For so many years, I was one of those people who got up and hit the ground running. I couldn’t brush my teeth and get out the door fast enough. I would take the kids to school then fill my days with work, exercise and volunteering. Back then, my relationship goals centered around trying to fulfill the needs of my family and friends (and my own!). Life was going by crazy fast and I just remember trying to hang on. There were many days where I just didn’t feel “prepared.” I THOUGHT I was doing awesome because I was checking so many things off my lists, running from one thing to the next. However, my life was high in the quantity of things being done but low in the quality of how they were done. Then I met someone who changed that.
I mean, I knew who God was and went to church most Sundays. But in terms of being in “relationship” with God? That was absent from my life for a long time.
It wasn’t until my teenaged daughters asked for new bibles and I walked out of the Christian bookstore with a new devotional that things began to change. Jesus Calling by Sarah Young spoke to me in so many ways. Instead of running out the door in the mornings, I began to carve out time to read and look up scripture. That's when I realized that I had a horrible relationship with God because I didn’t talk to Him. I never really took time to be still and truly pray. Instead of feeling like prayer had to be done a certain way, I just began to talk to Him like a real person. I figured my relationship with Him was no different than any other; it required time and effort.
That particular time in my life was heavy and crazy. Things were falling apart for my family and me. I remember feeling like I had a million fires to put out, but I still didn’t budge on my “God time” in the mornings. I decisively made a place at the table for God in my life, and not just on Sundays. I began to get better at looking up scripture and finding things in the Bible (another added bonus from using my devotional). I found that when I started the day centered in God’s word, I began to listen and talk to Him during the day. Sometimes I felt like a crazy person with my inner dialogue, but the funny thing is, I literally began to see God’s work ALL AROUND me. Things would happen that didn’t make sense. The only logical explanation was that God was present and real. That’s when I surrendered. To everything. His word and plan for my life suddenly came first, before my marriage, my kids, and what I thought my life should look like.
The leaning that I felt to buy Jesus Calling and to change the way I started my mornings led to other good decisions. I began to take just one step at a time. I still do. I now have two devotions that I make time for. I’m going to leave you with the first verse that I memorized during that period of my life. It will always be my favorite.
April is wife to an amazing man, mother to three beautiful girls, and grandmother to the most precious boy EVER. She began to recognize God's chase at the age of 44, in a season of major change. April continues to search for God daily in the middle of this fast-paced, over-stimulated world, and when something makes her uncomfortable and challenges her she knows that God is knocking and she should listen.