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From Reluctant to Radiant

Summer '13

Regina Wallis reflects on the story of her finding family and love without walls as she prepares for a new chapter in life.

I remember when I began coming to church.

I sat in a back picnic table, waiting for church to be over, and thinking, “How on earth could God be in this church?”

The only reason I suffered through those Thursday nights was to work barrel horses and I had to stick around because I was with Poppy.

But God started to make a change. Walls I put up started to come down. I didn’t cringe when folks wanted to shake someone’s hand.

Strong bonds started to form with those around me, and an everlasting relationship with Jesus was formed within my heart. That’s the best part!

If you are anything like how I described myself, before God started to make a change in my life … skeptical, pessimistic, on the fence about Christ … you should know that, if you allow it, God will break down those walls and start to prepare your heart to make a place for Him.

I knew God loved me, but there were things that destroyed, and then rebuilt, faith in my heart that He has a plan … not just any plan, but the perfect plan.

I’m only 25, but I’ve lost jobs, moved, been dead broke, had a sweet little cowgirl friend go to be with Jesus in heaven, been introduced to and mentored by the most talented horsewoman I’ve ever known, almost lost my best friend, and did lose another dear friend to a drunk driver, sweated my butt off at Kids Ranch Rodeos just to see those kids get the same opportunities I did growing up, been to Texas with a couple crazy church ladies who don’t have credit cards to rent a car, broke ties with the person who I thought was the love of my life, graduated college, made and fought with the best friends God has blessed me with, gotten to know and love some of our young ladies here, met the man I want to spend the rest of my life with, and gained the largest family ever!

I have kicked and cried, turned my back on Christ, and turned back to Him on more than one occasion. Through all of this, I have grown closer to Christ. He has moved in my life, and in others’ lives through me. But, for God to move through me, He had to move through someone else first. He moved through all of my church family, and if you don’t think He can or will for you, think again. He can use the most odd people in the best way. You just have to be willing to let Him, and that is a challenge, but one you can take, and many have.

I didn’t think God had a use for me. I thought he was just God and I had to follow His stupid rules. But it’s so much more amazing than that. When you develop a relationship with Him you get a whole new family, perspective on life, and you find your place in His plan. What he asks of you makes sense.

I am sad to be taken away from my church family, but His plan for me is elsewhere for now. Regardless, I am sure of two things:

I know one thing for sure: Our God is bigger than any of this, and anything you might be facing.

1. What God has in store for me now is part of His perfect plan, even though it is scary and sad right now. It will give me a chance to grow spiritually and, perhaps, help God move in someone else’s life.

2. As I am leaving for a while … maybe a long time … He is making room for more baby Christians, or those of you still on the fence about experiencing the same amazing things I did.

Don’t just keep that seat warm, or hold down the grass back there outside. Stand up. Accept God. Let Him use you in his perfect plan. Let Him fill your heart so you can overflow with Christ’s love, and help others to start to fill their hearts with Christ.

 I am going to miss my family dearly and I pray part of His perfect plan is to bring me back in His timing. For now, He’s given me a special assignment to take care of my amazing Momma.

I know one thing for sure: Our God is bigger than any of this, and anything you might be facing.