May 22, 2003 – 15 years ago today I was saved. At the young age of 7, this scrawny, little missionary kid sat on the side of her parents’ Motel 8 bed and came to know the Lord. I recited the Romans Road, a series of verses in Romans about salvation, from memory, thanks to my mom’s teaching. It clicked that all those verses worked together, and they all meant something. As far as my young mind could tell, I was a sinner, or a disobedient human as my dad explained.
I sat between my parents and prayed a simple, short prayer, asking God to forgive me and accept me. He did just that! Since that night, my life has been equivalent to a toddler learning to walk on new spiritual feet.
This blog is a reflection of all the times I messed up, and God’s redemption shone through, despite those weaknesses. I’d like to say my walk with the Lord has been a pious, flat march with every piece of spiritual armor on and a spring in my step. I, however, cannot say that, in all honesty. There are three primary things that I believe I will always struggle with as a believer in Christ:
First, I am convinced I will always struggle with starting a Gospel conversation. The moment I muster up the courage to obey the Spirit’s prompting, eloquent words vanish from my mind. I am left with awkward openers and fumbled words. Just about two weeks ago, one of my good friends and I were in a restaurant getting tea. The waiter was visibly perturbed by something. His service was poor, and his attitude was starting to bother me. The Spirit spoke clearly to me that I was to share the Gospel with him.
As he came to our table I spouted off the first thing that came to my head. “Hi, um, so, um, my friend and I are talking Bible things… and um, I was wondering… um, is there any way we could be praying for you… at all? Like, while we pray for our tea?” There it was – the worst Gospel conversation initiation ever in human history.
I thought to myself, “This kid is never stepping into a church completely due to this opening.” I maintained a smile, though my insides were cringing. To God’s glory and my relief, the boy broke down about many things happening in his life for which he desperately needed prayer.
The second thing I think I’ll always struggle with in my Christian walk is patience. Here’s another story – unfortunately a true one. I was in Mexico for a mission trip with several families. We would stay in Texas and drive across the border into Mexico and put on a festival for a local neighborhood. It took a lot of manual labor and a lot of teamwork to pull it off well.
There were many children on our team who did such a great job at jumping in and helping wherever needed. There was one girl in particular that was a spunky little firecracker. We didn’t exactly see eye to eye, but that was because she was a 9-year-old who knew everything, and I was a 16-year-old who knew everything. We just didn’t exactly see everything the same way.
It was the end of the day of the festival, and we were starting to clean up. We were all exhausted. I stood by the water table with one of my good friends who had been pouring and serving water cups all day long. He and I were chatting when the little girl skipped up to the table and demanded rather rudely to be given a cup of water immediately. My friend obliged.
Suddenly a feeling of anger rose up in me, and my impatience got the better of me. Before the girl could skip away I reached out and smacked the cup of water out of her hand, leaving her and my friend wide-eyed and staring at me. Her big eyes filled with tears, and she held her wet shirt in her limp hands as she ran off to her mom.
I was astounded that day at how quickly my patience is lost and how quickly I can respond without wisdom. My name is Hannah, and I am an impatience addict.
Lastly, something I see myself struggling with for the rest of my life as a believer is pride. One final story as I explain myself:
I sat on the youth group floor with about 15 other teens as we listened to our youth minister, Brad, explain the next improv game for our drama team. I was about 14 at the time while my crush was 18 and sitting a few feet away from me. I only heard a couple words coming from Brad’s mouth as I daydreamed. He said something about a blind date scene… blah, blah, blah.
All of a sudden he called my name and my crushes name. “Now you two act out that scene,” Brad said. My heart sank.
My crush pranced confidently up to our little stage as I awkwardly bounded up behind him. What a smart and humble person would do is ask Brad to repeat the scenario since I wasn’t paying attention, but I evidently was neither smart nor humble. Brad yelled action and our mimery began. Here’s how the scene went down:
Hannah knocks on fake door to meet her blind date. Crush opens door and looks excited. Hannah doesn’t notice his social cues and pulls him in by his shirt collar for a big ole stage kiss. Aaaaaaand cut.
Humility would have done me well that day and shown me that the scene we were meant to play out was two friends discussing a blind date that had already occurred. My pride got me to a state of unbelievable embarrassment and got my crush a ripped shirt. I avoided improv games for months.
There you have it! Fifteen years, three major weaknesses (to name a few of my many) and a little more than you’d probably like to know about me. What a journey though! I praise God for my weaknesses!
2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Stop worrying about creating the perfect walk, my friend. Focus, rather, on each individual step. Before you know it, you’ll look back on 15, 30, 50, maybe even 80 years of God’s faithfulness to train your baby steps into a run. Praise Him for it!
If He can use an awkward Gospel conservationist, an impatient water-cup-smacking teen, and a prideful stage kisser, He can use anyone!