“I know your deeds; I know you are neither hot nor cold. How I wish you were one or the other—hot or cold! But because you are lukewarm, neither hot nor cold, I will spew you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16
I heard this scripture when I was 25 years old and it pierced my heart because I felt I had disappointed Jesus. I had known Him since I was a child. He gave me life and taught me to love.
I cried out; “Help me! Show me how to be hot for You, Lord!” That was over 20 years ago. I was married and expecting my third child. Soon there would be five children, and I was only trying to keep up.
Shortly after that night I met Angie. Her friendship and the women of WCF were God’s answer to my cry for help. WCF is a group of women who are hot for the love of Jesus and a burning desire to serve Him. Faith, hope and His love are now a burning flame within me.
“I am hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; I am perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” 1 Corinthians 4:8-9
As a Christian woman I have failed many times and fallen to the pressures of this world. But I have always been able to rise again and to stay in love with my husband, to raise five children, to battle against financial problems, cancer, alcoholism, drugs, and other influences of the flesh.
I make every effort to keep from compromising, to stand firm, to be a light in this world, to live God’s way, and to speak His truth. I live by faith in Him and not by what I see or feel. I am able to do this only by the gift of the Holy Spirit’s power in my life. God has given me a life worth fighting for, worth living!
“Jesus said to him: ‘You shall love the Lord your God with your whole heart, with your whole soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. The second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” Matthew 22:37-39
Because of alcohol abuse in my home, I was resentful of other people’s easier lives. I was depressed, angry and couldn’t count on adults. I believed that no one could love the true me. When my 18 year old brother died, I feared other loved ones would die.
I was 17 when my personal relationship with Jesus began the night my brother was buried. After crying for five hours, I only wanted to die to be out of the pain. I cried from my heart, “What kind of God kills people you love?” I stopped crying; a peace washed over me. I knew it was God. He revealed that He wasn’t that kind of God, and that life is loving Him above all and loving people.
Life took on a new perspective. Everything that I thought was so important was second to cherishing people, especially while they are here with you. Struggling for several years, I prayed, “I don’t know how to get closer to You, Lord, but please help.” He answered that prayer through WCF, where I discovered God spoke to me through His Word. I had decided to follow Jesus . . . no turning back.
“Delight thyself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37:4
When I first heard this life-changing scripture, all I could think of was getting the desires of my heart. I figured that I delighted myself in the Lord. After all, I prayed, attended WCF and went to Mass every Sunday. In fact, I was feeling that God was incredible in answering all my prayers. All I needed now to be happy was a new house with a swimming pool and a piano for my kids to play.
I also heard Angie, our WCF leader say, “Seek the Giver of the gifts, not the gifts,” and “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33) I burned with shame thinking that I was viewing God almost like Santa. In my humility I prayed, “Change my heart, oh God, make me more like You.”
I learned that delighting thyself in the Lord meant putting Him and His will before my own. I prayed earnestly to do just that. One day I discovered that I actually burned to know Him better, to discern His will and to tell others how great our God is. Along the way, He gave me a new house with a swimming pool and a piano. But he had changed the desires of my heart – I now desire Him above all else.