Friday, February 13, 2009

The Blogaversary Finale

Since today is my actual blogaversary, this will be the day that I send in my "give away" donation to the Mossy Foot Project. This is also the day that I will wrap up answering the remaining questions. I saved these to do at the same time as I thought it was fitting to share with you where God and I have been together. Here are the questions:

If today was the last day you had on earth, what would you do and who would you be with?

How old were you when you turned back to Jesus?

What made you surrender your life to Jesus? How did you hear His call?

What brought the prodigal daughter "home to God"?


Can you tell a couple of these people must know a bit of my story? Either that or they are just assuming that I walked away from Jesus!! As I look back over the past 20 months since my life changed I can clearly see Jesus' hand in it all. I can say the same thing about most of my life. I will try to explain a little bit.

I was born into a Christ centered home. My dad was the dean of students at two different Christian colleges and my mom was blessed to be able to stay home with us kids. (well, I think it was a blessing, don't ask her) So hearing about God was just a part of everyday life. When I was 5 I told my mom that I wanted to ask Jesus into my heart and I would say from that moment on, I know that I was a child of God.

Fast forward a year or so and my dad became sick with leukemia. He died 3 years later on New Year's Day. I was 9. My brothers were 11 and 4. My mom was just 32. I could NOT believe it. Didn't God hear me? I had prayed that my dad would be fine. But it wasn't to be.

When I was 11, my mom remarried and we moved from Illinois to Michigan. I was in the 6th grade and not at all happy about any of it. I did not want a new dad. Didn't know why my mom needed a husband anyway. And I was livid that I had to leave my friends! I think that's when the beginning of the anger really started. I still loved God and attended church. Very involved in the youth group. Tried doing the right things. UNTIL...high school.

Wow, did you know how much fun you could have if you didn't follow the rules? I never denied my faith but I certainly didn't live it out. High school led to college which just led to more "living" and eventually I married. That marriage ended in divorce 3 years later. All this time I was not attending church. Nobody would have imagined that I was a believer.

Eventually I married Don. My parents had been very involved in Bible Study Fellowship, which is a non-denominational international Bible study. There was a children's program in BSF that you could take your children to once they turned 2. So, once David was old enough my mom strongly suggested that I attend. I did, but only for the sake of David. That first year we studied Moses. All the grumbling and complaining that the Israelites did even though God never left them and always provided. Hmmm...I saw just a little bit of myself in there.

One night I remember laying in my bed and telling God that He could have total control of my life again. I was giving myself back over to Him. It had been more years than I care to count since I had said anything like that to God. By this time I was around 29.

Slowly and I mean very slowly, I began to give more and more of myself to God. When I prayed the prayer that night telling God He could have total control, I didn't really mean it. Or maybe I just really didn't understand fully. It was not until almost 3 years later that I began attending church again. By this time we have two children and are a little more ready to "settle down". I loved the church and it didn't take me long to throw myself fully into serving. With youth. With women's Bible studies. You name it! But I will be honest and tell you that God still did not have all of me.

Now, fast forward MANY more years to June 2007 when I became ill. God got my attention. No I don't think He planned my illness but He certainly allowed it. Finally my life fully belongs to my Savior. Finally I believe He really loves me. Finally I know that He is all I need. Finally I am free from all the bondage that entangled me for years. Finally!! He never left me. Not in these past 20 months and not when I turned away from Him all those years ago. He waited with open arms ready to welcome me home.

So...what brought the prodigal daughter home? Jesus' love. How old was I when I turned back to Jesus? Technically, 29, but it is a choice I make daily. What made me surrender my life and how did I hear His call? I knew I couldn't do it alone. I knew I didn't want to. I heard His call through His faithfulness to me when I wasn't faithful to Him. Lastly, if today was my last day on earth, what would I do and who would I be with? I would share Jesus mostly with my children. I would want them to grasp what His love is really like. There is nothing I would really want to do but be assured that they fully understand who God is.

Moms (and dads) of prodigals: keep praying

Prodigals: it's never too late

HE is worth it! This journey has been long. Full of bumps. Many heartaches. Lifelong consequences. Lots of mercy. But it's nowhere near over. I am excited to see where He is taking me next. Healing? Who knows. Marriage? Who knows. HE KNOWS!

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30 comments:

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

Yippee! Happy Anniversary my friend.

May the Lord give you fifty more years of bloggy bliss.

Anonymous said...

Happy Blogaversary to The Perch!

Love ya',
Kim

kayro said...

Hallelujah for finally.

Love this post Sher, and luv you.

Karen

Pam said...

So glad you decided to to your blogaversary in this way! What a blessing it has been to read your heart! I hope to celebrate mine (soon!) whith as much grace and style as you have my dear friend!

UL Cards Fan said...

Dear Sheryl,
Thanks so much for sharing all this with us . And thanks for the encouraging words to both Ps and Parents of Ps.
In case you don't know it, you are ALREADY writing your book.
Who knows? God knows.

Love, LINDA

His Girl said...

Beautiful way to celebrate your blogaversary!

Loved every word. Glory to God!

Thy Word Is A Lamp Unto My Feet said...

Happy Anniversary dear Sheryl!

What a beautiful testimony of God's love, grace, and mercy. You are so correct - the journey is nowhere near over.

Please another Q&A soon. Truly fun...

Love you.

Myriam

Courtney and the Boys said...

Love it, Sherly-Sadie-Sheryl! Thank you for sharing your journey with us...

Court

C.C. and Double T said...

I left something for you on my blog. Feel free to pick it up anytime.

Praying for you...
:-)

-stephanie- said...

Happy Blogaversary. (throwing confetti and streamers)

Wonderful testimony! Isn't it much better on God's side?

And congrats to Mossy Foot Project for receiving your gift.

Kimberly said...

Happy Blogaversary Sherly! I have so enjoyed the Q & A! You never cease to amaze me, my friend. I see Jesus all over you!

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Love you lots,
KB

Joanne@ Blessed... said...

Just wanted to thank you for becoming a member on my blog for that blogfrog thingy. You are my first friend to do it. Now whenever I go to my blog I get to see your sweet smiling face!

BTW, I LOVED the line in your post here where you said, Prodigals: It is never too late.

Simply beautiful and beautifully simple.

Happy anniversary Sheryl. May your home here in the world wide web be used as a tool in the Lord's hands to help your healing and help you to encourage others that with Jesus healing is possible.

nancygrayce said...

Happy Anniversary! I too, would spend my last day making sure my children would join me someday.

Mary said...

I haven't written any more post but I have read your question and answers with much interest. I really enjoyed the "Blogaversary Finale." Beautifully written.

I was in Bible Study Fellowship for nine years and I LOVED it. Some of the jobs I held were, secretary, discussion leader & assistant administrator, but I loved being class secretary the most. I in fun told my teaching leader that I wanted to me a secretary in heaven . . . for Moses!
Thanks again for being so open and sharing your life with us. What a blessing you are!

love, mary

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Who knows but He knows! Amen.

Loved reading your story in a nut shell and hearing about your road traveled with the Savior. Beautiful.

Happy blogaversy.

It was fun.
Love,
Paula
(I wrote the shortest blog post in history I think.)

Gathering Hope said...

Sheryl,
Beautiful thoughts...
His Grace is greater than our pain
Sherry

Kiesha said...

Happy Blog Anniversary!
I check here often and you are an inspiration to me to walk closer to God and let Him in every part of my life.

Thank you!
God Bless

Debra said...

Sheryl,

I loved your testimony! I am the Mom of a prodigal. I never really turned away from God although I never had parents who lived fully for Him. Having a prodigal daughter is heart wrenching for me and something I have trouble coping with...I love to hear these testimonies because they give me so much hope! Thank you for sharing it with us!

Blessings to you!

Jenn said...

Happy Blogaversary! Mine was on the 11th! Loved this post because your life story has several similarities to mine.

Jenny said...

Happy Anniversary!

Jen

Sharon said...

Happy Anniversary to you my friend!
looking forward to reading many more years of your blog.
Blessings

Toia said...

Happy Blogaversary!!!

Beverly said...

Happy anniversary!!

You're thoughts and writings are always an inspiration to me.

Always!

Sharon said...

Happy Anniversary Sheryl :)

Love
Sharon

Judy said...

You blessed my heart today, as I read your story. Each of us has a journey. Thank you for sharing yours. God's mercy, love and grace is impossible to define...but you did a good job. I look forward to seeing how He continues to lead in your life.

C.C. and Double T said...

Read this again today and was struck by how blessed we all are to have a Savior who pursues us! I'm so glad that you (and I) responded to His call to return!

Hey, check out my new post I answered your question about my picture! :-)

Kiesha said...

Hey Sheryl,
I can't get to your email, I click on it and my computer can't connect or something like that.

Can you leave it on a comment on my blog or just email me at quinonezfamily@newwavecomm.net. That's if you want me to email you ;)
Thanks

Heather of the EO said...

You are so inspiring. And you know what? Your humility shines through it all and that's a beautiful thing. Thank you for sharing your story.

Jules (Sporty Mama) said...

Sheryl,

Thank you. Thank you for your comments on my blog and thank you for sharing your thoughts and story on your blog. It means so much.

Julie Anna

Diane Fay (littlealma) said...

Wow - what an amazing testimony!!! I was chatting with Emily and she told me you had a blog - wow I finally found someone in St. Joe - and I know you - to boot!

I soooo need to call you sometime - I also used to have vertigo many years ago - and there is a whole story that goes with that one too!

And I am SOOOOO glad that your walk with the Lord also included Emily (and the rest of the girls) along the way - you have been an incredible blessing to both them and to the parents!

I wish you well and big hugs from Diane!!!