Friday, April 9, 2010

Story of My Life: Salvation

I have believed in God as long as I can remember. Although raised in the (Catholic) Church, during my childhood and adolescence I experienced God more outside the church than in. I heard Him in the sound of children's laughter, felt Him in the warm, summer breeze against my shoulders, saw Him in the kindness of strangers, and felt His love demonstrated in the beauty and faithfulness of the sunrise. Despite my confidence in His existence, the world beckoned, and I sought excitement and satisfaction elsewhere - if you haven't yet been or can't remember being a teenager, consult a teen flick and you'll know what I mean. (Don't let your imaginations run too wild - I was still a pretty good girl.) My freshman year in high school, tragedy struck and my world changed. Two very close friends of my family passed away, both unthinkably young, and in completely separate but equally tragic circumstances. Suddenly going to dances, cruising the mall, and talking about boys was not quite cutting it. Life was short, cruel, and unfair from my new perspective, and what was the point of it all, really? After about a year of seeking various ways to ignore, suppress, numb, deflect or deny my painful emotions, I found hope. By some completely non-coincidental series of events that seemed random at the time, I ended up going on a houseboat trip with a church that I had casually (mainly socially) attended in junior high. I saw people who were joyful, peaceful, and genuine. People who had hope, and were not just living for the moment, but for eternity. I saw Jesus in them. I recognized the voice that had been whispering my name throughout my life, but now that voice was calling out, "Come to me! Rest in me. I have what you need." And I went to Him. And in Him I found abounding hope, limitless joy, profound peace, and unconditional, crazy love. Nothing has ever been the same. Thank God for that.



More of the Story of My Life in Roots, Answered Prayer, Bumps In The Road, and Freedom.



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7 comments:

Linda Z said...

This is so beautiful, Colleen! :) Looking forward to hearing more!

Natalie said...

Hi, Colleen! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving an encouraging comment. Looking forward to Relevant!

I grew up in the Catholic church (and schools), too. I could relate to your comment of experiencing God more outside the church that in it. I know that it is not the same for everyone, of course, though.

Looking froward to getting to know you here.

Julie said...

Hi Colleen, I am glad I came to visit you here. I saw that you were following me on Twitter so I thought I'd come and see more about you. It's great to meet you!

I know you will have an amazing time in Pennsylvania.

In 2005 God called me to board a plane (for the first time at age 47.. I know crazy) and fly to a Captivating retreat in Colorado. I knew it was one of those "risky" things... He didn't disappoint! I know it will be the same for you!

I loved reading your story. It is beautiful!

I'd love to have you come and visit my blog if you'd like. I love meeting new people!

Wanda said...

Hi Collen, I came across your blog from a link at Gather Inspirit. This is such a lovely post that you've shared.

Tinika said...

I love your way of explaining your faith. It's nice to come across something so open.

Anonymous said...

Greetings,

I have a question for the webmaster/admin here at www.smalltowncolleen.com.

May I use part of the information from your blog post above if I give a backlink back to this website?

Thanks,
Alex

Colleen said...

Hi Alex - I would appreciate if you would let me know where you'll be using the information from this blog post, before you do so, since it's my personal story. Thank you. Blessings.