NOT a joke


It’s April 1st. A day for jokes. I laughed a lot today when I saw this:

I read it and thought, “What the heck??? That can not be real.” Then I looked at the bottom left corner and saw the date. Ah, yes. It’s April 1st. It all made sense. :) But, I had to look at it. I’m always up for entertainment.The diagrams and video pretty much cracked me up. I mean… look at this!

Just imagine the dude in the cubicle next to yours (if you’re one of those cubicle working types) starring a message as you walk by. Oh, I kinda wish it WAS real. :)

So because of Gmail Motion, I realized what day it was and I started thinking about April 1st. It’s an important day to me. You see, 17 years ago today, I said “Yes” to Jesus for the first time and it was NOT a joke! I’d said “No!” for several years. I really did. My parents, grandparents, and friends would share with me and ask me if I wanted to choose to follow Jesus and I always had said “No…” maybe followed by a “Not yet.” or a “Not now.” But on April 1st, 1994 I said “Yes!” Since that day, I’ve been on a journey of learning to say “Yes!” to Him. It’s apparently not the easiest thing to learn, at least for me.

Last night I talked to my friend Tawni on the phone for a good chunk of the night. We met each other about 10 years ago when we were moving into the dorms at Cal Baptist. We were catching up and I was telling her about my life, discussing what I’m doing now and things I’d like to do in the future. Suddenly, she laughed. It was kinda serious so I wasn’t exactly sure if she was laughing at me or if one of her sons had done something funny. She explained, “I just wish that people could see your life through my eyes. I think Rachel and I have such a unique perspective of you.” It really is true. I’ve changed. A lot. And Tawni and Rachel had up close, front row seats to a lot of the changing – the learning to say “Yes!”

We reminisced about the first time I decided to go overseas. Tawni said she listened to me talk about it and thought to herself, “I don’t think Shanda is joking right now… Clearly, God is working in her life… because this is soooo not her!” She’s right. It wasn’t me. It’s still not me. You might think it is, but that’s just because you didn’t know me before. It’s just that I’m learning, over time, the very valuable lesson of saying “Yes! I want to be a part of that!” to the things God is doing. And as I do that, “me” turns into something that looks a lot less like ME and, hopefully, more and more like the Jesus I started saying “Yes!” to 17 years ago.

It’s humbling and encouraging to talk to the people who can identify how much you’ve changed and grown and turned into a different version of yourself. I’m very grateful for the reminders of what the Father has done and is doing to transform me and for the spurring on to continue to grow in the ways I say “Yes!” to Him because there’s a lot more changing that needs to occur – a lot more “No!”s that need to be replaced with “Yes!”s.

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