Natalie Hawkins, where to even start? If you know Natalie, you know she is the kind of person that you don’t even have to speak to, to see how on fire she is for the Lord. She loves other so intentionally and deeply. Natalie and I met through the church we both worked at in College Station. I looked up to her in so many aspects of her life, the way she is raising her kids, her passion for her community, and even her ability to make you feel so loved and heard when you speak to her.
She is one of those people who is a super hero at everything she does. Wife, mom of four, and running student ministry in Hearne, Texas – because she and her husband felt called to move there to actively love on that community-seriously, let’s talk about her steadfast faithfulness!!!!
My senior year of college, my boss asked if I would be willing to move from teaching the infant class to teach in the three-year-old class for Mothers Day Out. I was a little nervous but when she told me my co-teacher would be Natalie I was thrilled. For an entire year, I had the pleasure to pour into the cutest kids while being poured into by Natalie. I am seriously so excited for you to read about her and her journey, I know you will love her as much as I do. . .
PS. There were many many pictures I wanted to post from MDO, but for the sake of the privacy of the kiddos, you’ll have to ask to see them in person.
I divide my life up now by a moment when I decided to yield control of my life to Christ. To let Him call the shots and to submit to Him in all areas of life. This came about when I was 22 years old. Growing up I considered myself a Christian; I believed in the gospel and that the Bible was true. I bounced between being active in church and periods of trying to “disappear off the radar” with God. This was because I struggled with whether God and the Bible should have all authority over my life or if there was a way I could pick and choose the areas that Christ had Lordship over. I realized I was destroying myself living this way.
Running from a broken home, I had fallen in love with alcohol in high school and all that came with it. I didn’t choose Godly relationships or friendships but still expected to have faith whenever I decided to go back to it. I had become pregnant and had two abortions. I had begun to get in trouble with the law due to alcohol. After my second DWI arrest, I ended up in a 40-day rehab center for alcohol. It was there that I decided I wanted to clean my life up. I knew a relationship with Christ was the answer, yet I wasn’t sure how exactly I was supposed to jump on this Christian bandwagon.
I began trying to go to church, read my bible, and pray. I still felt alone and struggling with the temptation to return to my old lifestyle. I slipped up and began to return to drinking and a past relationship. I ended up pregnant. At this point, I thought about an abortion, but very clearly heard the Holy Spirit’s voice in my heart speak “You will not do that.” I was terrified but knew I would be having the baby. Fast forward a bit, and I was a mom still struggling to leave my old lifestyle while trying to be a good mother to my son. I attended a Go Missions event with a Christian friend. As I was listening to these people, share how they had allowed God to use their lives for His Glory and His purposes I ached. I kneeled and apologized to God. All my sin seemed to pass through my mind, and I knew I was so guilty. I had shattered this relationship with God so far beyond repair, and I told Him so. I didn’t expect Him to take me back, but I did owe Him an apology. It was then that I saw a very vivid picture in my mind of myself all alone in a big field, laying flat on my face. I heard a clear and commanding voice in my heart say “Don’t think that anything you have ever done, or ever will do, will ever be bigger than what my Son did for you on that cross. You are forgiven because I said you are forgiven, you are redeemed because I spoke the Word. It is not about you. It is about Me. Go.”
I stood up a new person. I finally understood the gospel in the deepest part of me for the first time. I was forgiven! God accepted me because of Jesus! He also just told me to “Go.” He had a plan and purpose for me, and it was time to begin! From that point on there was a power in my life that wasn’t there before. I had hope. When temptation came on, I would quote Scripture out loud and believe that the Holy Spirit could and would uphold me and keep me from sin. There were a lot of changes I had to make in my life also. I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me that I was supposed to end a lot of my friendships. I wasn’t given peace to go to the same places, watch, the same movies, or even listen to the same music. He was making me new, and if I wanted that, I would have to submit to God’s will in every area of my life. I had fallen on my face in life, and I desperately wanted God to transform me, so I listened. I would do it God’s way this time.
I have never regretted anytime that I said “yes” to God. It has been 8 and ½ years since that point, and I am sober and married to a Godly man who was delighted to become a father to my son. I am about a mother to 3 children with a 4th on the way (Madi here: Her 4th arrived!! Baby Charlotte is here!!), and currently, my husband and I are serving as the youth directors at our church. God is mighty, and He is able! My prayer is that all the body of Christ, myself included, will continue saying “yes” to God in all things. Submitting to the authority of Scripture even when it is hard. Obeying the Holy Spirit as He nudges our heart and reaching out for help when we need it. God is fully able to transform us into the image of Jesus if we yield to Him. Oh, how desperately our world needs to see the likeness of Christ.