I was saved when I was 15.  I grew up in a family of believers, but we moved a lot and my parents were wonderful people of different denominations, so finding a church home never really happened until we settled down in one place when I was in High School.

I was active in the Youth Choir and Youth Group.  I attended a weekend retreat where I had one of those "mountain top" moments and gave my life to Christ. I believed in Him with all my heart. But a few years later, as the pull of the world got stronger, I realized that MY way of living my life didn't really jive with His way. As many teenagers do, I ran in the other direction. But He never left me.

I spent 11 long years doing my own thing instead of walking with the King.  While I was certainly broken in many ways after so much time away from the Lord, by His grace, I found myself with a wonderful job, a husband who loved me, and a sweet baby inside me.  But something still felt missing, and I started trying to figure out what that was.

My husband and I were excitedly preparing for our new arrival, hoping HARD that it would be a boy. I think we had even started telling people that it was a boy- that's how bad we wanted one.  Then, we got the news that we were having a girl.

I'm embarrassed to say that we were disappointed.  Still excited about this baby, of course, but we were admittedly disappointed that it was not a boy.  I grew excited about girl clothes and all the other fun things there are to look forward to with girls, but something in me was absolutely terrified about having a girl and I didn't know what it was.  Finally, one day, I put my finger on it.  I was TERRIFIED that my little girl would make the same poor decisions that I had made.  You see, I had wonderful parents, but they couldn't protect me from that time in my life when I was on my own and away from God.  I spent years making bad choices and getting into painful relationships that had me heart broken.  How could I watch my own daughter potentially go through those same things?

I was silently fretting about this for a while, then one day, a friend of mine posted something on Facebook about doing a Bible Study.  That's when it hit me.

The thing that was missing in my life was Jesus.  

I gave my life to Christ when I was 15, but I never really got to know Him.  I believed that He was my Savior, but I hadn't made Him my friend.  It occurred to me that if I could teach my precious little girl to love the Lord with all her heart, soul, mind, and strength, then maybe she would follow the Lord all of her days.  I'm sure she won't be protected from everything, but if she has the Lord, I'll have some peace.

I knew that if that's what I wanted for my baby, it would have to start with me.

Jesus became my friend for the first time.  In that friendship, I found out who He was and who I am in Him.  Now, I can teach my daughter who she is in Christ and as long as I know that I've done everything I can to give her that, I'll have God's perfect peace.  My heart has been forever changed. The Lord made me brand new and I love living my life, leaning on His everlasting arms.

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