Faith Spilling Over… Into Everyday Life

My Story: How God Got Hold of This Texas Girl

64 Comments

PicMonkey Collage

I’ll never forget the day I told my Sunday school teacher I wasn’t a Christian back in 3rd grade.

Like every summer, I was spending a week at Grandma’s in Fort Hancock, Texas, so I could go to vacation Bible school. What I knew about the Bible I learned from Grandma.

Since I was a visitor, the Baptist Church lady asked, “Honey, you’re a Christian, right?

Nope,” I said.

Aren’t you Doris Fry’s granddaughter?” she said.

Yep.”

Well, honey, if you’re Doris Fry’s granddaughter, of course you’re a Christian.”  She checked off the box on my visitor registration card.

She could check off the box if she wanted, but I knew she was wrong.

In High School, I hoped I wouldn’t get hit by a car or die because I guessed I’d go straight to hell. I thought being a Christian meant following a list of rules, and that didn’t sound any fun. I wanted to put that off for as long as I could.

I went off to university, trying my hardest to be the best I could be so people would like me. A friend in my dorm invited me to a Bible study, and I took a whole slew of girls, including one who showed up drunk most Tuesday nights. I liked those Bible study girls, but I wondered what the big deal about Jesus was.

Until the night when the drunk girl poured her bottle of vodka out onto the street and told me she was giving her life to Jesus. She read these words:

God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.  This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.” 1 John 4:9-19 (NLT)

 

As that vodka splashed out onto the street, God got me. I understood He loved me, and I knew why Jesus came.

That Texas girl who worked hard to please everyone and hoped they’d like her grew into a woman who knew this:

My story is 2

The faith that started out as a mustard seed in my heart grew into a song. The song goes like this:

I’m God’s daughter.

I belong to Him, and He loves me.

I don’t have to try to make God like me. He already does. He loves me not for what I’ve done or might do. He loves me because of what Jesus did.

When He looks at me, He sees a precious treasure, bought and made clean by the blood of Christ.

I’m forgiven and free.

He made me beautiful to shine His glory in my corner of the world.

That’s my story. That’s the song I hope will spill over into my attitudes and actions.

That’s the faith I hope spills over into my family and community.

My grandma spilled that faith onto me when she prayed for me every day. That girl in the dorm shared her song with me when she invited me to Bible study.

You know what? He made you beautiful too. Let’s share our songs and shine His glory in our world.

I’m sharing a bit of my life and linking up today with Suzie Eller’s #LiveFreeThursday. Suzie’s prompt was “My story is…” Also joining in Susan B. Mead’s #DancewithJesusBarbie Swihart’s The Weekend Brew, and Kelly Balarie’s #RaRaLinkup
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Author: betsydecruz

I want to enjoy the everyday life God is giving me as best I can, even when the road gets bumpy. I love having fun with my teenagers, learning almost anything, and drinking dark roast coffee with my friends.

64 thoughts on “My Story: How God Got Hold of This Texas Girl

  1. Great post! I’m hopping over from Suzie’s linkup!

    I’m intrigued by the part where when you were little, you were “checked off” as a Christian because of your grandmother. It’s an interesting thought, huh? That so many times, we feel we have to “check the box” in order to be a Christian. Loved that visual. 🙂

  2. Betsy, this is some of the best from you yet. Beautiful. The checked off box from the Baptist lady got me too. It’s crazy how many people think that way. I’m so thankful God got a hold of you in the best way and you’re spilling your faith onto the page here, for so many to witness and see God’s grace and beauty. Much love, friend.

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Betsy. My favourite line was “As that vodka splashed out onto the street, God got me.” Just such a wonderful picture of God’s grace and the beautiful way His Spirit moves.

    While I wouldn’t necessarily advise changing your blog banner to a vodka bottle spilling, 🙂 I do love that image!

  4. Love your story, Betsy – thank you for sharing such encouragement on #livefree Have a great day!
    Kim Stewart
    http://kimstewartinspired.com

  5. Great post girl! Thank you for SPILLING out!

  6. Oh, I loved this Betsy! And like others here, I wonder how many times the box is checked off, and our hearts are forgotten! Beautiful story! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Betsy,
    I love to hear people’s stories and testimonies of how “God got a hold of them.” Interesting choice on God’s part that the drunk girl led you to Christ after your grandmother had so lovingly planted seeds. It gives me hope that God can get a hold of my son who isn’t ready to give his life to Christ. Our God is able! Thanks so much for the reminder!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Amen! God is able! My husband prayed for his older brother 30 years, and he is now a committed, growing Christian, has been for about 6 years. 🙂 God will get a hold of your son, too.

  8. Oh, yes, yes, yes! Such a good word, Betsy. Loved the checked box part. Just wonderful!

  9. Betsy,
    Joining you today from the #dancewithJesus link up. Happy to have come over. Thanks for sharing your testimony. I delight that he lovingly calls us, woos us into a relationship with him. May your joy be full as you pour out in worship to him.

  10. Betsy,
    Happy to have come over from #dancewithjesus link up. I rejoice with you that Jesus’ love calls us, reaches out to us and draws us in. I pray your joy may be full as you pour out in worship and service to him.

  11. Such a beautifully written, transparent post Betsy. I love how God held onto your heart that day when you knew you were not saved and He never let it go. He kept placing people in your path to lead you to Him. ❤

  12. LOVE the vodka splatter…

    Yet this is what grabbed me.
    I thought being a Christian meant following a list of rules, and that didn’t sound any fun. I wanted to put that off for as long as I could.

    I have heard that said by so many and I thought it myself.

    LOVE this post, my fellow Texan who is a bit far from here now (LOL!)

    Thank you so much for joining the dance today at #DanceWithJesus Friday. Your words bless me. And so many more.

  13. I’m so glad God got ahold of that Texas girl. ❤ Thanks for linking up today!

  14. God is so good, Betsy! And Happy Valentine’s Day!!

  15. Thanks. God loves you with an a very strong and special love, Texas girl.

  16. Thanks for the story telling how even when we try to choose NOT to be a Christian, Jesus still chooses us! This is very encouraging for me, with a son who is choosing not to believe. I pray for him like your grandma prayed for you, and I’m confident and trusting that he will turn back to God like you did.

  17. Hi Betsy! It’s funny how we all have our plans, but God has his own. I’m sure you never dreamed of falling in love with Jesus, but oh, he had a plan for you! Thank you for sharing your story with us, it really encourages us all to keep pouring our faith into our loved ones who are just not thinking about God right now.
    Love the photos too!

    Happy Valentines Day to you and yours 🙂

    Ceil

  18. What an AWESOME testimony of God’s grace!!!!!!! Our pastor always says that God doesn’t love some future version of yourself. He loves you right were you are!

    SO SO SO many people believe that faith is inherited by their families belief. That because of your grandmother’s faith, it automatically made you one. I automatically believed I was a christian because of my parents belief and because I grew up attending in a christian church. Sprinkled as a baby etc…. I mean, I LIVE in the Bible belt… doesn’t that automatically make you a christian???? 😉 In America, the term “christian” is so easily tossed around. It has become such a generic, broad term that tends to be over used.

    It wasn’t until God revealed himself to me, that I could finally see Him fully and understand what He did for me and how unworthy I was of that gift. Thankful that, through Christ, I am made worthy. Thankful that He choose me.

    You can NEVER out sin the grace of God. What a good, good Father.

  19. I love your testimony, although I do want to ask that Sunday School teacher what in the world she was thinking! As the saying goes, “God doesn’t have any grandchildren.”

  20. Beautiful testimony! So grateful you fell into a relationship with Jesus & you share your words which encourage us all. Blessings!

  21. This is a beautiful testimony. Sometimes others think we are Christians by the families we were raised in or the church we go to, but that doesn’t make us a Christian. You knew in your heart the truth that you weren’t and I’m thankful you kept searching, some don’t. This is very powerful and I believe it will change lives! Have a beautiful weekend. Tammy

  22. Betsy-I loved this! Your testimony speaks of God’s unrelenting pursuit of all of us. Isn’t it beautiful how He never gives up and provides just the right people and moments to make it all work? Blessed by your words and your bravery in sharing. Sabbath blessings friend!

  23. Thank you Betsy for sharing your beautiful heart and testimony with us. I love how God put that stirring in your heart to know Him. I love that He choose you and chased you down until you responded. Thankful to be in community with you.

  24. Hi Betsy! Your vacation Bible school story sounds all too familiar:) Praise God for sending people into our lives to open our eyes to His love for us! Blessings today, friend.

  25. Thank you for sharing your personal story with us, Betsy. I love to hear how God gets a hold of a heart. We’re all so different, but He always reaches us with His love just when we need Him most. So thankful for your bold and powerful testimony that you share here each week. It is always an encouragement to me and I know to many others. Blessings to you, sweet friend!

  26. Thank you for sharing your testimony. Rejoicing with you that God got you, and that He got me, too!

  27. What a tragedy, and a missed opportunity that the lady in Bible school didn’t take you seriously! I fear it still happens in the church today. We assume people know Jesus, so we don’t even ask. We sit beside them Sunday after Sunday, assuming. We work alongside them Monday through Friday, assuming. I’m guilty of doing it. I’m so thankful you found Jesus. Lovely post, Betsy!

  28. Texas girl, you have a beautiful story. Many can relate. Love that you shared it and are sharing Jesus with many these days.

  29. Betsy, my heart filled with joy reading your story! Thank you for sharing this! I love that GOD poured HIS love into you and now you are doing the same for others so beautifully! Infinite blessings to you, Love! 🙂

    #RaRaLinkup 😉

  30. I love that you want to spill out into others. At a Ladies’ Bible Study, years ago, someone asked, ‘ What spills out of you when you are bumped?’ I was afraid to find out because I really had little confidence that it was what I would others to see. Yet, when He fills us with himself, our broken vessels, healed by His touch, spill out into others for His glory and it is a beautiful thing. If I spill out … then the result is worldly, but if HE spills out then the results are extraordinary!

    I had a praying grandma, too! I miss her deeply. Your song is so precious, thanks for sharing it.

    Blessings,
    Dawn

  31. Thank you Dawn. Yes, I’ve heard that concept too: what spills out of you when you’re bumped? All the more reason to pursue being filled by His Spirit! How wonderful that you had a praying grandma too.

  32. I love this story! The vodka part is so awesome. My writer mind just things of the pouring out of sin and the intaking of Christ. Beautiful. I rejoice that he hit you on that road with his awesome truth.

  33. I didn’t realize you were originally from Texas, Betsy. Did I ever tell you my husband used to live in Turkey? So glad you didn’t take the VBS worker’s word for it. God doesn’t have any grandchildren (or great grandchildren)!

    • Yes, I’m a Yellow Rose, all right. No I didn’t know your husband lived in Turkey. Was he military, I wonder?

      • Yes, he was military, but it was actually his father’s military service that required their family to live in Turkey for awhile when Doug was just a toddler. I think he may still be able to count to 10 in Turkish, but I don’t think he remembers much more than that. 🙂

  34. And my husband and I are both native Texans, BTW, and live in the Rose Capital of the world. 🙂

  35. Betsy, I know this post was written earlier in the year, but you have it listed on this Dec. post and here I am. I love this post. I love the “…well then, you must be a Christian” comment and ‘check.” After Christmas, when you are back on the blog, will you write to me just how “faith spills over” for you. I have a beautiful relationship with the Lord and know that I am a Christian, know God’s love for me, and know what God has given to me, but I fail over and over when it comes to trusting, believing that He will provide, that He will take care of us, that He will hold us. My faith does not spill over and I want to know how mine can spill over too, Betsy. I have tears welling up as I write this. I probably should be sending you a private message just in case someone else should read this, but I have to be real right now about this. And so here I am…out in the open. Thank you for being here today, Betsy. I am coming from Holly’s. You are not even my neighbor there but the “faith spilling over” really touched my heart so I scanned the posts until God sent me to this one. I want my faith to be strong and only in Him. I have the ‘head knowledge’ of faith and all that goes with it, but my heart knowledge is a roller coaster when it comes to living in faith.
    I am a Californian/Navy kid who lives in Portland, TX.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    • Linda,
      I’m sure Betsy will respond to you herself, but I want to assure you that we ALL struggle, at least at times, with feeling that we fall short of having a “spilling over” faith. I encourage you that the best ways to experience that “spilling over” is spending time with the Lord (in His word and in prayer and in recognizing His ever-presentness with you) and spending time with His people. I can see from what you say “God sent me to this one” that you recognize His leading you in the day to day. Find scriptures that remind you of that and memorize them. I also encourage you to go back and read Betsy’s blog. Her faith truly does “spill over” and encourages us. I’ll bet that your faith “spills over” and touches others as well, even if you don’t see it. Be blessed this Christmas, dear one! Rejoice in His coming for you!

      Blessings & Grace,
      LaNette

      • Thank you, LaNette…thank you so much. Yes, I do imagine by the words that God gives me for my blog that my faith does, indeed, spill over, but I do not see it nor feel it most of the time. I do spend time with the Lord and together with my husband each evening. I intend to spend more and be more specific in my prayers, in my Scripture study and learning. I am so grateful, LaNette. May your Christmas be sweet and joy-filled.
        Caring through Christ, ~ linda

  36. Betsy,
    Great to “hear” your story. Looking forward to seeing you in January! Christmas blessings to you and Jose and the kids!

    Blessings and Grace,
    LaNette

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