you all the way, you will not be a failure.  Listen to wise counsel on things you are unsure of and always stand strong.  Stay on the straight and narrow path and you will make it all right.

I love you,

Mother

The student received an “A” for this paper, as well as “Nicely written and directive!”  She attended a public school and was not afraid to state her beliefs.

The year was 1996.

The student was Susie Matlick………..that’d be me.

I have 2 reasons for sharing this.

1.  Young ladies-Don’t be ashamed of what you believe in or afraid to share it.  Trust me…the world needs to hear it.  And God DOES speak to you and give you insight and wisdom about some stuff.  Don’t doubt yourself or let people look down on you because you are young!  I knew a lot of things about myself and life in general even when I was 17, but I allowed boyfriends, parents, teachers, friends and insecurities to change my mind about those things that I was passionate about.  Don’t let that happen to you.  Listen to your Creator when He whispers those special things to your heart.  Follow and listen to THAT voice.                                                                                                                                                                                     Image

2.  Older people-What were you good at when you were a teenager or child?  Or what did you love to do when you were young and carefree, without any worries or bills or kids or jobs?  Go back to that.  That’s what God wants you to be doing.  That is what He has gifted you with.  As a 35 year old woman, I am returning to my “first loves.”  Writing, instructing, teaching, etc.  How I ended up in a technology-based career for 15 years, I’ll never know.  Better late than never!  It’s never too late to use your God-given gifts and talents!  If He has called you and gifted you, even if it was 20 years ago, it is still good.  His gifts and callings never expire!

Romans 11:29 “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.”

What a special blessing it was for me to find this letter as I cleaned out my closet today!  A sweet reminder of God’s gifts to me.  What have you been hiding that you can bring out and dust off?

This lost and dying world needs you to be YOU and use the gifts that only YOU have been given!