No comes to Jesus because they have it together. All of us come broken and badly in need. Several weeks ago, Cindy Pritchett humbly and honestly shared her story and how God had mercy on her. Read and rejoice with us!
On August 21, 1982 I was born into a loving home that consisted of my mother, father, and a big sister. I never doubted that I was loved, I never went without needs, and only occasionally went without wants. From stories I've heard over the years, it sounds like I came out of the womb ready to run the world my way.
Thinking back to my childhood, I remember being highly emotional and quick to speak whatever was on my mind. My parents would often remind me that words can't be taken back, and warned me to bite my tongue. Rarely did I obey their instructions. I also remember battling severe anxiety and depressive thoughts as a child.
My preteen years were years of total rebellion. Ironically, I attended this exact school. I have many memories of being in this very room. But, those years were full of heartache and poor decisions. I was searching for anything and everything that the world had to offer in an attempt to numb my anxious and depressive feelings. I committed nearly ALL the big sins. From human perspective, it seemed as if I was on a mission to completely destroy my body, my soul, and my hope for a normal adult life...but by God's grace, the Lord had different plans for me.
I now clearly see that at the age of nineteen, the Lord began drawing me to himself. A Christian couple welcomed my boyfriend at the time and me into their lives. They had us over for dinner, the wife took me shopping, and they invited us to church. They showed us Christ. I longed to have the joy and peace they had.
About a year later, I found out that I was expecting a baby. All of you know that baby as Chase Blankenbaker. Chase’s father and I were married at that time. A little less than two years later, Gavin was born.
Before long, it became clear to me that my marriage to their dad was not going to last. During this tough season, I met a lady named Cindy Boler. She was older and wiser than me, yet she became my close friend. She invested in me and mentored me. She spoke God's truth to me. She loved me and cared for me, even challenging me at times. I remember realizing how much of a mess I had made with my life and the heartbreak of my boys enduring my poor choices. One night in the fall of 2005, after a phone call with Cindy, the Lord saved me!!
Soon thereafter, I began to fervently pray for my children’s future. I asked God to provide a godly husband for me and a father for my boys. I specifically prayed that I didn't care if the man already had three kids, I would be willing to be a mother to them as well.
As most of you know from Chase’s testimony a few weeks ago, the Lord answered my prayer. I met Chris Pritchett, and his three children Desi, Donivan, and Devin a couple of weeks after that. On May 12, 2007 Chris and I were married! We became a family of seven overnight!
The Lord continued to work in our lives. Although Chris claimed to be a Christian when we met, he was not. I am so incredibly thankful that God saved him several years ago. And I am so thankful God blessed us with another child, Annaleigh.
Throughout the years, all of our kids have seen us stumble many times, but by God's loving kindness they have seen us trust God and get up. I hope and believe our children see God’s redeeming work in our lives.
God has been merciful to me by saving me and He is making me new. Although I no longer struggle with many of the more obvious sins of my past, I am aware that I still have lots of sin left in me. I do not like these things about myself. I am reminded of Paul’s words in Romans. “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” But I also rejoice with Paul’s word in 1 Corinthians. “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I am encouraged to know that God is sanctifying me and that one day I will be face to face in front of the Lord without blemish. Praise the Lord!