Every day is a gift. I believe that with my whole heart.
There are some days, however, that are not only a gift, but change the entire projection of your life. Sometimes your eternity can change in a day. February 2, 1996 was not just life changing, but eternity changing for me.
I was in a really, really bad place. The person I had loved most in the world decided the feeling was no longer mutual, and I was devastated. What I had pictured my future to be had changed in an instant. And as I lay on my bathroom floor sobbing, I thought my life was over.
Little did I know a new life would begin.
That night, my older brother told me about his relationship with Jesus. I knew it had changed him. And I was desperate for something to take away the pain. He had asked me several times before, but on this night, I accepted the invitation.
What I learned that night was about God’s amazing grace. The song flooded my head for the next several days. A song I had heard hundreds of times but never really listened to the words of, started making complete sense to me. I didn’t have to earn God’s love…it was freely given. All I needed to do was accept it. His grace is sufficient and amazing and never ending.
The next several years, I searched for a church – but it wasn’t until I walked through the doors of Oasis in 2006 that I felt like I was home. I started learning my value by listening to the life transforming messages of Pastor Philip & Holly. I raised my hands in surrender to God during service for the first time while Shunna lead worship. I took my first step of publicly proclaiming my faith through baptism after going through a class that Alex lead. I prayed out loud for others for the first time during Chad & Sarah-Gayle’s connect group. I learned about servant leadership and using my gifts from Bonnie and the Godchicks team. I took my first steps of freedom from hurts and habits from Anthony in CR and Jocelyn in Grief Recovery. I learned to do my first word study from Ashley during my internship. I experienced a different relationship with the Holy Spirit after one conversation with Justin about their friendship. My understanding of what forgiveness really means and how much God really loves me was deepened under Bill’s teaching. And here I am, almost three years on staff…my first job in ministry, because of Melony.
I’m realizing that I WAS that unchurched person that our mission statement at Oasis Church is trying to reach. I’m proof that God is working through His church and His people and it’s not because I earned it, it’s because God so graciously offered me a choice, and I chose Jesus. I am still excited and thankful that I have the opportunity to lead others to that choice as well.
What a journey! And the best is yet to come…