Today I want to share with you someone who changed my life. Someone who didn't do anything other than shine the light of Jesus with her life. Matthew 5:16 (New International Version)16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
A little over seven years ago I ran across someone who lived what she preached. Unashamedly. lived. what. she. preached. I saw her stand up for what she believed and do it with respect. I had never met someone with so much integrity either. Trust me I was looking to find something wrong for reasons that are hard to explain...I didn't WANT to see someone living for Jesus because I knew I wasn't. I hadn't been for a long time. I am not saying I was doing anything "major" but I wasn't living for Christ and I knew it...She never had to say anything about my life or what was wrong but her light was so bright...it was SOOO bright that all of my sins became evident to me. It sent me to my knees many times but I wasn't ready to let go and give my life back to God. I was putting my wants before God. I just wasn't ready to let go...not yet.. I still watched her life and how she reacted to different situations. At the time she didn't know I was watching so closely but do we ever? do we ever realize how the things we do and what we say impact others? people ARE watching our lives and if we are claiming to be Christians then we should be living it....and she was. Oh she just oozed Jesus and grace and mercy. She was just so real and honest that things I had hidden in my life for YEARS from everyone I was able to open up about. I was met with love and compassion that could only have come from a person with a heart for God. I felt safe sharing with her and that is something I don't do. I guard my heart from people and I try not to let them in....I have been hurt so many times by people who were supposed to love me unconditionally why wouldn't I kwim? not saying it is right but that is the truth. There was something different with her and I have been able to let down every single wall and let her completely in...I love her like a sister and I am blessed to be her friend. It was her love and support that helped me find the strength to do what God had been asking me to do...the best part is she never told me what to do but she pointed me to God and that is the best gift a friend could ever give. Over the years I have seen her in many different situations...I have seen her heart broken and what is inside is absolutely beautiful..I have seen her angry and wronged and I have watched her handle that with love...Ephesians 4:26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath I have seen this verse in action. It is not something that I have learned yet but it isn't for lack of a great example. I really can't say enough wonderful things about her. I have watched her care for others including myself! I have seen her faithfully serve in her church. I have seen her raise two of the most amazing children without spanking. I am a better person because of her. I am closer to my Father now than I ever have been because she pointed me back to Him and He was waiting with open arms. Why am I telling you all of this? because TODAY is her birthday...today we celebrate her life.... Not everyone knows how much they impact others and I hope she knows how much she has changed my life. I can't imagine where I would be if I hadn't made the choice to follow God's will for my life and I had stayed. I can't imagine how my kids would have grown up had I NOT left. What would I have been teaching them? In the last seven years all 3 of my children have accepted Jesus as their personal savior...I wonder if that would have happened if I hadn't found my way home.... I can't imagine and I don't want to....So Happy Birthday friend ...I hope this year you realize how much you mean to others and how much you change lives. Not just mine but those little ones you teach every week at church..it is a thankless job but one that I personally know changes lives. Thank you for being YOU. You are such a gift and a precious friend. I love you!