First of all, thank you so much to Sabrina for starting this group! I am really really excited about it--I find that most of my dearest friends are in other places these days (or that i cannot seem to mesh schedules with those still here) so the internet has become my lifeline in many ways, and I think that this bloggy group will be a wonderful way to maintain the accountability relationships that I so desperately need.
Well, for those of you who don't know me, I'm Sarah Edmundson, wife of Patrick, daughter of Thomas Weakley (the Campus Crusade director at wku), Office Manager at Pediatric Associates, and "mommy" to my adorable fur-babies, Butch & Kitty. I majored in Religious studies with a minor in Philosophy, and until this year have lead a college Bible study through Crusade since 2003.
My "salvation story" is honestly kind of hard for me to share b/c it just isn't "normal". Being the child of ministers, I heard the gospel pretty much straight from the womb! They constantly explained salvation, sin, Jesus' death on the cross, etc...and at the age of 3 I prayed to recieve Christ. Now, that is understandably hard to believe, even for me b/c it's not like I can vividly remember it, though I do remember sitting on our front porch afterwards with my parents emphatically declaring that Jesus was in my heart! I was baptized by my dad around the age of seven. Either around or before that time I was witnessing to my little friends and my sister. Obviously, I could not fully understand all the implications of the gospel & salvation at that time, but I can honestly say that I have never felt that I did not have the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, and even if someone becomes a believer at a later age, they in no way understand it all (no one understands it all!). All I can say is that I prayed to receive Christ at that age, and the fruits of the Spirit were evident in my little self, so though I can't really understand it, I do believe that is when I became a Christian!
I have wandered in and out of closeness with the Lord over my life. I never out-right rebelled like many minister's kids (aka, no drugs, drinking, partying etc...) but I always had problems with boyfriends and putting them first. I had a very unhealthy relationship for the majority of high school in which I honestly lost my identity, and then when I became a senior in college started dating Patrick who was not a believer at that time (though he later accepted Christ and now we're married--feel free to ask about that if you want, but there are always consequences to "missionary dating"). Things really turned around in college when I started getting involved with Crusade my freshman year, saw my boyfriend come to know the Lord, and then the next year began leading a Bible study and discipling young women for the first time. During that leading & discipleship process I learned more about faith and fellowship than I had ever known, and developed a passion for having honest vulnerable relationships that encourage one another in Christ.
After graduation and then getting married, life just changed. It is a hard transition going from having people constantly being intentional in Biblical relationships and always learning and being intellectually and relationally stimulated to sitting behind a desk all day around the same people and being drained. In the late summer/early fall of 2007 I got sick w/mono (ridiculous--who gets mono after they're married?!?) and I had just gotten a promotion at my job and tried to push through it and my body just broke. I developed Chronic Fatigue Syndrome & Fibromyalgia and a few other pain conditions and had to re-figure how I live my life. I've learned a lot about resting in the Lord and trusting in His power rather than my own, but my prideful person still tries to do it all too often and I now pay for it every time.
So...that's a LOT of background...where am I now?
This year (I still count things by school years, so let's say summer 2009-present) has been hard. It is the first time that I am not leading a college Bible study, and though I feel like I need the rest it is hard b/c that is where I have always grown the most. When I don't have the motivation of leading others, I all to often slack off in my time with the Lord and become complacent. I also have become very materialistic, which I never would have seen being a problem back when I was in school! Since the New Year stared and with our 5 o'clock club challenge, I have gotten back into the habit of spending time with the Lord daily and am really seeing how desperately I need it! I also am in need of honest relationships with Godly women and am excited to see where this group goes!
In my time with the Lord I am currently reading through Psalms again. I have to go back to this when I need a reminder of what a personal relationship with Christ is supposed to look like. When I read in the New Testament, I can tend to get overly analytical (thank you Religious Studies major) so this helps me focus on how I need to pour out my soul to the Lord. I am also rotating between Abba's Child by Brennan Manning, Fear Not Tomorrow, God is Already There by Ruth Graham, the Believers Daily Renewal by Andrew Murray, a daily hymn devotional and daily Classic Christian writings devotional, and prayer journaling.
The biggest thing that I need accountability with right now is going to church. I have always been a slacker in this area, finding my need for fellowship & worship filled by other means, but since I got sick I have not gone consistently at all. I say "I" rather than "we" right now b/c we had a hurtful experience with the church we were a part of up until the time that I got sick, and it left my husband feeling very hurt and jaded against the church. That is also a prayer request. So put together the fact that I pretty much hibernate on the weekends due to my illness and do not want to get up in the morning, plus the fact that I would be going alone...it's just hard. And I'm prideful and don't want to be asked where my husband is (or have people judge him for not being there). And I'm lazy and want to stay in bed until 11. And I don't want to go alone when all my friends are in couples. There. I admitted it all. It's not good.
A few thoughts on accountability and fellowship for this group...do we maybe want to pick out a memory verse for each month and then all work on it together? I think that could be really cool--and we could rotate who chooses. Also, what about trying to get together once a month (at least those of us who are in the area?) We could set a date (or a specific Friday night, like the second in the month) to shoot for each month, rotate who "hosts" and then whoever makes it makes it--if we did this that could also be our time to recite our memory verse to one another....Just some thoughts...sometimes I get over-eager ;)
If you want to get to know me more online my blogs are:
To be a better me where I post about more personal stuff
Teapots & Cakestands where I post about baking and fun stuff....some personal stuff too but less