Blissful Beginnings

by Mar 22, 2022Best of Times, Blissful Experiences

BLISSFUL BEGINNINGS

Ever since I was a young girl in 4th grade, I wanted to write. Back then, all I wrote about was my dog, my siblings, my love of nature, or wintertime adventures in Minnesota, like dodging trees while flying down a hill on a toboggan at breakneck speed. I wished for the day when my life experiences could take my stories beyond “My Dog Pepper”. If only I’d been warned, be careful what you wish for.

Fifty-six years later and way more painful experiences than I could have imagined, there’s now a story to tell.  Parts are not pretty and there’s much pain but I’m going to write it anyway because within the story is woven a thread of rescue, redemption, and renewal. The hope in my story is available to every reader who will receive it, no matter how deep the pit you may find yourself in.  

It’s a love story in which the Lover of my soul passionately and persistently pursued me through it all, regardless of my circumstances or the cries of my broken heart. More than a few will relate to what I share but my prayer is that you will be drawn to the One, the only One, who can redeem your pain, mend your broken hearts, and draw you to your safe place in Himself—in ways you’ve never imagined or dared to hope for. 

My relationship with Jesus began “officially” when I was 8. Songs and stories about Jesus were a regular part of my early childhood, but when my siblings and I listened to my mom read a story out of the devotional “Little Visits with God”, I knew as clear as anything that night, that I needed to surrender my heart to Jesus. I didn’t just need to, I wanted to. The Holy Spirit was calling me in a way that my little-girl heart could understand. I couldn’t resist His invitation.

Immediately, I knew something was different in my life. I was only 8 and couldn’t articulate it other than “I asked Jesus into my heart” but the joy that bubbled inside me was all I needed.

My joy could not be contained. The very next day, I walked to the end of my street, knocked on my friend’s door and told her I had something to tell her. We went to the curb at the end of her yard and sat down. I told her what I had done and strongly encouraged her to ask Jesus into her heart, too. (I don’t think she did).

My enthusiasm only grew over the next several years. I told my teachers, friends, and anyone else who might listen about Jesus. I absolutely loved going to church, Pioneer Girls (a Christian version of Girl Scouts), and church summer camp. I couldn’t get enough of Christian music. Not “pop” Christian music, hymns. I saved my money and bought myself a $2.00 hymn book so I could learn to play them on the piano and sing the words to my mom at night while I lay in bed and she put curlers in her hair across the hall. “The Old Rugged Cross” was my favorite. 

Some might have considered my zeal a little over the top but it was real and sincere. I loved Jesus and we had a great relationship. As far as I was concerned, “Every Day with Jesus Is Sweeter Than the Day Before” was the theme song for my life. Little did I know then about the mission of the enemy of our souls to steal, kill and destroy every aspect of the abundant life Jesus intends for us to experience.