Infarrantly Creative: REAL and RAW Part 9

Real and Raw Part 1
Real and Raw Part 2
Real and Raw Part 3
Real and Raw Part 4
Real and Raw Part 5
Real and Raw Part 6
Real and Raw Part 7
Real and Raw Part 8

She just held me and let me cry until I was so exhausted and out of tears. She talked to me about a personal relationship with Jesus. She told me how much He loved me and how He could heal my wounded heart if I would let Him in my life. It all didn’t make sense at first. I went to Catholic school and read the Bibles stories for homework but I never once heard this message of hope. I just thought if my good deeds outweighed my bad deeds at the end of my life I would enter the pearly gates. God cared about my daily life? He wanted a relationship with me? It seemed so mind blowing but something in my heart screamed, “Yes I want that.” I told Pam, “You show me in my Bible what you just said and I will believe you.” So she flipped open my Catholic bible and showed me verses that backed up what she was saying.

She told me that we all had sinned and fell short of God’s standard of perfection (Romans 3:23). She didn’t need to convince me of that, I certainly knew I fell waaay short of perfection. In the Bible it talks about the penalty for our actions is death and separation from God (Romans 6:23). But that God sent his son Jesus to this earth to live a sinless life. He died on the cross as a penalty for my sin and made a way for me to experience eternal life in heaven and joy on this earth (Romans 5:8). There is no amount of good that I can do to earn my way into heaven. That it is a free gift because of who God is and His love for me (Ephesians 2:8-9). All I needed to do was invite Jesus into my life (Romans 10:9-10, John 3:16).

It seemed weird and overwhelming. Hearing about God’s love for me and how He could change me opened my eyes. I somehow understood how these ‘church people’ had this love that was unexplainable. What intrigued me about church people was really God working through these people to love me. Unbelievable.

So that night August 9, 1994 I prayed for the first time in my life with an open heart and an earnest plea. I asked Jesus to cleanse me of all the wrong things I did, to come into my life, and that I believed in Him. I walked away from that conversation a changed person. I felt the weight of the world off my shoulders and a joy unexplainable.

Needless to say I gave Pam more than 20 minutes ;-) We got back to the cabin late that night. I drifted to sleep with the most peaceful feeling I have ever felt in my life.

I woke up the next morning and our cabin was filled with balloons and streamers. Word had spread that “the tough girl everyone was praying for” asked Jesus into her life and everyone was so excited that they wanted to celebrate. They said that when someone becomes a Christian that the angels in heaven throw a party (Luke 15:10) and that it was my spiritual birthday and they wanted to celebrate. I started to cry and said, “No today is my real birthday.” Little did anyone know (except my cousin and Pedes) that August 10th was my 17th birthday. It was so tender to me that these people I didn’t even know cared enough to do that for me. The sweet part was that it was my birthday..but the bigger deal was that I had this new faith and they wanted to make sure I knew how special I was. Everyone signed a book for me congratulating me and they bought me a camp sweatshirt. I still have both of those things to this day.

My cousin Julie and me August 10, 1994


Pedes came up to me and asked me what happened that night with Pam. She said, “Everyone is talking about you today, what happened last night?” I tried to explain it to her but I told her to go talk to Pam. Pam told her the same message that she told me the night before and Pedes asked Jesus to come into her life that day. It was a whirlwind of a week for both of us.

I know many of you reading this blog do not share my faith. (You can say all day long that there is no God but) No matter what your belief is about God you can’t deny the change that took place in my life that day. I know Jesus is real because He changed me. That day was a marked moment in my life. I was one person one day and a completely new creation the next day. That day at Silver Birch Ranch in White Lake, Wisconsin God became real to me and I have not been the same since.

I didn’t call Jake again that week. I didn’t really know what to say to him. It was all so new and overwhelming and I couldn’t talk about it without crying. This crying thing was something I was going to have to get used to. Whenever, I talked about God’s love I couldn’t help but tear up.

After not hearing from me for three days Jake was a little freaked. He called my mom to see if it was okay if he picked me up when I arrived back into town. She said that was okay. I got off the bus and immediately saw Jake…my heart skipped a beat…how was I going to explain the change that had taken place in my life that week? Would he think I was a freak? Would he still want to be with me now that my priorities had changed and our relationship would change?

I took a deep breath and put one foot in front of the other and walked towards Jake…

Click here to read REAL & RAW Part 10





Comments

  1. Cool! I’m the first comment! Wow, this is such a great story. Now I know why you wanted to share it and I’m so thankful. I’m dying to know what happened with Jake and when you went back to school…

  2. I stumbled onto your site a couple weeks ago and I’m hooked on this story! Thank you for sharing. We all really did have painful adolescent years, didn’t we?

  3. Vivienne says:

    I remember that same feeling of peace (but at the same time euphoria) when I accepted Christ.

    For me, over the years it seems that I am constantly losing that feeling, having it revitalized, losing it… repeat, repeat, repeat.

    I have been in a “losing” period lately and this blogging community in general is helping me, but I want you to know that your story in particular is helping to revitalize me spiritually. Thank you so much.

  4. I totally remember you coming home from camp a new woman. I was so young then but I definitely remember thinking “what the heck happened to Beckie at that camp?”

  5. I can’t tell you how much I envy you your “church” experiences. I’ve had similar… and although I loved the camp (Young Life’s Malibu Club in BC, Canada), the counselor who was leading/heading our church group was not so welcoming… she was forceful and scary.

    I’ve had so many weird run ins with church and church folk, that I find myself scared stiff with trying to find a new church since college (where I found the only church and pastor I’ve liked with the exception of finding the pastor who married my husband and I). I have gone to a few local churches… and think I may have found one that I would like to frequent… but now it’s just feeling comfortable enough to relax and let them handle my children (one of which is autistic).

    I love how church gives me that boost I need for the week. In college… it carried me through my last year. I wouldn’t have survived without it.

    Praise God that He has found a solid grasp on your heart and in your heart. I hope to have that myself one day.

  6. PTL! This is what I’ve been waiting for! I love it…can’t wait for the next installment. Your story has been a blessing to me and looks like many others!:)

  7. What an awesome story! My world turned upside down for a few years starting in 5th grade too (with the help of a best friend also!) and a bunch of drawings passed around the room highlighting my “not so good” qualities. (How sweet, huh?!) I also found a relationship with God! :) Thank you for sharing your story!

  8. Mom in High Heels says:

    You are a genius at the cliffhanger. You should write books. And I still think you’re sweet. I’ve been reading your blog for about a year now and sweet is absolutely one of the words I’d choose if asked to describe you in 5 words. The other 4 would be creative, talented, generous and kind.
    Now tell me what happens next!

  9. Mabry's gamma says:

    See I told you that you should write a book, even Mom in High Heels agrees. This should be one of those books for teenage girls. I think a lot of them that have been where you were would read this book and see where they could be.

    Have a great weekend.
    Cheri

  10. Man, you should not read this when you are hormonal and prego. : ) I praise God though that He (and your camp counselor seized the moment) caught you and held tight. : ) (Ah, man, my mascara’s running…) Thank you for your testimony.

  11. Housewife Savant says:

    I came over from Just a Girl. Mostly because I saw “Infarrantly Creative” and I needed to find out WHAT THAT MEANS.
    I also saw “Child of God,” in your profile, but I’m not about that kind of siblinghood when so often it’s a title.
    I saw there’d be Eight Posts in order to Catch Up, and being a glass-half-empty kinda girl I figured I’d be in for just a peek.
    It wasn’t looking like we’d be BFFs.

    I read. It. All.

    I’m not so good at the Waiting.
    I didn’t watch a single Lord of the Rings ‘til they were all on DVD.
    I’m Harry Potter fan now, which is part of MY testimony [yes] and The Waiting for movies has been alleviated by rabid reading of the books. (And NO, I’m not worshipping the devil or practicing genuine witchcraft as I was taught to believe.)
    I broke out of my frugal zone to see Pirates of the Caribbean movies IN THEATER even, and I’m THRIFTY.
    I don’t wait.
    Yet here I sit on a Glorious Saturday Afternoon because your testimony is fascinating.

    Youth is horrible. Choices are made and often choices are wrong.
    I’m thinking how difficult it would be to describe these events and feelings so smartly. So concisely. And I read “Silver Birch Ranch in White Lake Wisconsin…”
    I nearly whizzed. (Can I say “I nearly whizzed” in a comment? I think I can.)

    I grew up in White Lake, Wisconsin.

    I was cast as a whore and outcast in WLW. I was the subject of ridicule and torment in WLW.
    I made poor choices, lived in sin, mired in unhappiness in WLW.

    Strangely enough; Silver Birch Ranch was obscure to folks in WLW.
    After I’d become an unwed mother one of my brothers became involved at the camp. And to this day I think he gleaned some Genuine Understanding of the Gospel.

    Following my conversion (sounds like a nun-thing, doesn’t it?) my husband went to seminary. As Associate Pastor in Plover, Wisconsin he took Youth Group to SBRanch several times.

    Living twelve hours south now we BOTH long for a winter retreat there. Our girls could experience snow-that-stays, sledding, skating, and skiing. (And I relish the fact that we’d leave and return to No-Snow Southern Illinois.)

    Looking at your labels I’m fairly certain Infarrantly Creative is about more than your testimony. I mean; could there possible BE MORE? But you get me.

    I’m pretty much Incompetently Creative, and don’t usually take to Fabulous Crafters who Do Everything and Photograph It Well, but I’m thinking there may be a siblinghood after all…

    Since I’ve GOT TO stick around for #10 I think I’ll browse.
    Thank you for sharing such an Awesome Testimony! Please put out the next installment quickly. I believe I’ve explained that I’m not so good at the Waiting.

  12. Mom Taxi Julie says:

    I just read most of your story today! Can’t wait for the next installment :O)

  13. Shelley Fuge says:

    Praise God for your testimony and the wide/varied readers you have! God is using you in their lives! :-) Keep it coming sista!

  14. I love it all and love that your blog has become such a testimony for Christ!!!

    To God be the glory!

  15. Aaaaargh! Can’t wait to hear what happens next. Thank you for sharing your testimony. Your story is inspiring. You have a gift for making the reader feel they are right there with you.

  16. Hope you had a nice weekend, I have an award for you over at my place. Please pop over and pick it up when you have time.
    :)

  17. You are such a stinker with these cliffhangers! I find myself tearing up/ crying and then yelling at you because you stopped. Aaahhhh!! I love it. I love you. And I am so glad we are sisters in Christ.
    Brandy :)

  18. This is great. What an awesome way to witness you just found!

  19. PTL!

    I love how you know your spiritual birthday. Alex and I are raising our kids with the same. We feel it is so important to know that date. We feel our kids should know like their birthday date.

    We celebrate it with the kids every year and talk about the Lord and their faith.

  20. Becky,
    I love you dearly. You truly make me laugh !!! You have an awesome testimony… Have a wonderful week :o)

  21. Ahh, I am finally catching up! I love this one, that is so special that you accepted Jesus the night before your earthly birthday, way cool! I remember having the same sort of weight off my shoulders feeling when I accepted Christ at the age of 8, it was wonderful. God is good =)

  22. ok, I just got all caught up! (now that I’m home from my trip!)

    I’ve heard bits and pieces of this from you over the years but I’m liking getting the WHOLE story and seeing the big picture!

    I also just love reading stories and seeing how God is always in the details and works everything out for His will and purposes.

  23. Loved that installment! What an amazing experience for you. Love feeling your spirit through your telling of the story!

  24. SugarandSpice says:

    I seriously teared up reading this and I got the chills. My daughter shares a birthday with you. It feels like a sign…….

  25. I stumbled upon your blog via In My Own Style regarding something innane (in the grand scheme of things) like cozy blankets — and here I am bawling and clinging to the same hope you found in Christ for myself and my own children. Thanks for sharing your wonderful testimony. I'm glad I don't have to wait to read the rest of the story! :)

    Looking forward to keeping up with you via GFC:)

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