My Story

'Today' ♥
Things started changing about 19 years ago....
I remember how I had felt so tired of all of the race and worries and fears.
I had just broken up with who I thought I was going to marry, back in 1998, and I was heartbroken and devastated. My world was upside down.

You see, I talked to Jesus as a child, I had all the upbringing of a Christian family, but I was unruly. I had a craving for my wants first. And incipiently, it promises satisfaction, but soon, the mask is revealed, and it enslaves you.

The day I was ready, the day I was searching, there was this verse that came on the radio spoken by a pastor, "Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28-30), It's Jesus who said this, and it was something I had learned when I was a kid, but it did not come to life, until that instance. (Parents of prodigals,Trust Him in this)
 I literally lost it in that very moment. I cried so hard. I gave it all- all of the pain, guilt, worry, all to him. It was as if he was the truth standing next to me the whole time, and I only just truly saw him.  
In retrospect, I had fought Him for so long. I had fought God's gentle call...I don't know why- the hollow lure of the world, I suppose. I have learned, as I have turned from the guilt of judgement, and looked into the heart of God, that He has so much love for us. We can trust Him, and place ourselves in his secure arms; Oh, the Joy and the Peace that it brings to be in God's arms and will. What a freedom!
 Things are too darn heavy to walk alone. 

I remember the joy of the the chains of condemnation and unrest that had broken off. The entanglement and lies were cut with God’s scissors and I began to sprint. The Hills were steep, and I fell down a couple of times, but the treasure of God’s Joy took me aflight. I wanted to cash my life in for His rewards. I wanted His words, ‘Well done’ sashed across this soul. After all, He did it all for me.

As the days grew into the Fall of 1998, I was 22 years old, and he began to work in me a hunger to learn about Him. I soaked up His Word, like a huge glass of cool water after a long, hot run. Words and scripture came back to my heart. The saturation of my past was slowly dripping away. Don’t get me wrong, there were still many hills to climb, but I believe the more that you hide in His arms, the safer and quicker you can be restored and comforted and encouraged. He became my everything. I still tear up today when I think about what He has done for me. He waited like a perfect gentlemen for this wretched soul he longed to call ‘masterpiece’.

Looking back on that year that I returned to the Lord, I have sifted through the pages of my journal then. I can see that He was chipping away at my hardened heart:

I am sliding right into the mud. I have walked a road of darkness for about 6 years. I know that if I could just get to the other side, I would be useful. But I don’t think I can; I have tried too many times.” 

 All along, I know that God was gently calling me back. ‘Return to Me’ He would say, but my heart continued to take up the cup of defiance and the plate of debauchery.

 The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is long suffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9

Ya know, the world tells us, that we can make it in our own strength. God's word says “All have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God" and that "while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  So in our worst moments, our skeletons in the closet- He died for us. 

He did it all for you. You are worth it. 

Yeah, we can sit back and look at others and say indefinitely, "That guy is going to hell, That guy murdered, that girl is heinous, etc..." But we are all in the same boat. We have all lied, all sinned, and murdered in our hearts...

I had to come to understand, that I was in need of a remedy. God is so amazing because he provided a way out. He provided a CHOICE, a bridge to the other side. And since Sin separates us from God, We need one. He sent His only son to die for us...

I called out, “Lord, I am ready now."

I decided to Jump into Missionary work with YWAM in January of 1999.
That was 18 years ago. I traveled to Australia, Thailand, East Timor island, and South Africa. I began to see God’s hand and heart in so much more.
My sins were washed away, but I didn't Know how to continually live in this.
With God's hand in Youth With a Mission, I learned many tools to strengthen my walk, shield off the Enemy’s crappy lies, and grow in God’s love for me. 
Satan, the enemy of your soul, has some few constants in his thievery. He is called the Father of Lies, and here is some he is consistent in:

1."I am not real, or even care to work at your life.” 
2.“You're such a sinner, you’ve gone too far, why even try?” and 
3.“There's still time...You'll get to it”

Heard ‘em?

He’ll first fool you into doing it, and then blame and condemn you because you did.

This is truth, Folks.

The Bible says, He walks around like a roaring lion, waiting to see who he can devour. 1 Peter 5:8
For God says, "At just the right time, I heard you. On the day of salvation, I helped you." Indeed, the "right time" is now. Today is the day of salvation. 2 Corinthians 6: 2 

He alone is our rescuer.

The Lord has continued to walk me through some tough times, and I am still learning. But I have Him to lean on!

Caleb and I met in October 2001. I was his waitress.  I was serving him at my table and we struck up a conversation. There was an excitement in our eyes. Of course, we were talking about Jesus. We've never stopped sharing our lives and Love- sharing together and to others- the Most Important Bond we have-The One who paid it all...The one who Gives US life! ♥ I served in YWAM till 2002, (met him while I came home for a tiny bit and then left again). 

We married in 2002.
We have 4 children, 2 girlies & 2 boys. A real stirring began for Caleb around 2007. The Lord began to prepare in his heart for a time of Change. 

Personally, I had wanted to be out on the mission field since the day we got married and from time to time fought it in my heart so heavily. God needed to teach me some things first. 
-He helped me realize that I need to be satisfied in Him alone. 
-He taught me that wherever I go, my kids are a huge, continued part of my mission field. 
-He also taught me that it may never be me that goes and does ‘the thing of my heart’. It may be my kids who go out, and set the world on Fire with Jesus' Love and Passion for people. That settled something in me right there, because we know as parents how much we would give for them. 
-It taught me to put others first.  That is a principle that still works through the seasons of life. For our kids, we always want them to have more than we did. God was growing me.

In 2008, Caleb had a lunch date with a beloved mentor at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa. He shared his heart of, 'Where do you want me to go, Lord?" We heard from him that there was a need for a Pastor in Hungary at the Calvary Chapel Bible College Europe. We flew out for a week and felt like this was a Match completely and we’ve been serving in Hungary now ever since. 

'A Vision for Life' is a huge part of our heart for the nations. It is 'a raising up of the next generation of young people to follow hard after God'. It is also a place of teaching others what God has taught in us. He is sending people who have walked those same paths in their hearts-the same or even different than we did, but all in all, He shows them His heart for them, and gives them a new vision. My family gets to be a part of God's orders to send them out to tell others about their Rescuer, their Savior. This is at the very core of our hearts. We feel so privileged to be right in the center of God's will.
And it's no small factor that my kids are sharing the Love of Christ in their schools too! There is a heartbeat of his power pouring through them. God is definitely up to something big!

We believe that God is awakening his people to know Him. Don’t believe the hype of the ‘no Hope’ factor. The media teaches us something hopeless, but we have a mighty God who saves. What is He saying to you today?
Psalm 91:1-2
Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”

He’s coming soon!

Mariam said…
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