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Let's Make A Memory — Charlotte Ritchie
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I was born into a devout Christian family for which I am very thankful. I was only a week old when I attended church for the first time, and from that day forward I was in church every time the doors were open. I learned so much about God and His Word through church. I gave my heart to Jesus when I was 7, quite honestly because I was scared to death at the thought of going to hell when I died. I don’t remember ever hearing that Jesus wanted a relationship with me. As I grew older, I noticed that my image of God was that He was somewhat distant. I knew He loved me enough to sacrifice His son to redeem me, but after that, I wasn’t quite sure how far that love would go. I was afraid to mess up and never felt that I did anything quite the right way. I would read things like “Man looks on the outside but God looks at the heart” and many other passages that spoke of God’s love, but I was taught about His wrath and rules. An image of a God of love was not something I was familiar with. I spent the next several years digging into the scriptures and reading books, trying to find out what God was truly about.

January 30, 2003, Greg and I welcomed our first child into the world. Landon Grey Ritchie was the most precious child I had ever seen. Little did I know that he would change my life in so many unexpected ways. When we got Landon home, I took him to his room and sat down in the rocking chair. As I rocked him back and forth, I looked down into his sweet, beautiful face. I said to him, “I love you so much! I would do anything to keep you safe and well.” I even thought that it was so amazing that I would do so much and even give my life, if necessary, for this little one. It was a beautiful quiet voice that at that moment said “You love Landon that much, and it’s nothing compared to how much I love you.” I wept because for the first time in my life, I actually got it! I understood what God had been desperately wanting me to understand. He was crazy about me! His love was so rich and deep that I couldn’t possibly comprehend it all. But I understood enough. In my circumstance, I believe God allowed me to become a mother if for no other reason than to see that He had not been completely represented. I had only seen an image that was a little bit of love and a whole lot of scary. God wants to be involved in the everyday details of our lives. He cares about us, not as a collective group of humanity, but as individuals. He keeps an accurate count of how many hairs we have. That tells me that we must be pretty important.

I love being a mom! And I love the fact that so many of the lessons I have learned about God have been taught by my children. The love of God is amazing, powerful and yes, very real.

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