I invite you to read the hearts of the amazing team of women who write to bless you in Women Walking with Jesus.
God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. Ephesians 1:5(NLT)
We pulled into the driveway when mom’s friend made the announcement, “I’m going to quit smoking,” as she twisted the pack of cigarettes to demolish them. She then reached over the seat and placed them in my hands with instructions to throw them away. So, without hesitation and a smile, I responded “Sure!” It was then, at the mature age of 11, I decided to experience the art of smoking.
I quickly ran into the house, and carefully placed them in the garbage knowing that I would return at a later time. After a few hours, I made my way back to the crushed cigarettes amongst the trash. Lifting the lid and reaching inside, I cautiously picked them up and stuffed them into my side pocket.
Then I proceeded out the front door which led me to the back side of the old lilac tree. Starring at the tree, I thought… now this will be a good place to start my new adventure. The tree was big and in full blossom. It was my hope the fragrance from the flowers would disguise the smell of my actions. I must have lost track of time because the next thing I knew I was enclosed by cigarette butts. Yet, it didn’t stop me to continue to pursue the art of smoking.
Soon I was startled by a deep voice off in the distance calling for my whereabouts, “Tammy, where are you? It’s time for supper.” Quickly coming back to my senses, I realized it was my dad’s voice. How was I going to get out of this? My heart started to pound and I could feel a lump rising in my throat. I just wanted to hide.
Then came the thought… cover-up your secret. Immediately, I started to scoop up the well smoked cigarettes, stuffing them into my pocket. As I reached for the final piece of evidence, my eyes were drawn to two large feet. I realized there would be no denying it… those were the tips of my dad’s work boots! I knew at that very moment I was caught. Tears streamed down my cheeks as I slowly lifted my head upwards. Within moments, my eyes met his and I saw the disappointment on his face.
No doubt, for sure, he was going to punish me right there. But instead, he asked, “Why?”
Through my sobbing and feeling ashamed, I told him that I was very sorry. I would never do it again. It was then he knelt down and reached out his hand gently pulling me close to his side, then he whispered… “I wish I had never started smoking, Tammy. It’s a very bad habit and I don’t want you to make the same mistake.”
Without another word, he lifted me to my feet and we began to walk towards the front door. It was then he turned to me and said, “I want you to know, I love you no matter what.”
As a child who had been adopted, there were times, I didn’t feel like I was part of the family but everything changed that day… the love of my father became a permanent thumb print on my heart.
Shouldn’t we think about our relationship with Jesus in the same way?
For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15(NKJV)
Through Jesus’ sacrifice, we have been given the same rights and privileges as His Son.
As His adopted children we can be confident that God’s love has a permanent thumb print on our hearts.
Tammy Rude is a wife, mother, and women’s leader who is living a restored, Christ-centered life. Tammy speaks and writes with transparency using lessons learned through her struggles with marriage, motherhood, depression, and ultimately through her victory by God’s redeeming power. She enthusiastically presents practical Bible-centered solutions to the problems every woman and family face. Her tender yet firm style challenges listeners and readers to lay down excuses and confront personal obstacles in the power available to them through Jesus Christ. Connect with Tammy at her blog Not Mine but God’s Story or on facebook.com/tammyrude