Lately I have been thinking back how I got to this place in my life.
I have gone all the way back to being born in Lubbock, TX and growing up in a VERY modest 3 bedroom 1 bath home with 3 siblings. I wouldn't say that my up bringing was the best, but it was all that I knew so it was okay with me. I do remember going to other friends houses and thinking, "Wow, their family seems to have it all together. I mean, they actually all eat dinner together." I was also very impressed with the fact that their houses were big enough for each child to have their own bedroom (and some had their own bathroom). I grew up always having to share a room. There was one point where me, my sister and my brother all shared a room. My oldest sister who is 10 older got her own room. I still don't understand that to this day...but it was what it was.
I grew up in the same house up to the day I got married. I mean, I moved out here and there in college and what not but "home" was always the home I grew up in. Now I am sure that when my parents first bought the house it was probably a decent neighborhood but by the time I reached Elementary School the neighborhood was starting to get pretty rough. And then by the time I was in High School....well...let's just say, there was a couple of drug dealers that moved in and out of the neighborhood.
So....this began the journey of embarrassment for me. If I ever had a date I would have them pick me up at a friends house. If anyone asked me where I lived I would simply say 52nd street. You see the streets in Lubbock either went north/south or east/west and they went the whole distance of the city. Only I knew I really meant east 52nd. My life was very similar to the movie Pretty in Pink only I didn't have a friend named Duckie...his name was Jason :)
In High School I also met a wonderful couple named Tommy and Maxine at my church. I called them my adoptive parents. Through them and a few others investing in my life, I began to see myself in a different light. Even though my life (materially) was way different than theirs, I realized that they too were human. And not only that...they had something that I longed for...PEACE.
To make this long draw out story short...
-I became a Christian in High School
-I went to Texas Tech University
-In February of 1996 my dad passed away
-5 months later I went on staff with Campus Crusade for Christ in 1996 where I met my wonderful husband, Paul.
-In 1997 we went to Chattanooga to join the staff at UTC.
-In 2000 we joined the staff here in Knoxville at UT
-In 2001 we left staff with Crusade and pursued other job opportunities
(In between here is 6 years of having kiddos and trying to figure out our identities)
-In 2007 we bought a new house and moved my mom in with us
-In 2008 she passed away
-In 2009-2010---sweet journey with the Lord of trying to figure out exactly what it is He has called us to. Both Paul and I were sensing God drawing us back to Him and pursuing things that are eternal and investing in the lives of college students.
Today---I am pursuing my passion of discipleship and evangelism with college girls on the campus at UT. God had blessed me with 6 sweet girls who all have a heart for the Lord and have been longing for someone to come in their life to walk alongside them. I count it a blessing to be chosen to be that person.
So as I sit here today and look back on my life, I can honestly say and believe that we have a sovereign God who is omnipresent, omniscient and all-knowing. He is in control and I am excited to see what he has in store for Paul and I in 2011 as we reach out to students at UT.
Did I think that I would be in this place 25 years ago? Absolutely not!
Am I thrilled? You bet!
Is the journey hard? You bet! But it is worth it to be in the will of our Father!
"Look among the nations! Observe!
Be astonished! Wonder!
Because I am doing something in your days--You would not believe if you were told." ~Habakkuk 1:5
The journey is hard and the road seems long at times, but He is FAITHFUL!