The woman I'm about to introduce you to is someone I've never met in person, but someone I admire deeply. Rachel Mellard is an acquaintance I met through Instagram who I've come to know through her beautiful pictures of her boys, their ranch and the animals they love. She's also not afraid to share her love of Jesus with all who know her. Rachel and her husband Damon, who is a 5th generation Texas rancher are raising their children in far west Texas. Their 4 boys Thomas, Aiden, Travis and Jacob (ages 8 down to 2) can be found on horseback daily helping around the ranch or at home where they are homeschooled. They are cattle ranchers, operating a cow/calf operation on range grass, as well as raising their own horses. Rachel has an amazing testimony of how faithful God is and how just releasing your life to Him is the first step of a great adventure. I also love how she included scriptures in her interview. It's a perfect application of God's Word.
Standing on the shore...
I grew up in what I feel was a Christian home. We didn't attend church every Sunday, but as I grew older I began to go with a family member. That was a step out. From there I became involved in the church and mostly the youth group. I also attended lots of camps and VBS. I accepted Christ as my Savior when I was about 14 at a music camp we attended as a church group. The fun, the fill that it was... I remember it well. I continued to read my Bible and pray at night.
But, as most teenage kids do, I didn't keep my walk with Him the main priority in life. There was always peer pressure, friends that lead me astray, nothing too serious, thankfully, but serious enough to keep me from giving God the full love that He deserves. I was always the one who somewhat cared what others thought of me. I grew up on a stock farm, was always claimed the poor kid, had freckles, a big nose... I wasn't exactly Ms. Popular. What I needed to understand then was that God made me who I am. The Great I Am made me. I am perfect in His sight.
Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.
He calls my name...
Listening right away... do women do that? I tease! It can be tough to fully trust, to give Him it all, but we can. I will say as a follower of Christ, I am always growing in my walk. I do not have the ability to memorize the Bible like I'd like to. Scripture is so powerful and can build you up quicker than anything you read in any other book. Diving into the Bible is the best and the most important thing. It brings us to know who He is. Pray for the correct discernment of His Word. We need to listen to what He has for us.
Ephesians 1:17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better
I married my husband at the ripe old age of 18. Somewhat fresh out of high school. I am thankful that he is such a leader for our family (then and now). We attend church regularly, pray together and read together. God got a hold of me, He brought me a best friend, the man that I needed to lift me up, to give me strength, but most of all, lead me to God.
I have had others who helped me with my walk, as well. We all need a lift, finding someone who can help you grow in Christ is a beautiful thing. Friends and family that lead you to the Cross are amazing and I am thankful that I have a few of those people in my life.
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Stepping out into the waves...
God gave me that gentle nudge. As I mentioned, being married to a man who leads me to Christ, that would've been what I'd say is a nudge. We started a family, much sooner than we had planned, but that was okay. It was hard at first, being that it wasn't our plan and mostly the fact that family had made it clear to us that they felt we didn't need kids yet. But it was God's plan, people do not define us, they do not run our lives. No matter what someone says or does, as long as we place our trust in Him and know that He is in control, things will go just as they should. After having a family, I know we grew in our walk, we wanted, and still want our boys to be raised to know and serve the Lord.
Proverbs 22:6 Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.
Don't look back...
I think, perhaps like most people, I had a fear of loosing people to our beliefs and our way of living for Him... and we have. But, I do know that as a follower, I want Jesus more than anything. Nothing in this world can compare to His love for us. Nothing we have done can stop Him from loving us, and again, no one on earth defines who we are.
1 Peter 4:12-19 “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”
Reaching for His hand...
I had to decide that Jesus is ALL and I must give all my life to Him. God's great promise is right there in His Word. We have hope in what His scripture tells us.
We may struggle, but He is there. Reach out and know Him. Know that His promise is forever and know that whatever we face, whatever He calls us to do for His Kingdom... we can do it all with His love. Knowing that we are defined by who we are in Him.
Jesus comes first. Really! If we live our life knowing that Jesus is all, we are pleasing Him. Things may not go as we want them too, but God will shine in His glory. He will help us through it.
Proverbs 4:20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
I'm so thankful to God and to those who helped strengthen my walk. I only want to grow in Christ and help my family do the same. We are teaching our boys to grow up to be leaders in Christ and to know God's Word. I want them follow His perfect will, whatever that may be.
Isaiah 40:28-31 “Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”
We have a joyful life. Troubles come... sure, but with Him we can do all things. He is OVERALL. I find that studying the scriptures gets me back to were I belong, whatever the case may be. God knows. In this life we live, ranching, you never know exactly what to expect, just like most things in life, things can change drastically. But there is beauty in His will, it's the story of US. Written by a gracious, loving God.
Psalm 83:18 Let them know that you, whose name is the LORD -- that you alone are the Most High over all the earth.
He is there, choose to take His hand. Pray. Read. Know. Be brave.
"The LORD is near to all them that call on Him, to all that ...call on Him in truth."-Psalms 145:18
"Seek the LORD and his strength, seek his face continually."-1 Chronicles 16:11