What was life like before you met Jesus?
Before I became a woman of Christ, I always thought that there was a spiritual aspect or higher power, but I couldn't really articulate what it was or how it could give eternal life. Growing up, I seldom attended church except for the occasional wedding/funeral mass and on certain holidays such as Easter and midnight Christmas Eve service. The ironic part is that both of my parents attended Catholic schools until they became freshmen and then went to Cedar Rapids Washington High School. I think because they came from such devout households there was a feeling that it was forced upon them and they didn't want that for me. Being a social studies teacher, I have always been interested in the historical timeline and cultures of the Bible. However, I have struggled some with believing full heartedly in creation versus evolution. Before accepting Christ, my attitude was one of cynicism. I didn't really find comfort in those who would ask for prayer or say they would pray for an answer. I felt that it couldn't hurt but what was the real plan?
How did you meet Jesus?
Almost two years ago, my husband John, shared with me that he missed church and that he had fallen away for various reasons. He asked if I would consider looking into some options and possibly finding a church home. Veritas was a church we had seen downtown, not far from our house, and we were rather intrigued. After attending a couple of services, I was taken with how comfortable I felt, how genuine the people were and that this was definitely a change from my Catholic experiences. I started to become more active with volunteering, attending Launch Point, getting to know more members and eventually John and I both became official members. I think the turning point for me happened gradually and was influenced in great part by the passing of a dear, childhood friend. My friend Trudi was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in the summer of 2020. She and her husband both were and are extremely strong in their faith. Instead of pursuing the traditional route of treatment with chemo/radiation, she opted to try holistic treatment that included a plant based diet and detoxing at an experimental facility in Mexico. Many of us friends were, of course, alarmed and urged her to reconsider. She kept telling us she believed in her faith and valued quality over quantity of life. Therefore, our group of close girlfriends accept her wishes, made it a point to see her at least every couple of weeks and be supportive. On Good Friday of this year, April 2nd, John and I were attending service and it just clicked with me. I understood why Trudi had such faith and I asked God to be my personal Lord and Savior. Trudi had not been doing well and I was excited to share my news with her and planned to go visit the next morning. As I was getting ready on Saturday, her husband reached out to us girls and said that she had passed away peacefully earlier that morning. I was startled because she had rallied the past few days but I was at peace because I knew she was in the Lord’s hands and was now in a place of peace. Although I didn't get to tell her in person, I know she knows my heart and would be so pleased.
After being saved by Jesus what is your life like now?
Since accepting Christ as my personal Lord and Savior, I feel more centered and accept that I can't and don't have to do everything on my own. Before, I used to think that I could control outcomes by just being more focused, prepared and working harder. The way I look at challenges has changed and I think it has also made me a better educator. When selecting a verse that represents my growth mindset, I selected Romans 8:6 - "For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace."