The Gift of Life

I turn 22 today... and what an amazing year it has been... full of blessings that could not have been possible without God's grace covering me. I want to share what God has done in my life this past year and take time to give thanks to Him who does more than we can ever ask for or imagine.

  • I saw God's faithfulness to prayer answered when He brought two of my sorority sisters to Campus Crusade for Christ Winter Conference. Seeing their lives challenged by the Gospel of Jesus Christ was truly a precious gift I will always remember. Stemming from long journal entries of prayer and "deep nights of the soul" came two beautiful women whom I had the pleasure of investing in spiritually my senior year of college. That was the biggest gift I could receive.
  • My senior year of college -- I mean really, the most fun and rewarding year ever. I was accepted to a wonderful internship at the Juvenile Detention Center, made good relationships there, saw teens lives change for the better and graduate from the program (please pray for them and their recoveries/family lives).
  • I celebrated my second year of knowing Christ! Oh, I am still such a baby believer, learning every day, fighting for my joy, struggling to keep my head above water. He has given me the foundation for which I stand, the only reason I have hope and assurance in something other than myself. What a joy it brings to find rest in the One who created ALL things, and the One who will one day make all things new. He will make all things new. "I love the Lord, for he heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live." Pslam 116:1-2 I will never forget the night He called me to His word, showed me the book of Romans, and led me toward redemption. My life is a far cry from what it was 2 years ago. I am a new person in Him! Praise God for saving me from a life that lacked fulfillment and brought great pain.
  • I was accepted into grad school, only to turn it down after a victorious week in Panama City Beach with Crusade, God revealed His purpose for my life after college. To pursue the Lord in a different career path. The struggle to communicate my passion for Christ and college students to my family and why I want to leave my life at the feet of God has been a hard one, but rewarding as I see all that has been done on my campus already. My hope is that it will always be the goal that if just one woman, one lost child of God, found redemption and saw her worth in Christ, all the struggle is worth while. Oh, how I want to see young women see themselves the way Jesus does! As a treasure! You are a treasure and should be pursued and treated as such. How sweet is the love of our Creator who brings redemption and forgiveness to lost and hurting souls, beautiful, we were bought at a price.
  • I graduated from college!!!! Wooo!!! I now have a real cool degree hanging on my wall. Makes me feel like I've accomplished something big. I am the first of my dad's kids to graduate from college! I love that God gave me a family who has provided for me well, one that valued my education and gave me the resources, money and time to gain this education. The University of North Texas is probably one of the greatest places on Earth.
  • I got my dream job!! Wow... this really has been a blessed year. I've had to make a lot of hard decisions (growing up I guess) but in the process landed the best job ever. I get to spend every day with college women, my favorite! I get to challenge and lead others to achieve more than they originally thought possible, I get to guide and support some seriously talented and intelligent women. I have gained a huge reward already, simply getting to peek into the lives of some of the most passionate servant leaders I have ever come across. It's refreshing to see that spark during Initiation, the passion for change and to cultivate leadership in a new exec member, and to be a channel for hundreds of women understanding the power and beauty that our Fraternity has all over the country. I love getting the chance to represent the international organization, being the link between all these diverse chapters. Not to mention, I see all of God's creations! He has blessed me FAR beyond what I could ever imagine or deserve. I deserve none of these things and yet He, somehow, in His unfathomable grace found me worthy of His love, His mercy. His blood covering me and all my sick sins. What a good, righteous, just, loving and all knowing God we have. Why He is not worshiped by every man on Earth is beyond me.
I write all these things to share the precious gift of life. It can be gone in a moment, and has been for so many way sooner than anyone could expect. The fact of life is that it's a blip, a momentary occurrence in the span of eternity. What we have here on Earth is a far cry from the glorious riches of Heaven, which I can't wait to experience one day. Each day is a gift, a true gift, we are not promised it will be easy, or that we will even wake up in the morning. But God's GRACE and SACRIFICE that He made on the Cross has paid the price for me (and you). His death on the Cross paid the entire penalty of my wretched sin. And not just mine, but all the sins of the world! What Good News is that!? It's great news... Romans 5:6-8 says "You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." This is worth singing praises over. Worth a thousand tears. God, help me to truly believe that you are enough for me, regardless of blessings, sufferings, pain or joy -- help me to know that the only thing that matters is you.
Natasha RedBirthday