Friday, December 4, 2015

Falling in Love with Jesus: Love Casts Out Fear

Today's Falling in Love with Jesus story is written by Natalie Monk.

She's a multi-talented lady with a heart for Jesus Christ! She expresses her passion for Him in her daily living and His light radiates through her as she interacts with people. I know because I met Natalie in person earlier this year! She's pretty awesome! :)

Enjoy your visit with Natalie now as she shares her story about her first love encounter with Jesus Christ.

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Love Casts Out Fear
A Falling in Love with Jesus story written by Natalie Monk

My first love encounter with Jesus was a little scary.

Not what you expected to hear, right?

Eight years old, leaving a revival meeting service, I’d never had any dealings with the Supernatural, so when I grew overwhelmed with thoughts of God and where I stood with Him, fear swamped me. Nothing major had ever disturbed my “normal.”

My whole life I had heard the message of Christ, how He loved the people of the world so much He died on the cross for our sins and rose from the grave three days later. But things of God were never personal to me.

Why was I so troubled now?

Something was horribly wrong. With me. With my relationship to God.

I didn’t want to talk about it, but to reassure myself, I tugged on my mom’s sleeve and declared to her that I was “saved.” See, I remembered “asking Jesus to save me” when I was three, because that’s what good boys and girls are supposed to do. I said the words. I did the thing. I was okay, right?

Now I laugh at my desperate grasp at normalcy, suddenly blurting that I was okay. I actually believed myself (or I “would be okay, if everyone would just ignore this weirdness and let things be normal again”), but Momma was smarter than that. I’m sure she noticed my pale lips and fidgety hands. She told me we would talk as soon as she bid the church people goodbye.

My stomach churned while I waited. I’d blabbed, now I’d HAVE to talk.

When we climbed up in my Daddy’s farm truck to head home, I slid onto the front seat and between Momma and Daddy. I was hopeful that once I told them I’d done the “saved” thing when I was three, they’d leave me alone about it and things could go back to normal. Maybe we could get a hamburger or ice cream or something—except if I ate anything right then I’d lose it all over those red cloth seats.

Momma asked me to tell her about when I was “saved.” I didn’t have much to tell except that I’d said the “right” words.

Then Momma had to go and ask the hard questions: Was God working in my heart back then when I was three or did I just say the “saved” words because I thought it was something good to do? Did I realize I was born a sinner and needed a savior (the whole reason Jesus came to earth to save us from eternal death and separation from Him)?

That’s when my fa├žade broke down and tears popped up. I told her I didn’t know those things before, but they sure were true now. I didn’t fully comprehend God working so sweetly in my heart, showing me how much I needed Him and how He loved me and wanted me to know Him. (I understand now this was the conviction of the Holy Spirit.)

Momma, being sensitive to the ways of children and knowing how easy it is to “make a decision” to please others, asked me if I thought I needed to pray right then and give my heart to Jesus or if I could wait.

I told her I could wait. Why, I’m not sure. Maybe I still held out hope that I could ignore all this and feel better soon.

Five minutes later I told her I couldn’t wait anymore. I was so bothered inside at not being right with God. I prayed sincerely and asked God to forgive my sins and come into my heart. I didn’t say perfect words at a fancy church altar. In fact, we’d pulled into a lumber company’s dirt driveway—nothing religious about that.

But God was there. He heard my heart. And the burden He lifted from me was so real, the peace and relief so sweet. He changed me then and has been working in me ever since, drawing, pursuing, and persuading me to be more like Him and love like Him. I’ve got a lot to learn, but I’m thankful He’ll always be my Loving Guide.

Do you know Him? 


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Author bio:
Natalie Monk writes historical romance stories of laughter, love, and redemption. A member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, Natalie is currently seeking representation and plotting her third novel. 

Natalie is a homeschool graduate, a piano teacher, portrait photographer, devotional speaker and former post-hole digger. 

She loves sweet tea, book talk, porch swings, and watching musicals and action movies with her family. 

Connect with Natalie:
Website: www.nataliemonk.com 

3 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for having me again, Alexis! It's an honor! How exciting it was to meet you at the ACFW conference! Those are days I'll not soon forget!

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  2. Such a sweet testimony, Natalie. It reminds me of a little girl in a vacation bible school I was teaching many years ago. After the class I felt a tug on my skirt. This little blonde, blue eyed six-year-old had such a tiny voice I had to lean down to hear her, but her request was clear. "I want to give my heart to Jesus." I didn't know her parents, so I took her by the hand and found the pastor who sent for her mom and dad. When they got there, I left. I did wonder if such a young child could understand what she was doing, but only a minute. I'd seen the conviction in her eyes. Sure enough, the following Sunday, she was baptised. It had a profound effect on me too just knowing something I said influenced this child. I didn't mean to write such a long comment, but your experience reminded me of this beautiful memory.

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  3. What a beautiful testimony. I don't have many memories of being three, but the year I was eight God became very real to me. Maybe that's a good age for God to get our attention.

    Thanks for sharing!

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