Jay ‘s latest blog is a reminder of forgetting, which I appreciate. I would like to forget how often I walk into a room only to forget the reason I walked in there in the first place. I am concerned we might forget something we will really wish we would have remembered once we arrive in Uganda for six months. But this blog will focus on remembering.
Over the last couple of weeks I am remembering how sweet the Lord is to bring certain remembrances to me. In fact, at this point, it is hard to write through the flowing of tears of gratitude. I remember the night when I was 17 and kneeled at the foot of my bed after a Fellowship of Christian Athletes meeting and gave my life to Christ. I remember in that same prayer telling, (I love that now, telling) the Lord I was finished looking for the guy He had for me to marry. I had not been in the best relationship in my dating career and had been hurt on several levels. Literally, I met Jay within the week.
I had known of him, we actually had the same Geometry class the year before. The only way Jay knows this to be true is because later I could tell him who sat where in the class. But, just a few evenings after that prayer, I found myself sitting, with Jay, on a ride called the Zipper, at the local fair. Our first official date occurred a few weekends later on September 26, 1987. By that December, we knew we wanted to get married. We had several obstacles we knew we had to be overcome for our plan to get married in the summer of 1989. In the fall of 1988, we began a navigators study called “Growing In Christ”. That was the first time that I became aware of what the taste of abiding in Christ was truly like.
I read a book this week, okay, I listened to a book this week, by Timothy Keller called The Prodigal God. Keller states in this book that we will default to religion if we do not make a conscious choice to set ourselves to Gospel mode. After that study: college, teaching and life led me to this “religion” default. I found myself believing that I was too busy for God. Yet His grace, love and mercy are astounding to me as He waited patiently.
We had the opportunity to share with First Baptist Duncan on January 1st. Brad Allen, who was our pastor when I first began attending in 1987, was preaching in this service and I was reminded that he baptized me there in 1988. Jay and I were married in this church July 1, 1989. Our three children have been baptized there as well. Jay and I have the privilege of going through the Growing In Christ bible study again, not only with a new, sweet friend but with Jake, Jared and Jayne as well. My prayer is that not only I, but Jay, Jake, Jared, Jayne, as well as you, will remember to purposefully choose to set our hearts and mind to the Gospel. “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”. John 15: 4-5. I choose to remember to be a fruit bearer.