This week I thought I’d share with you my testimony of becoming a Christian. Although everyone’s story is different, mine is both similar and different. The similarity lies in how and when. The difference is in the realization.
When I was just nine, I was at a Christian summer camp that we went to every year. I recall going to the worship service by myself. I don’t remember the message, but I will never forget the song that convicted me to respond to the alter call. I had a really hard childhood and recall how fully and unconditionally loved I felt. I knew I wanted what they were offering. There was an older man (of course at nine any adult was old to me) who came to me and asked if he could pray with me. I fell to my knees and sobbed. He asked if I wanted Christ to come into my heart. I didn’t fully understand. I did know I always wanted to feel the way I was right then. Not wanted, abandoned, unworthy, or indifference to my being alive. I felt so deeply loved and accepted. I answered the call with a resounding, “YES!”
After the service I ran back to our campsite to tell my mother what had happened. For one of the very few times in my life, prior and after, did I feel she was pleased with me. Being young and naïve, I believed everything had changed and would be perfect. Yes, everything did change but it wasn’t perfect. Over the next thirty-eight years, I had countless times of disappointment, pain, rejection, and heartache, but I always reminded myself there was One who never made me feel that way. However, I still had not gotten past the hurt of being abandoned. What I felt by the time of nine, was to be nothing compared to what was to come. I felt that if my own parents and husband of twenty-seven years could abandon me, why would I believe God wouldn’t.
In 2009 the last straw was added and broke me down. I felt the fullness of everyone I had ever loved leaving me when my daughter took my twin granddaughters and moved out of state, six hours away without telling me. I was completely devastated. A friend at the time was trying to explain that although humans will do that, God never would. I couldn’t believe her. What I discovered was I’d never let God fully in to my inner circle, that place had always been wrapped in protection of myself. The thought of opening up to allow anyone that close made me begin to hyperventilate. She then took me on a spiritual journey where I met Jesus face-to-face. I was flashed back all those years and again, felt unconditionally loved. I was sitting in a chair at the time, but in the journey, I was walking toward Christ. I was so overcome with emotion that I began to fall. He reached His arms out and caught me. He held me close until my crying subsided. We had a long conversation. He made me see that humans had left me, but He never did. He had gone through all of the fires with me. He had remained by my side. The problem was He’s a gentleman and would never force Himself in to my inner circle, so I didn’t see Him patiently standing on the sidelines wishing I’d turn to Him instead of relying on people.
I’ve been through a lot in the past nine years, but I’ve never felt abandoned since that one encounter with my Savior. I know how loved I am. When I’m feeling alone, I look up, He’s smiling down.
My prayer is if you haven’t taken that step to accept Christ, you’ll do so. I’d be happy to talk with you. If you have and you’ve been, like I had for almost four decades, keeping Him at a safe distance, you’ll let down your walls and trust He really will never leave you nor forsake you. Live your life in abundance, that’s only truly done hand-in-hand with The Lord. Be blessed!