I grew up with parents who were absolutely on fire for Jesus. They had both grown up in churches but had never realized that God was a personal God who wanted relationship with them. Not long before I was born they had both discovered this, given their lives to Jesus, gotten filled with the Holy Spirit and baptized in a local river in October. Brrrr!!! They attended a church that was really passionate too and I went to Sunday School every Sunday. It was there I heard that Jesus wanted me to give Him my heart and to follow Him. I saw from my parents' lives that it was a joyous thing to do, not an oppressive thing.
One night driving home to the farm, on a lonely Idaho back road, I asked my Dad if he would pray with me to ask Jesus into my heart. He stopped the car that very minute, turned on the overhead light and he and Mom leaned over the bench seat, held my hands and prayed with me. I was four years old and the date was May 18, 1981. I remember my primary feeling being one of satisfaction.
The next year when I was five my parents asked our Assemblies of God pastor if he would baptize me. He agreed and sat me down to see if I understood what I was doing. I did and he "dunked" me. Again, I felt satisfaction of pleasing the Lord.
When I was seven I began asking questions about baptism in the Holy Spirit. I didn't know much about it but I knew I was hungry in my spirit for more... for whatever the Lord would give me. Again, Dad and Mom prayed with me. Nothing happened. They reassured me that I had indeed been baptized because I had asked to be and that the sign of tongues would come when God decided He wanted me to have it. For months I begged Him. One night I was laying in bed by myself asking him and suddenly I was engulfed in pure joy and began pouring out praises in tongues.
As a child and as a teen, God/Jesus was very real to me and often was the one I turned to in the loneliness and pain of friends' rejection, my mother's illness and the mixed grind and blessing of raising my baby sister. Always, every time, His love was sweeter and more precious than any earthly love.
In college, I found a church that was as in love with Jesus as I was and I thrived there. After college, however, I had the biggest test of my life when my chosen career as a music teacher went sour and I was asked to quit in circumstances so stressful my health broke down. God led me to my husband during that time.
Since then, I have continued to be delighted in the Lord and to do His will, which right now is teaching my own little ones about Him. I have offered myself to Him for ministry and what He asked of me was to be the best mom I can be and to not seek fame or glory from the world or even from others in the Church. I have no idea what the future holds since I often still deal with huge amounts of pain, both physically and emotionally, but I know that ever since I was four years old my absolute delight is to do His will. Not necessarily what others think I ought to do but what I am convinced in my spirit that He wants me to do. He is my joy, my delight, my comfort, my strength, my Father, my Lover, my Best Friend. He always has been.