Thank you so much for your thoughtful comments and words of encouragement from yesterday's post. I was truly touched by your support and felt so inspired by those of you who shared similar experiences. I want to personally acknowledge each comment, so I'll be responding to you individually over the next couple of days (if you haven't linked up your email to your Blogger profile, be sure to check back in the comment section for my response). I am feeling so blessed by your encouragement!
One thing I do feel compelled to clarify is that my relationship with Jesus began years ago at the tender age of five, when I experienced an encounter with Him that made me a believer virtually overnight. I have always loved, revered (and feared) God, but the transformation and life-change of four months ago has taken my relationship and depth of love for Jesus to a level I never knew could possibly exist. It is one thing to proclaim that you love the Lord, and another entirely, to actively pursue Him, spend time reading the Good News and to want to make the daily choice to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. I am still learning, but I do know that I want to surrender this life of mine to Him and live to glorify His name.
My pursuit towards a deeper and more personal relationship with Jesus was also encouraged by a dear friend of mine who is no stranger here on the blog; I have written about my blog-friend-turned-real-life-friend Becki before, and this past Easter after nearly TEN years of blog-friendship, she flew out here to Maui and I was able to meet her in the flesh:
I have been fortunate enough to meet a number of blog friends over the years; while there is always a sense of nervous anxiety about meeting someone for the first time, that was so not the case with Becki; it honestly felt like we'd already met, because our conversation was relaxed and easy, laced with humor that didn't miss a beat.
It was a quick trip for her, but oh, how grateful I was to share a handful of days with her, laying out by her hotel pool, spending hours talking over meals-gone-cold and finally being able to wrap my arms around her and give her a hug powered by ten years of friendship. And I have the blogging community to thank for that.
Over the years, Becki and I have exchanged emails about our faith and she has encouraged and inspired me to seek Jesus and know Him on a deeper level. I will never forget her last evening here on Maui; we went out to dinner and sat together at a sushi bar, talking about God so late into the night that Phil had actually called me on my cell-phone to check in. So much of what we shared with one another that evening really resonated with me and (no surprise), had me on the verge of tears. Becki has been so influential in this intimate journey of mine; everyone deserves a beautiful sister-friend like this.
Love you, Becki!