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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

My Journey: A Living Legacy

By Jason Aaron Womelsdorf
May 30, 2010

I have the greatest mom on the planet. She taught me to love the Lord and others the way I would want to be loved. She taught me how to respect authority and submit to leadership even when I didn’t understand or agree with the decisions that were made. She taught me how to be mentored and how to mentor. She taught me the value of daily reading and studying the Lord’s Word and the power of prayer. She taught me how to be a friend and how to have friends. In short, she taught me what it means to truly be a “Christian.”

At the same time, I had another example in my life. My father was a hurting individual who grew up in a painful home environment. He served as a communications specialist in the United States Marine Corps for four years in Okinawa, Japan, during the Vietnam War and then left active duty service. My father searched for true value and purpose to fill the void in his heart.

While in his early- and mid-20s my father found the Lord and also my mother. They married not long after they met and began their family immediately. My oldest brother was born in December 1978, and I arrived ready to greet the world in June 1981. My parents were at Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas, and I spent the first year of my life there. My mother tells me I was born with a smile, and that it has never left.

I found the Lord at the age of 3 and have sought to serve Him to the best of my ability. My relationship with the Lord has brought me great joy and has brought indescribable fulfillment to my life.

Unable to fully understand the pain in my father’s life, I was quick to blame the Marine Corps. My father left us in 1993. I was sure I would never join any branch of the military.

By the Lord’s grace and the hard work and diligence of my loving mother, I healed from the wounds inadvertently inflicted on my life. The Lord brought godly men into my life who knew how to honor Him with their whole hearts and who treated their wives and families with the dignity, honor and love they deserved. I began to emulate these behaviors at home.

My mother would share with me the promise of Jeremiah 29:11 — “ ‘I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’ ” (NIV). She would point me to Proverbs 3:5,6 — “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

Once I graduated from high school in 2000, my consuming aspiration was to go into full-time vocational and traditional ministry. I had my eyes on Evangel University. Upon my move to Springfield, Mo., in August 2000, I was surprised to discover the Lord had other plans for me. Rather than starting as a full-time student at Evangel, I became a full-time employee of the Assemblies of God headquarters. I thrived in the atmosphere and ministry I had. Whether I was packing an order in the Gospel Publishing House warehouse, processing a missionary associate application in World Missions, or participating in a National Fine Arts Festival with National Youth Ministries, I knew I was right where God wanted me.

In early 2005 the Lord placed a dream and a prayer in my heart. By the Lord’s providence and grace, I am now serving the nation and the Lord in the United States Marine Corps with the ambition to someday run for public office. The Lord did such a powerful work in my heart. Not only am I serving in the military, I am also following in my father’s footsteps as a United States Marine. I have never been happier.

My mother has lived a legacy of following the Lord no matter what the obstacles, and now I am able to share this devotion to the Lord with the world by following the plans He has for me.

Whatever your story, remember that the Lord’s promises in Jeremiah 29:11 and in Proverbs 3:5,6 are not clichés, but powerful promises you can claim for your life. God has tremendous plans for you, and He will guide you in those plans. Remain faithful to take the steps of the journey as He prompts you. He will bless you as you endeavor to serve Him.

JASON AARON WOMELSDORF is a lance corporal in the United States Marine Corps.

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