Renewed & Transformed

Welcome to the Sweet Taste of Grace!

I just want to thank you for taking the time to get to know me. It is such a blessing to share my journey with you all. I am a fairly new believer, but the Lord has done great things to my heart and mind. He has renewed my Spirit and transformed my heart. I remember attending church periodically prior to becoming a Christian and being so moved by people’s testimonies. This is what the Gospel is all about- dying to our old selves and being made new in Christ Jesus. We are called to share this truth with the world, so here’s my testimony. I hope it encourages you to share yours with those around you. It is such a declaration and acknowledgement of all God has done. All praise to Him!

So let’s begin…

I was raised Catholic, attended Catholic schools and participated in the Catholic traditions. I did all the right things but all the wrong way. We attended church occasionally. We are what some would call C&E goers- Christmas and Easter. We had no membership, we gave no tithe, we had no fellowship, but the biggest thing was that we had no relationship with God. I had not accepted Jesus into my life and I denied His presence or existence. I wanted nothing to do with Him, but more so, I wanted nothing to do with the church. I had a feeling that there was something greater, but I didn’t know what and I wasn’t wanting to search.

In 2006, things begin to change….

I met Shane (my husband) at university and we started dating. He introduced me to his family and immediately I experienced an incredible and overwhelming sense of love and acceptance that I had experienced no where else before. I knew they were Christians and they openly asked me about my beliefs, in which I had none. The feeling I experienced around them, I could only attribute to their relationship with Christ. I needed to know more and I was interested in seeking. We started attending their church which was different than anything else I had experienced. People were welcoming, worship felt real and not rehearsed and coerced, fellowship occurred afterwards rather than a b-line to the car. These people had a relationship with God and the people in the church and I wanted to be part of it. For the first time, I wasn’t fidgeting in my seat, checking the time and hoping in anticipation for the service to be over. I was engaged in the message, feeling convictions that moved me to want to change; they fellowshipped with others after the service, we engaged in Biblical discussion on the ride home. I was just starting to really get into church, when I had the opportunity for employment in Manitoba. I jumped on the opportunity to become a teacher and loved the idea of the adventure.

The Initial Test…

God loves to test us to help us grow in our faith. It helps us to see things more clearly and realize how we must whole heartedly depend on Him. This test didn’t harm me, but it did put my heart to the test. In Manitoba, there wasn’t a church nearby that I could attend. I felt totally isolated and alone. It was a small Metis community of about 400 people and the nearest town with amenities was an hour away. It was the first time in my life that I desperately longed for a church. I missed the fellowship that we had started back home. It was a reality check of just how much I needed and wanted Him. In what felt like an absence of Him, I was drawn ever closer to Him. I longed to know Him more.

Seek and You Will Find…

Upon moving to St. Paul, my sister-in-law Amy helped me find a church that would be a good fit for us, something that we were used to back home. She suggested we check out St. Paul Alliance church. We went a few times over the course of 5 months. By January, I felt convicted by the Spirit. I knew I had so longingly wanted to attend a church after being away from one for so long and now there was one only 10 minutes away. I made a New Year’s Resolution to attend church every Sunday, even when Shane was not able to make it. Now this was a big deal. This is something I had never done before- gone to church by myself. This was way out of my comfort zone. But I knew I had to do it and I wanted to do it. This was important for me and my family. I remember Pastor Norm giving a sermon on serving. The church was needing volunteers and I felt moved to volunteer in the nursery. Next thing I knew a person was needed to volunteer as the Meal Ministry Co-ordinator. This one I felt very passionate about and was blessed to fill this role. A little later in the year, the nursery coordinator position opened up and I really wanted to take on that role too. I felt passionate about these positions and how they blessed people in our church. I started doing things I had never thought or dreamed I would do. Not only was I attending church but I was joyfully volunteering in multiple ministries.

Fast forward three year…

As I look back over the past three years since becoming a Christian, I can clearly see the Lord’s hand at work in my life. He has chiselled away at some of the hardness in my heart, and placed so much peace in its place. I know I have a long way to go but I’m so excited to see what He has in store for me next. Each new journey spurs me on in my faith and draws me nearer to Him. As I learn to lean into Him through the difficulties and uncertainties, I grow in wisdom and love.

Many Blessings!