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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Power To Change

by Marilyn Reichert

I believed that having children would bring me contentment, but as much as I loved my children, marriage and motherhood were not bringing the fulfilment I had longed for.

Being a wife and a mother had been my goal in life. When neither of these roles filled the void inside me, I thought perhaps a new career would do the trick. I got a job as a part-time receptionist in a real estate office. The job soon progressed to full-time, and then promotions which led to Regional Administrator. Career-wise, I had arrived, but still I lacked fulfillment.

As my career took off, my marriage suffered. I was resentful that I had been working for five years while my husband had stayed home with the kids. I was very angry with life.

After 17 years with my husband, Tom, I decided to take the children and separate from him. Perhaps the fighting would stop, and I would have peace. In October 1987, I put the children into the car, picked up my purse and drove away! I thought that fulfilment would surely come as I pursued my career and became a more attentive mother to my children. It did not.

Within two months, it was worse than ever. I would be spending most of Christmas alone at my sister's, without the children that were the only reason for my existence. I was very distraught at the way life had turned out–there seemed to be no meaning, no purpose and no way I could get it under control.

I was driving my boss to the airport when he turned to me and said, "You know you have nothing left to lose. You don't have a home, a husband or your kids. All you have is your car, and your job. So, why don't you give your life to Jesus?" So, for no other reason than to keep this man happy, I repeated the words of a prayer asking Jesus to come into my life and take over.

At that point I didn't think that it would change a thing. But before I could lift my head and open my eyes, something profound had happened inside me. I could not explain it, but I knew it was real. For the first time, the feeling of "hopelessness" was gone from my gut. When Jim told me I was forgiven for all of the mistakes I had ever made, I knew what he said was real somehow. I felt very free, and very much at peace.

In the months that followed, there were many more storms to go through and many disappointing events, but there was peace. Every day at work began with prayer and every night I read my Bible and listened to tapes about the Bible. I joined a noon hour Bible study and began to attend church on a regular basis. I was always amazed that the pastor was speaking on things that were happening in my life. I stopped drinking and smoking.

The biggest change of all since I asked Jesus into my life was that the void was gone and life had meaning and purpose. I no longer seek fulfilment through human relationships, whether it is my children or my friends. They can disappoint.

I have found the One who never disappoints. There are still many trials (my youngest son, Jonathan, has had cancer and my mother passed away suddenly), and there are times of calm. But life is not the roller coaster ride it used to be. Fulfilment–the filling of that void–comes in only one person, and His name is Jesus.

Take a look at your life. How would you describe it? Contented? Rushed? Exciting? Stressful? Moving forward? Holding back? For many of us it’s all of the above at times. There are things we dream of doing one day, there are things we wish we could forget. In the Bible, it says that Jesus came to make all things new. What would your life look like if you could start over with a clean slate?

Living with hope

If you are looking for peace, there is a way to balance your life. No one can be perfect, or have a perfect life. But every one of us has the opportunity to experience perfect grace through a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.

You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer. Praying is simply talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. Here's a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? You can pray it right now, and Jesus Christ will come into your life, just as He promised.

Is this the life for you?

If you invited Christ into your life, thank God often that He is in your life, that He will never leave you and that you have eternal life. As you learn more about your relationship with God, and how much He loves you, you'll experience life to the fullest.