Extraordinary Love

Extraordinary Love of God

My name is Christine Vogt and the extraordinary love of God is calling me to serve. I reside in Georgia, USA. I  grew up in a home where faith was not a high priority. The prevailing Catholic rituals for a young person were upheld, so I learned a small amount of scripture during catechism and the occasional Christmas Eve Mass. I lived a young life of searching for approval, acceptance, and love through all of the earthly things that seem to satisfy a soul but leave it emptier than ever before.

It wasn’t until I was 16 years old that I was invited to an Assembly of God church by my manager. She, bless her heart, had to invite me several more times before I surrendered my preconceived notions of church and allowed the Holy Spirit to speak to my vulnerable heart. The events of the night are a bit of a blur when I wish they were as vivid as a Minnesota sunset. But alas, I specifically remember hearing the pastor extend a call to those who were in midst of a struggle, and that wasn’t me. Then an offer to those bound by the chains of addictions, nope, not me. An invitation to those at rock bottom. Still. Not. Me. And then a gentle tug for those that simply had never asked Jesus in to fill that God-shaped hole in their heart. ME! That was me! I stood and seemingly floated to the altar because I don’t recall walking and asked Jesus to take over ownership of my life. It was a whirl, a buzz, a soft crescendo that ushered in a new way of life for me.

Since faith was a non-topic in my family, it also wasn’t taboo and I openly shared my new found Savior with everyone. I even made my sweet but resistant Grandma listen to Carmen, DC Talk, and Steven Curtis Chapman. I met with what I would call “good for you, but not for me” responses from my family. But I don’t think I knew until years later, the gravity of holding the answer to a question they refused to ask.

Shortly after my acceptance to the offer of salvation, I began volunteering at the church’s social club where I met my future husband when he visited for a Battle of the Bands. That love story is one for the ages, but the greatest love story, the one between God and humanity, is the reason I’m here today and studying at Christian Leaders Institute. I didn’t know the extent of my brokenness and the glorious way He would, with expert precision, expose and then suture my fragmented heart. But He did and has been weaving the tapestry of my life for 28 years. Our journey has been treacherous at times and at others a magnificent expedition, but through it all, I have come to know there is no beginning and surely no end to God’s very own approval, acceptance, and extraordinary love for me. And I am grateful.

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