Friday, March 2, 2012

Happy Birthday To Me!


Oh lordy!
I'm getting closer to forty!
I turn 36 tomorrow.
I feel like I'm still 26.
I think I might go buy some wrinkle cream today.
Oy!

In honor of my birthday, I wanted to share something special with you.
My testimony.
 This is one of those posts that I feel the Lord nudging me to write
and I'm typing with a few nervous butterflies.
It is the happiest story in my life, but at the same time I know some people have different views about my faith, and I'm never one who likes to make people feel uncomfortable.
But here it is . . .
You might want to grab a cup of joe . . .  

I grew up in a wonderful family.
We went to the Catholic church for most of my young life.
I was baptized, confirmed, went to weekly catechism, I even went to a Catholic high school.
I did it all.
I have always had a heart to know God.
After graduating high school I went to college.
Eight hours away from my family.
And let's just say . . . I went a little crazy with this new freedom.
I partied.
 A lot.
I was out of control.
Alcohol became a god.
I got really bad grades my first semester- my GPA was dangerously low.
It took me that first semester to realize the party scene was not for me.
So second semester I took school a lot more seriously.
I studied a lot and realized that 
lo and behold I was smart.
(not something I felt going through school when I was younger)
I was then on the Dean's list for the rest of my years in college.
School became a god.

It was also during these years that I became 'particular' with my eating habits.
Some would say I was anorexic.
Whatever it was, it was NOT healthy.
Food became a god.

It was also during this time that I started a relationship with a boy. 
It was not healthy.
In a way, it contributed to my 'particular' eating habits.
He was not good for me.
He became a god.

I had all these 'things' in my life that I was trying to control 
but they were controlling me.  
It was not a good thing.
On the surface they seemed to be making me happy and in control, 
but they in fact were pulling me further from the Truth.
I was trying to fill a space in my heart 
that NONE of those things could ever fill.

I graduated college and started the credential program to become an elementary teacher.
It was at this time my friend Jen entered my life.
It was also at this time that I moved into an apartment with my best friend, Nicole.
It was also at this time that some wonderful boys moved in the apartment above mine.  
All these people had something in common- they were all Christians.
At a time that I started questioning EVERYTHING in my life, God surrounded me with loving people who knew what I needed.
I needed Jesus.
I still have the charts (in true teacher style) that my friend Jen used to show me what it meant to 
give my life to Jesus.
I started going to church and reading my bible.
I said adios to that boy and hola to Jesus.
I'm smiling right now as I remember all the ways God prepared me and guided me to the best decision in my life-
accepting Him as my Lord and Savior.
I was 22.
I remember the day I got on my knees, 
listening to a Jennifer Knapp cd, 
and pleaded to God, asking Him to forgive me for my sins 
and to lead me in a life with Him.
I have never looked back.
My life was forever changed that day.
My heart was full.
God is the only thing that can truly fill my heart (and yours!)
In a sense, it was my 'birthday' as I was 'born again'.


That was the summer before my first year teaching
I accepted a job at a local Christian school and taught 4th grade.
I met the man of my dreams that year . . .
someone who had also recently given his life to Christ.
I love knowing that while God was working on my heart, He was preparing Josh to be a godly husband.
I would love to share Josh's testimony one day- his is a little more exciting with escaping  war in the Congo!

But I love my story.
Although I'm not proud of some of the avenues I took,
I would NOT change them for the world.
I experienced those things for a reason.
It's my story, that He wrote.
I love the deep joy I have with my hope in Christ.
I love knowing that I am NEVER alone.
I love knowing that if I seek Him, He will guide me.
It is my deepest desire for every person I know to have a relationship with Jesus.
When you accept Christ as your Savior,
you don't get handed a pair of rose colored glasses.
It doesn't mean that you will have a life without HARD times.
But it does mean you will have the ultimate Helper and Comforter to help you through the difficult times.
It doesn't matter if you're Catholic, Baptist, Protestant . . .
It matters that you have a relationship with Him.
It matters that you believe in your heart that Jesus died for your sins so that you may have eternal life with Him.
We are ALL sinners.
But God gave us His Son to pay the price for our sins.
Have you accepted this beautiful gift?
If you haven't, I pray that on my birthday, you consider it.
That if your heart is tugging right now, you would seek answers to any questions you have.
It would be the BEST birthday gift you could give this girl!
But really, it's not about me . . .


This is the first day of the rest of your life.
What are you waiting for?




15 comments:

  1. I love this beautiful lady! Thank you for sharing your story. It sounds a little similar to mine with a few differences. They both end with Jesus...or should I say begin!? Happy Birthday to you!!!! I hope it is everything you want it to be!! xo

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  2. praise the LORD!
    ok, i'm going to go a singing for the rest of the day and PRAY that people, even just one person, takes this to heart and accepts Jesus as their Savior. just beautiful.
    i love your story....sigh.
    God is so good to surround us with the people we need, just when He need them.
    He is so tender, loving and gentle.
    i would be completely lost without my Lord and Savior. He is everything.
    thank you for sharing this sweet, sweet, friend.
    and i hope that your birthday is a FANTASTIC one!
    i love that you feel like you're 26, and you also don't look a day older than it!
    xoxo love to you!

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  3. beautiful story, my dear! happy birthday tomorrow! hope your day is super sweet celebrating your precious life. and really, you totally could pass for 26. i thought you were until this post. : )

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  4. Praise the LORD for the awesome decision that you made so many years ago, and that you've kept your commitment to God! I just had my 'birthday' a couple months ago. I'm one! :) Yay. I'll have to talk about that sometime on my blog. Just have to fully work up the courage. I agree with you, Amy. The TRUTH is all that matters. My relationship with Jesus Christ is the most important thing to me, because in life, all of the little extra stuff really doesn't matter, because ultimately, SALVATION is on the line. Beautiful testimony from my SISTER in Christ! :)

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  5. Happy birthday sister. I love God's plan for our lives. Each person, situation and place we encounter are in his plan and fulfill his purpose. So glad you gave your heart to Christ. Hope you have a great day tomorrow.

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  6. Happy Birthday to you!!!! thanks for wearing your heart on your sleeve, it takes bravery to share our bad parts. Trust me though you are not alone. We all have some sort of past we're not happy of...well, I know I did...And I know that God has given me grace and forgiven those offenses. May you have a blessed birthday! Your beautiful!!! Mica

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  7. Thank you, thank you for sharing your precious heart. God has truly put His hand on your life and used you to touch so many others. I love your story...You are beautiful inside and out. Hope your family spoils you this weekend!! Happy birthday sweet friend!

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  8. I loved, loved this! Praise the Lord that He knew where you were and where you were going to be! He is glorious! Thank you Jesus for Amy and allowing her to be the light in a dark world with her testimony. Happy Birthday!

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  9. Love this post. When I was younger my family and I went to church. But after my parents divorced that stopped- and I didn't go to church for years- and years- I still haven't gone. I just downloaded the bible to my kindle the other day in hopes of reading it. Because faith is extremely and I want to build a relationship with god. It's just hard to know where to start.

    Hope you have a wonderful bday tomorrow! You deserve it!

    xo.

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  10. Great Post Amy! Happy Birthday to a very special lady! So glad our paths have crossed! Enjoy your day so much!!
    xo

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  11. happy birthday! the lord has a way of working everything together and sometimes it isn't until years later (or never, perhaps) that we can see his hand in our lives. he sure had his hand in yours...

    god bless,
    tiffany

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  12. Happy early birthday, Amy! What a beautiful testimony. Do you ever share with others about having issues with food and how you deal with that now?

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  13. OH Amy, I am so happy I read this on your birthday! What a wonderful testimony. It is always in his timing and what amazing timing he has and always will have. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Sweet girl!!

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  14. i loved reading this! i HATE that i didn't call you yesterday though. geesh.
    BUT i love that you have a shady-ish past like me. i love that you made mistakes and talk about them...admit that you're not perfect.
    i hope you had a beautiful day yesterday :)

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  15. LOVE this post!! You sound very similar to me, with the exception of my not finishing college and not quite quitting partying as soon...So glad God was watching out for me in my more stupid of times.
    Elise

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