Laura _______, RN
Crisis Pregnancy Center Training
October 29, 2012
“I Live Because He Died, I Love Because He Loved Me First”
This is a daunting task, this sitting down and preparing to write in a page how I’ve come to know Christ and the way He’s worked in my life. Just as the Gospel writer John says (verse 12:25), there’s no way I could possibly write all of it down, but I’ll try to summarize the beautiful gifts of life, love, and salvation that I’ve received from knowing Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.
When I look back at my childhood, I realize how incredibly blessed I was to grow up in a family with two parents who loved each other and who loved God and their children. My parents were cradle Catholics who baptized their children into the Catholic Faith and attended Mass on Sundays but they began to look deeper into their faith when I was in the third grade. Because I was close with my mom, I too began to learn more about the God we worshipped on Sundays and His Church. I fell in love with the God who loved me first. Even as a third-grader, I remember discussing my faith with my fellow classmates at school despite their teasing and arguing. It made sense to me in my mind and thankfully it journeyed to my heart as well.
That heart journey would continue throughout my years of adolescence and into young adulthood. My family began homeschooling and through that venture I met many other kids my age who loved the Church, their faith, and most importantly, the Lord. I’m so indescribably grateful for these godly, supportive friendships because not only because they gave me support and encouragement as we learned our faith and how to walk the narrow way given to us by Christ, but they also encouraged me to further develop my relationship with my Savior on a personal level. It was amazing to me then and continues to leave me in awe when I think about the fact that this God who created the stars and planets and the world and everything in it—past, present, future—knows me intimately and desires for me to know and love Him in an intimate way as well. [A dear friend] described my relationship with the Lord in this way: as a child I was friends with Him, as a teen I ‘dated’ Him, and as a young adult I truly see Him as the Lover of my soul, the only One who fully completes me and satisfies me.
In my early twenties, my faith was shaken by painful circumstances. In a matter of a year, I went through a broken engagement, found out I had Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome—a disease that could affect my fertility, and moved out of my parents’home. Because I had always sought to love and follow Christ, it was painfully confusing to find myself in such a mess of emotions and brokenness. I remember opening my Bible to the Gospel of Matthew and beginning to re-read the Gospels one chapter at a time. I needed reassurance of who Jesus was—that He was still who He said He was even when everything else in my life had fallen apart. Through my Scripture reading and my soul-searching prayer times in the silence and darkness, I found Him again but in a deeper way. He became my Rock, my Healer, my Truth, my Lover in a more powerful way than before. Once again I turned to Him in surrender and hope and faith and trust, knowing that He would always and only be my One Sure Thing in life.
Knowing Christ changes everything. It doesn’t mean that my life is perfect or that nothing bad ever happens to me or that I’m never in a bad mood. But it does mean that I have an unexplainable, unshakeable peace and joy in my heart. There is meaning and hope in the difficult times of life—because there’s more than this life here on earth. I know I am saved by His Sacrifice on the cross just as the Bible says in Romans 8:24 and Ephesians 2:5-8—by believing, acknowledging, and accepting Him as my Savior and Lord of my life, by professing that, and by being re-born as His child in the sacrament of Baptism. The Lord continues His saving work in me as I seek to take up my cross and follow Him (1 Cor. 1:18, 2 Cor. 2:15, Phil. 2:12). I see His transforming grace at work in my heart and my life. I trust His Spirit to continue the work He’s begun in me (Phil. 1:6) and so I daily offer Him my life and desire that He use me in whatever way He sees best for His kingdom and His glory. I look forward to being united with Him one day in Heaven (Romans 5:9-10, 1 Cor. 3:12-15). I know that I am loved by Him and I want to share that redeeming love with others—by word but also by the way I treat others, especially by service. Having experienced His amazing love and wanting to share it with others is what has led me to the crisis pregnancy center. I want women to know their God-given worth and dignity and beauty—that they are LOVED, and I want to be a willing tool in the Lord’s hands to bring our country back to a culture of life.