When I started this blog a while back, I really wasn’t sure what direction I wanted to go with it. I just knew that I wanted to share with everyone how life through my eyes, the eyes of someone who has taken many journey’s and endured so much in the past years and has still prevailed against the circumstances of which life has tossed my way. I wanted to share with everyone my experiences in seeking God, what that looks like, how it feels and more importantly how amazing His unconditional and ever lasting love is. On Tuesday, July 9, 2013 all the answers I have been searching for come to me in the biggest and most humbling way.
Growing up, I had always learned about God, Jesus and what it meant to be a Christian. It was many times confusing to me how it all worked. Throughout my life I have had so many questions as to why does it have to be so complicated? Each time I find myself constantly searching for something that I needed from God. Something that I felt was missing. Have you ever had that feeling? No matter how hard you searched for an answer, it just seemed like a piece of the puzzle was missing. You can’t rightly put your finger on it, you can’t rightly figure it out but you know that something else belongs in that mixture of thoughts. If you are like me, you will continue to strive to find that missing piece. Maybe some days you just put it in the back of your mind, some days you just forget about it and some days it is so pressing on your mind, so heavy on your heart that you have to seek it out. That is what I started to do weeks before the day of July 9, 2013. I prayed and asked God to please reveal to me what it is that I am missing in my life. To send me a sign or someone along who will help me grow as a believer, to encourage me and to share with me. I longed for that connection. Little did I know how impacted my life would become just by saying that prayer.
The question I heard someone ask in the midst of a conversation upon meeting the most amazing man I know was this “Oh, you must be Mormon?” The answer (with no hesitation) was “Yes”. I immediately become intrigued and wanted to know more. I had heard of the Mormon faith but never educated myself on it or tried to understand it. All I knew was it was not something that a Southern Baptist believed in…and yes, I was raised Southern Baptist and have been for many years but I was searching for answers…remember?? The conversation drew into the wee hours of the morning where the dew was settling on the ground but as tired as I was, I felt alive on the inside. I didn’t want to stop the conversation because it was so exciting to hear, to learn, to know, to understand. I wanted more! I had to learn more and so it began….. the learning and the answer to my prayers.
In the days that followed, I was asked to attend church. Not just a church down the street but The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints located in Tennessee. So, off we went, taking our first road trip and it was blessed with a prayer. At this point, I was feeling like the biggest breath of fresh air had been sent my way. God is GOOD is what I was shouting to myself and I was in awe of what He had placed in my life. With what I had learned and with whom I was with, I was already in love with all of it. How was this possible? Don’t ask me because it was just that natural. When you know, you know and it really doesn’t need an explanation.
Being a southern Baptist girl raised by way of the Bible, I didn’t always understand all that I was reading so stepping into the unknown was something I certainly wasn’t scared of. I just wanted to justify it. So here I was in a small community of Tennessee going to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. What to expect? I had no idea but I was eager to learn. First let me tell you this….there was not one single thing weird, odd or out of the ordinary about this church. No one pulled out the snakes or made weird noises as the myths that plague the LDS church, seem to spread such nonsense. I had never felt so welcomed in a church than I did that day. They were very much studying God’s word and how to apply it to your daily life. I really have never been anywhere that I felt the presence of God like I did there. I cant explain that one either but it was real and I experienced it. From that day, all I wanted to do was learn more and oh how much more there was to learn and discover!
For the last month, everything I have questioned come to light for me in such a magnitude that it’s hard to explain it. Yes, I say that a lot but when God reveals something to you…don’t stand there and question it. I have done that too much in my life already. Just embrace it, pray about it and you will find your answer. I have met a few missionaries and heard their stories and oh yeah…if you see them, give them the benefit of the doubt. Don’t discard them. They sacrifice a lot to go out and teach the Gospel. Respect is what I have for them and God love them for what they do and how they serve!! Our world is so selfish and self-centered this day and time that I find it to be one of the most awesome things a young person does…..not to mention they are very humble! I have discovered some of my clients are LDS members, that one of my friends is LDS (who told me but I was just too busy or uninterested at the time…shame on me). God has a timing for everything and I am so thankful for His timing and how this has all come about in my life. It is truly a love story that has unfolded in more ways than one. I am in love with who I am, where I am, what God is doing in my life and not to mention a Godly man in my life.
On Saturday, August 10, 2013 I am going to be baptized at the LDS church. Everyone has their own opinion of anyone associated with the LDS church and how they view it. My experiences of what I have felt, what I have seen God do in my life lately have been magnified larger than I have ever imagined. Just because I want to worship God in the way that I feel is better fitting for me, does not make me weird, the odd one nor does it change who I am (other than being more obedient to God’s word). I mean after all…aren’t we all after the same thing? To seek God’s word, to stay in scripture, to live by the commandments that He gave to us. The blessings that God has poured into my life are beyond measure and it is because I truly feel alive on the inside since learning and understanding that there is more to God’s word. I believe with all my heart that He continues to call prophets to spread the gospel and reach out to those who are lost. I also believe that the circumstances of my past was only a prelude to an ever-growing testimony that God will use me to share with others. Does it matter that they are of a specific religion, race, color, geographical region, wealthy or poor?? Of course not because what matters most is that everyone gets the opportunity to hear the gospel…which leads me to this.
All my life I have searched for answers and tried to be in scripture, struggled with learning more about God’s word and if I must be so bold as to say that even living the lifestyle of what is pleasing in God’s eyes was hard. I was so turned off/turned on by it all and just couldn’t seem to find where I belong. Now, I can honestly say that I am where I belong. I never thought I would convert my religion but God showed me that His plan was better than mine. I am happier than I have ever been, I can actually see my life changing for the better and not to mention the blessings that God has given to me!! How can one argue with that? I know I have had a lot of backlash at me for this decision I have made and the only thing I can tell anyone is that its okay….it really is because I am confident in my faith, my love for Jesus Christ and I know that He is the one who will carry me through this. I also know that by being obedient to Him that the blessing will be even more in magnitude. I see it already. I am proud to say that I am joining the Mormon church and I hope to be a light to others in my life. I am still the southern Baptist raised Dixie girl with a huge heart made for everyone but now God has given me something extra to go along with what He has already given me…and who says you can’t have a little bit of both?
Love, Hugs & Smiles
2 thoughts on “God’s Love For A Southern Girl”
Absolutely PERFECT!!!! I know you have worked so hard on trying to say what you wanted to and to be honest and you exceeded those expectations! Thank you for posting this. I do know this. People love you and care and they want to help you, but your answer is everything you and I have talked about…. If you want to know what god wants, ASK HIM! He will guide you. No one has “convinced” you to join the LDS church, and no one should put your decision down. I support you 100% because I know you have truly asked god, having faith in him and he is directing you! I love how you are finding answers, because that is making you happy! Love you!
Thank you! It only took me five days to compose…lol. I just wanted to make sure I represented myself efficiently and accurately. I am secure in my decision and confident in my faith. I love you back 😉