How God Changed My Life

When I think of the word transformation, so many times in my life and circumstances start running through my head. I really have to slow myself down because I feel like I am really having an attention deficit moment. I have been changed and shaped by many things and people at different twists and turns, some good and some bad but I can honestly say that Christ has done a major work in my life at two pivotal times. I pray that as you reflect on these with me that you too will remember a time of transformation in your life. Perhaps you have not had one of those times. My prayer, if that is you, is that you will be transformed today.

At an early age, I knew that God would do something big in my life. I find that sort of ironic since I was not even really sure who God was. I did not grow up in church, although when I had a big project at school or I found myself terrified because of something horrific going on at home, I would close my little eyes so tight and pray to this God that I knew would deliver me from whatever was going on. I just knew He was going to do whatever I asked. That He did. He protected me for all of those scary years.

At the age of 13, I was transformed for the first time. I knew that I needed that “thing” that everyone had been talking about. You see, I knew about that God I had prayed to all of those years as a little girl, but I didn’t know Him personally. When the preacher was talking that Sunday about being “saved” I had no idea what he was talking about. Saved from what? That afternoon at the youth conference when that beautiful teenage girl sang about Jesus being there for her, regardless of any and everything that could or would happen to her, it started to become clearer to me. The missing piece of my life was Him – it was Jesus. I needed Him and I wanted Him. That night, at the home of our youth minister and his precious wife, I gave my life to Christ. It was a transformation. It was not simply a prayer. It was not simply empty words spoken. It was not just something I thought I did. It was a change in my heart. Have I doubted from time to time? Sure. I think that everyone wonders if what we do is sincere. My struggle is when I do something wrong if those words that I spoke were true or if I really meant them. What I know now is that God changed my life and I surrendered to Him everything. Just because I doubt who He is, does not mean that He doubts who I am. He created me and He knows me. Nothing I can do can separate me from Him (Romans 8: 38). What an amazing promise!

Another defining moment in my life when I was significantly transformed was in August of 2010. I had been struggling for about three years. It had actually been longer but for three years my heart was heavy and people had even been noticing something about me and commenting about it. One Sunday in August of 2010, our pastor was out of town and our youth pastor preached a sermon from a recent youth camp he had just come back from. The basic theme was redemption, restoration, and forgiveness. To be quite honest, I cannot tell you two words that he spoke that day but what I can tell you is that it spoke to my heart and it was the Holy Spirit all over the place! I cried from the first note of the first song and I don’t know when I stopped. My husband grabbed my hand and I just can’t describe that day. It was earth shattering and life changing. It was not Joel. It was not me. It was not that church. It was God. Plain and simple, a moving of the Holy Spirit saying that I had been running too long and it was time to COMPLETELY surrender what I had been letting Satan have, keeping me in bondage. It was the start of a complete transformation.

Twelve years prior to this time, I had made a really bad choice to end the life of my unborn child. I will not go into details about that here, but I have blogged about it before and I have shared the story many times in public forums. I am not proud of the story, but what I am proud of is what God has done and is doing because of my obedience of letting that go. I have surrendered that sin and laid it at the foot of the cross. He has removed it as far as the east from the west and I am convicted no more! I could stand up from the rooftops of the building I am sitting in right this very minute and shout Hallelujah because I have been so ashamed of myself that I wanted to cower down in a shoe box in the bottom of my sock drawer and would not care who spat on me. I believed within the very depth of my soul that I deserved that. I have been redeemed and I have been transformed. My mind has been renewed and I am living for Christ. Do I fail? Absolutely, but the difference is that I pick myself up, dust myself off and walk alongside my God, the same God that I asked to protect me as a little girl. He protected me then, He transformed me, and He is still changing me today. Please let Him do the same for you.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is; His good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12: 1-2

Rikki Hester