Well, it's my sister's birthday...but that reminded me that it's also my spiritual birthday. 31 years ago (on her actual birthday) I gave my life to Jesus--and I've never been the same! What an adventure! What a life changer!
In brief (and not to give you all the gory details), I was extremely lost! I'd been an overachiever through high school, but then I became a committed underachiever in my freshman year of college (that translates as a big-time partier). I just never could seem to find the happiness I craved. It wasn't in a new setting, new friends, new college, new drug...it just wasn't there.
So after reading a little book titled "I'm Gonna Bury You" (which my sister gave me), I realized like the author that maybe the happiness I was looking for was in God. So I started reading The Way (remember that? It was the Living Bible with hippie pictures.). I read Matthew, Mark, Luke, John (often in hiding from my roommates). In the middle of John, God gripped my heart while I was camping and reading my Bible to candlelight.
The verse said "Until now you've asked for nothing in my name. Ask and you'll receive that your joy may be made full." And no kidding--God reminded me that I had said that in my heart as a child in Sunday school. I remembered thinking, "I'm never going to say 'in Jesus name.' " And here I was longing for the joy that Jesus had to offer me and he knew everything about me and still loved me and wanted to make me happy! I prayed that night for Jesus to come into my life.
And (all you Sunday school folks will appreciate this) all I knew to do after that was sing "This Little Light of Mine" as I watched the flame in my candle dance around.
I'm so grateful for all the Sunday school teachers who loved me and taught me to prepare me for my spiritual birthday! And I'm so grateful for the new life and purpose that Jesus gives all of us!