Welcome to our blog-a baby put in the arms of my friend Stephanie Peace. Our prayer is that you visit us twice weekly and learn how we find the peace of God in this crazy thing called life: “Come to me all who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). I am excited to be a part of this project mainly because each contributor is uniquely different- in life, perspective and spiritual journey. However, we have one thing in common- our love for God and a deep desire to find our place in His Kingdom.
My name is Yvette Hawkins and I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ. I struggle with anxiety, depression, anger and codependency. I work for a non-profit Christian organization as a social worker. I was born in Oakland, CA and now live in Smithfield, NC. I have been married for 26 years and have four wonderful adult children. I am a United States Navy veteran and a college graduate. Those are the demographics that describe my earthly identity, but who I am spiritually is what truly matters and is what is most endearing to my heart. Who I am spiritually is what ignites my earthly identity.
I gave my life to Jesus Christ at a very early age. And again in my twenties. And again in my thirties. I’ve heard it said the problem with being a “living sacrifice” is that you keep getting off the altar. I guess that was my problem, or maybe it was more of an insurance policy; I wanted to make sure I was saved, and in case I wasn’t the first time, I did it again. And if that didn’t work, I did it again. And again. I thank God for his grace that reigns over my confusion-that supplements my inadequacies, and does not judge me when I try to apply my finite understanding to His infinite wisdom . Now I believe that I was saved when I first gave my life to Christ, and I realize my confusion was in what I was supposed to do next.
Sanctification was not something emphasized in my church growing up (or maybe it was and I didn’t pay attention to that part). As a matter of fact there was a very passive attitude when it came to holiness-discipleship-righteousness (upright living). But I thank God for his convicting Holy Spirit nudging me to do more. Now that I was sure that my salvation was sure, I needed to learn to live saved and pursuit holiness.
In this pursuit of holiness I have learned a few things. For example, I have learned that I have a responsibility–an obligation to allow God’s Word and Holy Spirit to transform my life into one that exemplifies Jesus Christ’s.I have learned that the Bible is not just another self-help book of suggestive alternatives- an “In case you’re interested, here are some tips. It worked for Jesus, I hope it works for you. Good luck!”- kind of thing. It is Life! It is our sustaining source of life (Manna) sent down from God Himself. It keeps us. It cleanses us and restores us. It corrects and instructs us. And most importantly, it saves us! Without God’s written words speaking in our lives, we spiritually die.
I don’t mean to portray that I have mastered this quest. I have not. I am still learning and striving to seek His will, understand His precepts, and be consistent in applying them to my life. Sometimes I get it right, but other times I don’t and that is okay. God is not looking for perfection. He is only looking for persistence.
I love God with all my heart, mind and soul (Luke 10:27). I love His Word, and I love His people. I love what He loves and am learning to despise what He despises. I love to worship Him and believe that it is a lifestyle and not just songs I sing. I also love to encourage my sisters and brothers to continue in their walk in Christ and to share the Good News of the Gospel: “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another just as you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11); “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.” (Mark 16:15)
As you get to know me I pray that my love for Him illuminates off the pages and more importantly, encourages you to seek, hunger and thirst for Him. For it was through my own seeking that I learned to find and dwell in His presence. I pray that you too develop a deeper, closer relationship with the One and only who can give you peace. Thanks for letting me share.
So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives and he who seeks finds and to him who knocks it will be open. (Luke 11:9-10)