Pastor Jim told the congregation Sunday that we should prepare “our stories” because he is going to call on us to tell them. And I think he is serious.
Fear was nearly palpable as people imagined themselves standing in the spotlight, eyes watching them stand alone to tell some of the most intimate details of their lives.
I’m sure some are contemplating not returning to church until after his assignment is due and everybody has completed the terrifying task. My thoughts have been more on conjuring up the best excuse — the most believable — for why I won’t be able, unfortunately, to speak.
So that was settled. There is no way I’m going to obey. No way I am going to step out of my comfort zone, walk down that aisle and up those steps. There is no way I am going to hold the microphone, let alone speak into it.
And then it came to me Monday afternoon as I was struggling for a topic for this column. The reason I don’t want to get up in front of the church to tell my story is because I don’t think it’s special enough to hear. I don’t think you’ll care. And maybe you won’t.
But what if you do?
And the “what if you do” part is why I’m going to lay it all on the line. Because while you probably know a lot about me since I am a born-and-raised Lawrence countian, I’m pretty sure I’ve never been this candid about the most important thing in my life.
It all started a couple of years ago when we found ourselves attending church. But it wasn’t until I began participating in Sunday school that I found Christ.
I remember the day clearly. The kids were taking a morning nap, and I was sitting on the couch reading that day’s Bible lesson. The story was about Abraham and his son, Isaac. God tested Abraham’s devotion by asking him to sacrifice his one and only son, whom he loved. When Abraham was about to kill his son, God provided a ram for sacrifice so Abraham’s beloved son could live.
It was like a light bulb turned on inside my head and woke me up from my 20-plus year slumber!
God sacrificed his one and only son, whom he loved, so that we could live. He is our ultimate provider and His son, Jesus, is what He has provided so that we can live and not die.
Life changed for me that moment. And the journey since has been one of incredible personal growth, which has made me a better wife and mom. I wish I had the space to tell you all the different ways I’ve seen God move in my life, including two financial miracles that only can be explained by divine intervention.
And I know, without a doubt, He has an army of angels living in my attic to rescue my kids from all the shenanigans they pull! (Next time you see me, ask about the space heater and toilet water!)
Even with all the miracles and my changed heart, I struggle daily, hourly and some times moment-to-moment to keep my minds’ eye focused on what is pure, what is right and what is holy. I still want to control what I can’t control, and my fleshly desires still sometimes win.
I don’t want you to think this profession of my faith in any way elevates me. Since becoming a Christian, I see myself in a whole other light. It’s like my faults are blared in neon lights. But my shortcomings, thankfully, are not nearly as important as the path I’m on now.
And I hope you’ve sensed a change in me. I pray that you see I’m not the same girl you once knew. Because I’m not. And now you know why.
As seen in the Lawrence County Record
My name is Ginia Oehlschlager and I'm a small-town gal from Missouri. Join me as I document my crazy life on the farm with my husband and four kids. I'm always looking for frugal, simple ways to live the life God set before me. Where faith, family and fun come together on the farm.