As I was sitting at a family function many years ago when my youngest, Jenna, was very small and very sick, my Aunt Doris told me that God had blessed Jenna with our family. I quickly told her that, No, God had blessed us with Jenna.
I grew up in the church. My mother played the organ for the churches we attended when we were young. I went to choir, MYF (Methodist Youth Fellowship), and helped with VBS (Vacation Bible School) during the summer. I felt like I knew God and was a pretty good Christian, but like most young adults, I sort of wandered away until I had children.
When Jenna was born it was pretty obvious something was a little different with her. The first 2 years of her life were very hard. She didn’t develop on a normal time frame, was considered a failure to thrive, and she had many more issues. There were many doctor visits with many different specialists. We had many sleepless nights. Finding things she could eat and trying to put weight on her was hard. It was stressful to me, my husband, and our other 3 children.
But what got me through was God. Isaiah 41:13 says:
For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you,
When I trusted him, things didn’t seem so stressed. I was able to see that God had a plan for Jenna and a plan for us. He brought us closer together as a family. I found the calling he had planned for me all along. As the years go by I see how He has used Jenna to change the people she comes in contact with - kids at school, her teachers, and many in our community.
I sometimes still get a little overwhelmed and stressed, but I know God is holding onto my hand and is right there when I need him.
Written by April
A God moment? Let me see, so many to choose from…
Should I tell about the very last time I skipped Sunday School to play golf? That’s one round of golf I will never forget, nor will my buddy, who was inches away from getting zinged in the head by my broken 3 wood flying through the air!
Or how about the time my dad had fallen so ill he became a hollow shell of the man I once knew? Nah, I will save that one for another time.
You know, the frequency of God moments in my life is steadily increasing because, well, it took me a while to learn to look FOR HIM! So how about the day I met with the official Blog Team for the first time.
Previously when I was asked if I would be interested in joining the Blog Team I thought, “You mean I get to write about Jesus? Church? I am in!” Now, first of all, I am not a great writer…second of all, I don’t even know what a blog is apparently. While the other real bloggers were planning on the future blogs, my mind was racing to find a way to tell the powers that be that I made a mistake. To me - in my limited knowledge and experience - a blog is a discussion board or a forum with lots of back and forth. I was pretty sure I would not have anything to “blog” about, so I was planning my exit strategy.
Enter God, stage right.
So I head into church after our meeting feeling defeated, you know? Here I was, so pumped up to share my passion for Jesus, and I found myself backing away from the mic, so to speak, because I didn’t consider myself a blogger. As soon as I walk through the doors, Bud grabs me (if you don’t know Bud yet, you soon will) and says, “Hey, can you help serve Communion?”
“Yes! Of course!”
The first Sunday of each month is Communion Sunday for us in the United Methodist Church. Some call it The Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion, and it’s a pretty big deal for those of you who aren’t familiar with it. It is when we break bread and drink wine (grape juice) together in honor and remembrance of Jesus. The only thing better than partaking in Communion is getting to serve it!
And who did I end up standing next to while serving? The very guy I was about to tell that I was not going to participate in the whole blog thing: Reverend Mark. Awesome.
The people come. He hands them their portion of the bread and says to them something to the effect of, “The Body of Christ broken for you.” I then hold out the cup of grape juice and say, “The Blood of Jesus poured out for you.” Wow…
It is then that it hit me. While saying over and over again that this juice represents the blood of Jesus, poured out for you…for me. For me (and you) He was tortured and crucified, and I didn’t think I was capable of putting together 500+ words to share about Him?
Communion finished. I left immediately oh so disappointed with myself…jump in my truck…and smile. Then I say out loud, “Lord, I hear you.”
Thank you for Bud. Thank you for Communion. Thank you for this ministry and for the real bloggers. Thank you for FUMC Katy. Thank you for giving me yet another moment between You and me…and now everyone else.
Written by Harry
Looking back on my sophomore year as a junior, I now realize that I was so stressed out. All. The. Time.
I had all my school work, my homework, 25 pages of textbook reading every night, labs, choir music, etc. On top of that, everyone would ask me where I wanted to go to college, what I wanted to major in, and what I wanted to do with my life after college, when I had no clue myself.
So I would just stand there with a smile on my face and politely tell them that I still wasn't sure. It’s stressful not knowing what you want to do for the next 50 years of your life at 16!
I didn't know it at the time, but all I did with my life was school. I went to church youth group maybe a total of 10 times the whole school year. I never went to parties or really hung out with my friends. I put school before my relationships with my friends, my relationships with my family, and even my relationship with Christ.
A higher GPA was more important to me than going to youth group. I would rather be comfortable and do my daily little routine than take the extra time to focus on my Bible verse of the day.
Deep in the middle of the summer I was at a church camp. We were singing in worship, so studying and doing school work was the LAST thing on my mind. I was just singing along with the words on the screen when “Jesus is Better” by Austin Stone came on and this verse came up:
than any comfort / JESUS is better / make my heart believe
I don’t even know what happened then. A wave of relief or maybe like compassion - I don’t know what it was - came over me. I just felt changed.
I broke down into sobbing tears because that lyric really spoke to me. I realized I had put my own comfort before my association with Jesus and that the singer was right: Jesus IS better.
Better than getting an A on a test that you studied so hard for.
Better than being valedictorian in your class.
Better than getting into the college of your dreams.
He is better.
It just took me a while to realize that He has a plan for me and that I have to put my trust in Him. I know that everything happens to people for a reason because that’s just a small part of his plan for them.
“So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring enough worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today” (Matthew 6:34//NRSV)
Written by Sarah
Written by Katheryn
The 12:12 Project is sponsored by Katy First United Methodist Church.