Yesterday I turned 14. You read that right, 14 years old. One night all those years ago I started out to have a good evening with friends and ended the evening with a new friend. It was definitely an evening to remember and it started a journey of a lifetime.
These last 14 years have been some of the best and worst of my life. They were filled with hard times and starting over more than once. They have seen new jobs and lost jobs. There has been illness – mine and other family members. The years have encompassed life and death. Money has been flush and lean at different times. I’ve experienced tremendous joy and deep, heartbreaking sadness.
Life has happened in the last 14 years. Through it all there has been one constant. That rainy night in March in a little church in the middle of a farmer’s field provided something more than just a good evening and a new friend. That night I met Jesus.
Jesus, son of Mary and Joseph, savior, friend, fully God and fully man. He is the constant in the last years. He has walked beside me through everything. Even during the times when I turned aside He waited patiently for me to come back. Since that night I have never been alone.
I’ll be honest; I don’t know exactly how to explain how I know that Jesus walks beside me. Unlike science, I can’t provide an absolute fact. There is no experiment that can be done to prove he is there. What I can tell you is about the times I have cried out to him and he has comforted me. I can tell you about the prayers that have been answered. I can tell about the peace that has enveloped the last 14 years. I know in my heart that Jesus is real and the he loves me.
I have faith and one of the definitions of faith is the belief in something that is not based on proof. That faith has sustained me through the tough times and has enriched my life. So yesterday I joyfully celebrated my 14 birthday complete with cake and, thanks to my Bible study friends, candles!