BY KATIE WENCLEWICZ, GRACE BLOGGER & ATTENDER
Do you remember the time in your life when you surrendered your life to Jesus Christ? I won’t assume everyone reading this has given his or her life to Christ, but I sure do remember the time I laid down my life to gain a new one.
I grew up in a household where I was prayed for long before I showed up on this planet. I was blessed with two beautiful parents that are the epitome of Jesus’ love and grace. They didn’t just raise me in the church; they also educated me in religious environments. They made decisions quite before my older brother and I were ready for school that we would grow up in private education. Looking back, I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunities that they so effortlessly placed before me.
When you listen to Dave’s message on “Who is this man?” I immediately think of the seven-year-old that was in the Kroger parking lot with her mom when she brought up that she wanted to accept Jesus in her life. I can’t say that I remember the specific conversation or if I saw a loaf of bread that resembled Jesus, but it was a Sunday and for some reason I felt compelled to invite him into my life.
I wish I knew more about that story. I wish that I could sit here and tell of a wild tale on how Jesus spoke into my life. Like many things, it organically happened. I didn’t do it alone, though. Jesus was all I knew from a tiny age. So, naturally, I grew to love him. I grew to hear more of him. Jesus was in my school, he was always in my church, and I learned at a young age that he was always around me.
When I hear defining moments that Dave talks about, I think immediately about the clearest defining moment in my life. It was the day that I so effortlessly heard the Lord speak into my heart about the man who I am now marrying in just four months. It was the first and only time I felt God right next to me reciting Psalm 37:4 which talks about taking delight in HIM and he will present you with the desires of your heart. After months of denying a love that I didn’t think I deserved, the Lord so effortlessly spoke to me in September of 2012 and I will never forget that moment. To that day, I have the letter I wrote to myself stuck on the page of that passage to remind myself of such an intimate moment I had with my Savior.
I fought the Lord. I’ve fought him in easy decisions and I fought him right after that September night when I knew he was speaking to me. Some may say, “I can’t believe you still questioned him after he showed up so clearly.” I think most of us can agree that surrendering and trusting in Jesus can be difficult. Sometimes, I feel as though I am walking blindly towards a path that I’m unsure of where I will go. When I hear Dave speak of surrendering, I am immediately taken to pivotal moments in my life where I had to lay down my life and pick up my cross. People sometimes think because I come from a strong family and because I’ve grown up in the church that me surrendering should come natural and easy. If only.
I’ve had to make a faith of my own and as I’m growing older, I’m watching things through a dirty lens rather than through the innocent seven-year-old eyes that I once had. I see the injustices in the world, I see the broken people who NEED Jesus, and I also see the pain that so many people go through. After witnessing this broken world, you question sometimes where is Jesus and who he is. We hear of so many “Christians” that skip church on Sunday and think that tithing is unnecessary. We become so immune to what seems normal that we don’t even realize how God is speaking to us. Here’s the thing: God doesn’t want “good church people.” He doesn’t want the mediocre. He wants it all. He wants every breath to worship him and he wants our time and resources to ultimately bring glory to his name.
Jesus Christ Our Lord.
What do those words mean to you?
To me, I see a white sheet. There is something so pure and clean about the color white and when I hear “Jesus Christ Our Lord,” that’s all I think about: perfection. I want you to know who Jesus is to me.
Like Dave said, if you’re American, you’ve heard of this man. After 33 years of life, Jesus died for you and I. He decided that we were much too valuable to let us suffer. He decided that our sins were worth it and he was beaten for the sake of our lives. Every blood drop and cry out to his heavenly father was proof that his love is undeniable. Who is this man, you ask? Well, this man that died on one of the most symbolic pieces of wood also rose from the dead. This perfect man’s white sheet bled red so that WE could own a white sheet too. As one of the most cosmic events in history – how can our lives not be humbled and changed?
While Jesus was on earth, he shared of so many lessons that we now have documented in our Bibles. When I read those stories, sometimes I weep. How beautiful is our savior and how foolish are we to not give him our resources, talents, hearts, and lives after he died for us.
“But you don’t understand what I have gone through.” I get it. I’ve been there and I still go through things that feel like I’ll never recover. I specifically remember one moment recently that I questioned Jesus’ goodness. I was a 24-year-old who was told by her company that she and almost half of the employees would be laid off. I sat in that chair, just after sharing Hillsong sing “Oceans” on Facebook and was in mild shock. I couldn’t believe it. How was I dealing with something that not many young professionals face? It was at that moment when I questioned what was next. I was going through a storm. It was after a day of shock that I stood in my apartment with my Bible opened to the passage where Peter was walking to Jesus on the water. As Peter was going out to meet Jesus, he fell. He freaked out and yet Jesus went to him and lifted him out of the water. The most beautiful moment was when Jesus questioned Peter why he doubted instead of just having the faith to walk with confidence knowing HE will always be there.
It was at that moment when I was reminded, once again, that I can’t do life alone. Dave said it perfectly, “Everything responds and lives through Jesus.” In merely a month after losing my job, I was offered three different jobs in one day. I was floored, but not really. Through the storm, I knew Jesus was there. I knew that my King was building paths for me to follow. I knew that as the Prince of Peace, he was laying a foundation for me to rest in his unfailing love. I decided at that moment that he deserves nothing but my praise 24/7.
Sometimes it takes defining moments in our lives to realize that Jesus is summoning us closer to him.Tweet This
Sometimes it takes defining moments in our lives to realize that Jesus is summoning us closer to him, but also for bigger purposes. What is your defining moment? What does Jesus mean to you? If you find yourself needing prayer or going through your own personal storm, there are people here at Grace that want to talk to you. For resources, visit here.