Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Well

Two of my high school friends: Cathy (left) and Courtney at my senior prom (which I attended with JB)

1 Corinthians 3:6 "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God made it grow".
I attended Fort Lauderdale Christian School in South Florida for all thirteen years of my schooling. Most of the kids that attended this school came from families with means. You had to in order to attend Christian school. I did not. My father was a teacher at the school and thus I was able to attend for a significantly discounted price.
In South Florida, the public school systems is avoided by many people. Thus the reason that some families, like my friend Cathy's, had her attend even though she wasn't a Christian. They wanted her out of the public school system, and they chose Fort Lauderdale Christian.
Cathy was a dear friend to me. In fact, she and Courtney, pictured above, actually flew to Kentucky for my wedding in 1998, and we have stayed in touch casually ever since. (My other life-long FLCS friend, Michelle, was in my wedding.)
I knew that Cathy was not a Christian. I knew she sort of believed what she believed. I knew she was one of the kids who was attending FLCS to avoid the public school but not to get the "Christian" part of our education. I knew that she was involved with the wrong kids and involved in things that were a bad idea. She knew where I stood and knew I would not compromise. I remember we talked about God. I remember there seemed to be a change in her. But I also remember that she always seemed to return to the wrong things.

I wish I could say I have helped lead dozens of people to Christ. Hundreds would be even better. But as of today, I have only said the sinner's prayer with two individuals. I pray that the Lord will allow me to lead others some day, but as of today, that is all there is.

But in the meantime, I am encouraged by the fact that oftentimes, we may not be the one who gets to water the seed or make it grow. We may be the one who plants the seed. Sometimes we are lucky enough to have someone seek us out and tell us that we made a difference years before -- even though we didn't actually see them come to Christ.

That was the case with Cathy. Cathy is now a VERY strong Christian, and I was honored to receive an email from her last week. She wrote a piece for her church newsletter and sent a copy both to myself and to our friend Michelle. The piece is included below. What is so cool is that Cathy told me that Michelle and I were the people who took her to youth group. I highlighted the part that Cathy said was about Michelle and me.

Here's the "funny" part. I don't even remember taking Cathy to youth group. Isn't that something? It made an impact on her and helped lead her down the right path. It was a seed I planted that I didn't even really remember planting.

I hope we all remember, as we read Cathy's piece, which she gave me permission to publish, that we are planting seeds with the little things we do. Maybe you haven't lead as many people to Christ as Billy Graham. Maybe you haven't even lead one person to Christ. But your actions, the little things you do, are seeds. Keep sowing them. Don't stop. "Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words."   


This assignment was more difficult than I anticipated.  Not because I didn’t know what to write about but having to pick just one song that connects me to God.  I am also one of those people that are emotionally connected to songs so to pick only one was a task.  As I listened to my favorite Top 10 songs, the one that stood out the most was “The Well” by Casting Crowns. 

I went to the Casting Crowns concert recently with two amazing women.  One that is like a sister to me and the other was someone I met that night but has since become a blessing to have in my life.  

I knew a few songs from Casting Crowns and my love of music was the reason I wanted to drive all the way to Newark for this concert.  Little did I know that this was going to be a night we would always remember.  I shared a bond with these two women, cried my eyes out in worship in a sold out arena and decided to sponsor a precious little girl from Mexico named Sarah, who happens to share my birthday.  It was a night I could not have planned so perfectly. 

Casting Crowns sang this song “The Well” that I was not familiar with but it was just what I needed to hear.  I am not alone to say we all search and search in worldly “things” to fill this huge empty void in our lives.  As Christians, we know God is the answer “He has what we need but we keep on searching”. We are disappointed time and time again because nothing will fill that void. 

I have certainly been in this situation more times than I care to admit.  I did not grow up in a Christian home but went to Catholic/Christian schools from 5th grade to 12th grade.  My parents sent me there either because the public school was not in a good area or they thought I would get a better education.  It wasn’t for the Christian aspect.  Maybe I did get a better academic education but, the best education was my friends teaching me about God and telling me about being saved and accepting Christ as my Savior.  They took me to youth group in 11th grade and supported me as I became a Christian for the first time in my life. 

Once we graduated high school, I lost that guidance from them so I just thought that I knew all I needed to know.  Boy, was I wrong.  I couldn’t do it on my own.  I continued to search for something to fill that void and always came up empty.  But when I got really desperate, I would go to church. Not every week, you know, just when I “needed” God.  Something always led me back to church. It was where I felt safe and made me happy.   

So I would get my Spirit filled again and venture out to the world on my own.  That void kept coming back.  This had become a cycle for some time.  I would feel like I wasn’t allowed to go back to church since I was in and out so many times so I would give up all together.  (Rewind a bit, at 13 my dad walked out on my life and was pretty much absent for most of my life.  How could a father not love his child?  If my own father didn’t love me, for sure God wouldn’t love me)

I was married to a non-Christian man for 5 years, whom I was divorced from about 3 years ago. So first my dad doesn’t love me and now my husband?  But, his parents were seasoned Christians and they brought me back to God and lit my Spirit.  Oh…. So THAT’S what I was missing? Now I get it … “Rest in my arms for awhile, you’ll feel the change, My child”.  

I didn’t need my father’s love, I have my Heavenly Father’s love and He will never leave me.  My desire to be closer to God and to worship Him is the only way for me.  He is my Rock and I would be lost without Him. He is all I have.  “Bring your heart no matter how broken” is just what I did. 

I am not like the rest of my family and it’s been a struggle for me.  They just don’t get it.  It hurts my heart because they are my family but also because they are really missing out on something more amazing that they could ever imagine. 

Since coming to this church, I have found a church family that loves me for me.  Pastor Eric preached a few weeks ago about not caring to be accepted by others, it’s God’s acceptance that only matters.  That really hit home for me because it reminded me that I was once one of “those who search will find what their soul longs for”. 

I found it and He lives in me now and forever.

I highly recommend that you “leave it all behind and come to the well”.  It was the best thing I have ever done in my life.  Oh, and when you get to The Well, I’m pretty sure my two friends will still be there talking about the Casting Crown’s concert.   

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