i have 30 days until i celebrate my 30th year of life. i thought i would share with you 30 people, events and situations that have shaped my life and who i want to be. it has been very challenging to come up with 30…i hope it inspires you as it has me. this part of the list is in a specific order.
day 1: bobby joiner and indiana winter camp
i told my parents when i was five that i wanted to trust Christ for salvation (i’m sure those were my exact words…). i had a vague understanding that i had done bad things and that Jesus could save me from being forever separated from God that through his death on the cross. i didn’t experience a radical transformation and i didn’t learn much, if anything, about what it meant to have a relationship with Christ.
that all changed when we began attending grace church.
my family began to attend grace evangelical church when i was 16, at the end of my sophomore year of high school. i began realizing that my friends were different from me – sure, we all knew the sunday school answers to questions asked of us, but they seemed to have something i didn’t. i slowly began to realize that was a relationship with Christ.
it was tradition at our church to go to a week long camp over the new year, indiana winter camp – like summer youth camp, but in the middle of the midwest winter. while it was certainly geared toward high school kids, it was a “family camp,” so a lot of families with children and adults came as well.
since i never missed an opportunity to be with my new friends, i signed up for camp immediately.
that year, bobby joiner came to camp as our guest speaker.
i don’t remember what bobby looks like. i honestly don’t remember a lot of what he talked about that night. but i do remember being at a point that i didn’t know how to make my rebellious relationship with my parents better. i remember bobby talking about his own relationship with his dad – and the struggles he’d had. i also clearly remember thinking, if his life isn’t perfect, but he knows God the way he does, maybe i too can have a relationship with God like that – before i “clean up” my life.
i remember it being a very emotional moment for me. i cried a lot, but couldn’t explain what was happening in my heart. however, as i look back, that was certainly the point where i surrendered my life to what Christ would have for me…and allowed him to take the reins – in my relationships at school, with my parents, with my future.
that cold evening, in a small chapel in the middle of the woods, changed my life more than any moment before or since. i wouldn’t have made many of the decisions i’ve made if it hadn’t been for that night. this list would be filled with very different things if God hadn’t captured my attention through bobby. i most likely wouldn’t be married to the best man to ever come into my life if it hadn’t been for bobby’s commitment to speak the Truth.
i am forever grateful for the faithfulness of a man whose face i don’t even remember.