Actually, nine years ago yesterday, my life was set up for eternity with Jesus Christ...Hallelujah!
It was New Years 1999, I was ringing in the New Year in Atlanta, Georgia. This was the year of the Y2K fear. I was there with my friend's youth group for Youthlink 2000. A big New Years Conference featuring Christian bands, comedians and speakers. To me it was really the perfect way to ring in the New Year...celebrating with thousands of other youth my age.
Two days into the three day conference my friend, who had bought me along, confessed that she didn't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I...was...shocked. I thought for sure she was a Christian. After all, she and I were both very involved in our youth groups, and we were really good little teenagers. I even went forward in church when I was nine.
I remember my Sunday School teacher had prayed for me, and I thought she had made me "saved". So when I went forward the pastor of the church said aloud, "Who saved you?"
I started, "My Sunday...."
"That's right," he said, "Jesus saved you!"
Walking through the parking lot of the hotel on the way to the nightly meeting in Atlanta everyone was embracing my friend and acting all giddy, but I held back...just taking it all in. She and I were the same....good girls....I thought.
I had arrived back in Kentucky (praise the Lord Y2K was hoax(?)) and had gotten to work cleaning my closet (my favorite pastime...no...really). It was a quite New Years evening and from inside my closet I felt the Holy Spirit speak to me. The Holy Spirit dealt with my heart and showed me that I had never committed my life to Christ...I was just being "good". I needed Jesus Christ as my personal Savior. I stopped what I was doing and stood in silence, I knew what I had to do, I had to answer His call.
I prayed to the Lord and confessed that I needed Him and that I was so lost without Him and that I had just been going through the motions. I begged God on my knees to forgive me and to change my life. I fell to the floor as a lost soul bound for Hell, and I stood to my feet as a new Creation....I was HIS! Praise the Lord, He saved me!
In Summer 2005, I went to Daytona Beach with Campus Outreach and the Lord really dealt with my heart there. I was in my second year of college and had just broken up with my boyfriend back in Kentucky (praise the Lord for that, it was a bad relationship to be in). Although I was a Christian, I had really gotten away from the Lord. Once at Beach Project in Daytona, the Lord really started working on humbling me on how much I needed to depend on Him every day. He showed me that part of being a Christian was living my life to honor Him in all things, relationships, school, work....EVERYTHING. He showed me discernment and what the world around me was really like.
Once I got back from there, things took off. My pastor's wife and I became great friends and she began to mentor me. She showed me what a godly homemaker looked like. The Lord really used her to teach me many things, including things about myself, as we are so much alike.
Since 2000, God really has done amazing things in my life. I am so blessed, far more than I deserve, because HE saved me. I didn't save myself, I was lost, beaten and tormented by sin. But He choose me and gave me Life. Praise God.
Have you been living your life, calling yourself a Christian, but having never really made that commitment to Him? Do you think back on the days when you went "forward" at the church, but don't remember why? Maybe you remember someone tugging you, are urging you to go forward...it happens a lot. Do you REALLY know if you were to die right now, where you would spend eternity? Please know, you've done nothing on your own to get to Heaven. Going to church everyday of your life is not getting you there. If you're thinking, "I haven't drank, done drugs, or had sex....I'm good" is going to get you to Heaven...you need to confess to the Lord.
You must admit that you need Jesus Christ in your life. You need to believe that Jesus Christ is God's Son and that He died on the cross for you. Many people "love" God, but do you love His Son? You need to confess that you are a sinner and that only through Christ can you find, peace, joy, and forgiveness.
Please know, you may have it all, family, friends, money....but until you have Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior...you will not truly feel a purpose, ultimate security, or fulfillment in your life. I know that I really didn't. When I look back.....even though I was a "good" girl...there was no purpose, but making others happy, while I was left feeling empty.
I am so thankful that the Lord saved me. I don't deserve it. My heart is ugly at times. My attitude is nasty. But Christ gives me hope. I am new every morning because of Him.
Many times when I think upon my salvation through Christ Jesus, I think as Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty, I am FREE at last!" Thank you Lord, for saving a wretch like me!