Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Relationship with Jesus (Part 1)

When I committed to the topic of relationships for the next 31 days, the first relationship that came to my mind and heart, was my relationship with Jesus.

Let me take you on a little trip.... Jari's memory lane.

I grew up in a very small town in South Dakota. I remember attending Release Time on Wednesday nights and Sunday church services and occasionally Sunday School.  I don't remember going to church every Sunday, or even understanding the sermon when we did go. The songs we sang where not super kid friendly and to be honest... I just lost interest the older I got.

Fast forward many years.

I was in high school and my boyfriends grandfather was a pastor. I remember having a conversation with him about God and how we are to pray. He taught be A.C.T.S. - Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication. I used this quite often. Even though I didn't really know WHO I was praying to.

Even up through high school and college, I would pray occasionally.

I had gone through a breakup with my long time boyfriend, and completely turned wild child in college. Like W.I.L.D! I'm not even sure what that acronym stands for! HA!

By the grace of God, which I know now, Joel and I met. (I think this is a whole separate relationship post! You might read my guts [or mostly my heart] this month!)

Even after the birth of Arly, then our wedding, a move half way across the state and another baby, Alyn, I was still missing something. My parents went through a divorce and I was trying to fill the void in my life with shopping and partying. It was a really rough time.

Moving to Montana over five years ago was the biggest blessing of my life. I didn't know it at the time because I was extremely homesick for my family and friends. For my old self.

Then I met Arly's kindergarten teacher that year... Mrs. Emily Johnson. She told me about MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers. My sister, Jenna, was a regular attendee of her MOPS in her town for a while already. Then I had met my sweet friend Dianna while our two littles had Kindermusic together and she invited me to MOPS. (OK OK... I'll GO!)

I finally decided to go to a meeting in February after much heel dragging. (I was desperate and needed something to fill my days) There, I met a group of women that were SO different than me, but in a really magnetic, warm, loving way. I went to the rest of the meetings that spring. That summer I sat with my friend Rachel at her dining room table while the littles watched cartoons and played with her pug. I told her that I was ready to commit my life to Jesus. She prayed with me and I was born again that day in August 2009.

The hole that I was filling with stuff - the partying, shopping, success, money, whatever - was filled that day. I'm so thankful for the cross. For His love that never fails.

I'm thankful for the relationship I finally accepted that day..... Jesus.

Our Story of Grace: Click here to watch. - - please excuse the EXTREME lack of style and COMPLETELY horrible hair do... that was a rough morning ;) <---- and like totally, like, 3 years ago!

To be continued.....


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