This is my thankful post! Not for the "things" I am thankful for. Things just fade, we cannot hang on to things. So we fix our eyes on what is eternal! Today I am choosing to share my thankfulness for the people who have helped shape my walk with Christ the eternal stuff!
When I was 10 years old I accepted Jesus in a Baptist Church in Lucedale MS. The Pastor just loved on me through my brokenness and showed me Jesus. Now you have to understand I only got a bit of church back then. I do believe throughout my life though The Holy Spirit led me even when I was unaware. You see I knew Jesus but I didn't have a relationship with Him. I hadn't fallen in love with His word, or Him yet. There were people throughout my young life that would plant little seeds to remind me Jesus loved me during the tough times. My moral compass would always keep me on the right track too. Looking back I know that was Jesus as well.
Bud and I were married in a small Baptist church in Butler. I do believe at that point is when Jesus truly began to mold our hearts towards Him. Although we were not listening, there was something there. How else do you explain how we got through all the hurt and loss at the beginning of our marriage! Then we moved here to Blue Springs and God just got a hold of me and persisted that we get to church. We started going on Sunday to First Baptist and just sat in the balcony...at the back....at the very, very top! It was a picture of our lives, we were afraid of all this. But as Pastor Paul began to preach we felt as though God was talking right through him. Y'all know how He does that?! So as we got "closer" to God we began to get closer to the front of the church. I find this hilarious looking back! Each week we would move a little closer to the front of the church. First to the front of the balcony, then to the back of the lower section. Eventually moving forward till like Jesus in our hearts we were at peace! Jesus kept talking through Paul and we kept falling in love with Jesus! We then took the "Bases" class or the membership class at church. (I cannot help but think that maybe Joey had a hand in naming it! Always disciplining, always tying baseball in. I could be wrong though) We also started going to bible study on Wednesday night with Joey Butler. He would tell it like it was, never beating around the bush. His heart was full of urgency and love! He would make us laugh, make us think, but more importantly gave us a love for Scripture and in turn for Jesus! I will never forget that man as long as I live! OH how I will miss him! My life is forever changed by him, and the others I am SO thankful for. I have some Joey stories I will be sharing later.
We began to attend Sunday School with Bob and Libby Comfort, those two people just set you on fire for Jesus and loved on us as a young couple who didn't know a thing! That is where I met my dear dear friend Stephanie and her awesome hubby Kip! As well as Greg and Ally Massey love their hearts for Jesus! And for the Orphan!!! That class got so big because Bob and Libby are awesome, so we had to branch out! In comes our fearless leader Brian and the lovely Marne. They allowed me to start to share my heart about Jesus and in turn helped my husband to accept Christ as well! Connie and Tim, Karin and Ron, Kimberly and Jeff plus numerous others in that class helped to mold us as well! I will forever be grateful for my "roots" being planted deep in the word in this class! In the mean time we always had Pastor Jerry keeping us on track as well!
Then for my kids and then eventually us as we began to help with the Children's Ministry was the lovely and wonderful Ms. Shirley! There are not enough words to describe my love and gratitude I have for this wonderful Godly woman! I just love and adore her! She is like my spiritual Mom and my kids Spiritual Grandmother! She has helped our kids love Jesus. They were always SO excited to go see Ms. Shirley and I am sure there were times they drove her crazy. Ah but being the woman she is, she never let that show! She just loved on them like crazy and has maintained that relationship with them as adults. We just simply and equivocally adore her with all that we are! She is the picture perfect example of Jesus! To this day she always has that beautiful smile on her face and love just radiates out of her! We are so thankful to Leo for sharing her with us all these years!
Through the years we just continued to serve in any way we could and allowed God to stretch us. In these years He has given us a huge heart for the Orphan and for Christian Music and to just worship. About 7 years ago God began another awesome work and brought Pastor Randall and Donna and Brooks to our church to just love on the people! This family has a special place in my heart because just like those before them they invested into our lives and our children's lives personally! Love you so much!!! Thank you for your love and gifts that you share daily! We are so blessed! Course then because I have a heart for worship Lee and Casey have truly opened up doors in my heart that I did not know were there! Thank you to you both for allowing us to just simply WORSHIP our Jesus! Your hearts for Him are so evident in what you do and how you treat us and each other! Oh you make us laugh, and love and cry (good tears) but oh you open our hearts for worship!!! Those are not just words we sing, those are prayers and praises to The Father!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! You give your all for Him and too Him, and to us! There are no words but we love you and appreciate you so much!!!
Then recently there is our life group! So many wonderful people in this group! Thank you for your hospitality and love for The Father! For sharing that with us. There is no condemnation or judgement going on in this group, just an evident love for others and more importantly for Jesus! Thank you Robin and Steve, Sharon and Greg, Karen, Melanie, Susan and Brian and everyone else in this group that just invests in each other and the Kingdom! Blessed beyond measure!!
There is also two other people who are our dearest friends Lisa and Mike! We truly have walked through this faith thing together. No matter our differences at the heart of our relationship is that we ALL love Jesus!! That has gotten us through everything! Thank you for your continued investments into our lives! There are not enough words to say thank you enough! Love you for eternity!
One other person I cannot help but thank is my sweetheart Bud. Your love for Jesus is so evident, from the day you and the kids were baptized together! (Best day of my life besides when I accepted Christ) to the everyday, mundane, day to day walk. Jesus is always there in you! Thank you for sharing Him with me and helping me to fall more in love with Him daily! I love you SO!! For the kids too! You know I adore you!!
There are tons more people out there who have invested in our lives to help us love Jesus if I didn't mention you please don't think you weren't important I just cannot remember everyone off the top of my head! You know what that means? I go to a church that everyone invests in each other and shares the love of the Father!! So thankful for that! We truly are about "being the church" So thankful today!!
Remember life is short, take time to tell those you love how you feel and what they mean to you. You may not get a second chance! Thank you all for your investment into my walk with Christ! I am forever changed!!!!
Blessings and Ladybugs :)