My name is TracyAnn Schuur and I am from rural Alberta Canada.
I was raised in a faithful family, attending church regularly and always filled with the knowledge of God and His son Jesus Christ. I was baptized as a baby and lived a life surrounded by Christ followers.
As many people do, I hit a rather rebellious stage in my teenage years and started to stray. I found myself walking a very fine gray line, and I feel that I was about to make some very bad decisions…….. I believe that Jesus stepped in at the point, and gave me a little wake-up call.
At the age of 16, I found myself pregnant, deserted by all the friends that I thought I had. I was blessed by parents who supported my decision to have my son – yet felt so alone. It was a very bleak point at this time of my life that I had a dream and it changed my life forever. I was walking with Jesus, I couldn’t see him, but I knew he was there behind me with his hand on my shoulder. In my dream, I heard John 14:6 in my heart. (Yes I heard it with my heart, and it will live there forever now…) “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:7 finishes with “If you know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” My life changed forever that night as I finally understood that Jesus loved me and had a plan and a purpose for me and that I was not, nor ever would be again – alone. I made a promise to God that night, to live my life according to His will and to raise my unborn child knowing and loving God. I began a faith journey and started to build a personal relationship with Jesus rather than just having knowledge and belief.
God has blessed me through some amazing times like meeting my husband who completes me, and welcoming my three children into the world and He has comforted me through some terrible times of hurt and loss. The bible has always been a constant in my life and a support through tough times.
In 1998 we welcomed baby number three, at 25 weeks gestation and faced some incredible challenges. I can remember the exact moment, on the darkest night in Paediatric ICU, when I was faced with a daughter fighting for her very life, I found my way to the chapel. I prayed like never before that night and turned it all over to God who answered, graciously saved our little one and renewed her strength. Although my faith is where I turned, and what saw me through, it seemed to me that I felt closest to God when things were rough and somehow lost that when things were good though.
In 2010 I realized through various conversations and self-searching, that I was taking my faith and God for granted. I had become content just to know He was there but never turned to him unless I needed Him! I made a decision that I would no longer be that person……. I would reach out and have Jesus in my life actively and daily. I would share my love for Him and build on the faith that I already had and NOT take for granted His incredible presence in my life. I became a regular member of Heartland Alliance church in September 2010 and had had the pleasure of getting to know many of the staff and other members there. I have felt welcomed and loved at every turn as have my children.
Having been baptized and confirmed as a child, I was never sure why adult baptism was important. I had felt drawn to being baptized for about three years and had fought it, never fully understanding the purpose for me based on my previous baby baptism. It wasn’t until I heard the term “believer’s baptism” that it made sense. This term brought it all together for me. I stood before our whole church as a firm believer and follower of Christ, and I wholly and willingly pledged my life to Jesus Christ as my Savior, Redeemer, Father, and Friend. Proverbs 19:21 says “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.” I walk in this knowledge every day and follow the Lord’s purpose for me. I know that this baptism was a step that He wanted me to take and I have followed where He leads me then and always.
Even previous to being baptized I was a small group leader for our women’s ministry as well as a couple of online ministries that I was a part of. Through encouraging others and lifting them up I began to feel prompted to take some ministry courses, and then eventually “shoved” for lack of better explanation. I was not in any position financially to begin bible college as we are currently on only my husband’s income due to some long-term health issues. Without Christian Leaders Institute I would be unable to follow where I feel like God is leading me and I am very grateful!
I am super fortunate to have my best friend and husband Mark for his love and support and encouragement in my beliefs and in being baptized. He, as well as my children who attend Heartland with me, share my love of Jesus and support and walk beside me in my goals of ministry.
I feel that given my experiences in life, I can connect with questioning young women and lead them to a Christ-centered life! I feel with this opportunity I can have a more solid foundation in knowledge and provide better ministry to the women I meet and mentor. Specifically, I see myself, God willing, as a women’s Pastor in the future.
As I believe in the power of prayer, I would ask that you keep my ministry in your prayers. I would love to provide outreach to teenage moms and provide Christian counseling with a pro-life perspective. I pray for guidance in determining if this is God’s will or mine and would welcome additional prayer in that area.
It is with a grateful heart that I close, and offer my most sincere thanks for this opportunity.