Jonica and Stacie, I'm curious about what caused you to begin considering opening yourself up to God? What prompted you to want to know more about Jesus?
I came to Jesus when I was ten. My family went to church together every Sunday and on Wednesday nights I went to Awana. My friends went to church and if they didn't, I invited them. Mom picked up kids from the neighborhood for Vacation Bible School. Their moms and dads sometimes ended up coming to church with us too. Those who didn't knew mom and dad could be counted on to pray for them when things got rough. I sat through revival meetings and loved it all, but just did not see myself as a sinner in need of God. Even when our pastor preached on hell, I was pretty sure I was good.
Then, one day I was asked to read the Scripture at children's church. At first it seemed super easy. A few of us were given a couple of verses to read. I was asked to read John 3:16-18. It couldn't get any easier, but I practiced because I want to do it perfectly. All week the word believe bothered me. It seemed to mean so much more when I read it as Jesus said it rather than reciting it as a memory verse.
After dinner that day I went to my room. I knelt by my bed and asked God to help me believe in Him – to help me be born again. My mom knocked on the door and came in. I asked her to help me pray to God so I could be born again. I'd heard the formula prayer at church, but she didn't use that. She said I could tell God what was on my heart and He'd help me. So, I thanked Him for Jesus, told Him again I wanted to be born again, and under the Spirit's conviction I asked Him to forgive my sins.
Mom took me to dad and my brother so I could tell them. We called the pastor and my grandparents. The adults cried. My brother asked if he could be born-again too. We had a mini-revival in our house that day.
I had no interest in Jesus, thank you very much. Until I met Jonica. She lived and breathed Him. That made me terribly angry at first. Who did she think she was pushing her beliefs at me? I was a college educated, wealthy, liberal. I did not need her faith and conservative politics interrupting my climb to success and more wealth.
Until the abortion and the unexpected grief. That and the immediate rejection by my so-called friends and family (well only my mother) when I admitted I regretted my choice.
The only one who stood by me was Jonica. Although I tried to ignore it, she brought Jesus with us everywhere we went. I knew she was praying for me all the time. When I gave her the chance to condemn me, she didn't.
It came to the point she was bursting to witness to me. As an attorney, I understood the need for her to "come clean" with me, so I let her. Then, she surprised me again. No condemnation. Only a gentle challenge to consider Him and a Bible. Oh ~ and more love.
When I was the most unlovable, she loved me more and more.