Monday, June 15, was my 18th spiritual birthday… The day that I gave my life to Jesus Christ and accepted Him as my Lord & Saviour.
I have to admit, I was clueless to what being saved meant. I never even considered God or anything religious or spiritual before this day.
I was a sinner.
And to be honest, the only reason I even went to church was because a friend of mine had been asking me to go with her for 3 months.
“Fine,” I said. ” and after this will you stop bugging me!?”
Once she agreed to that, it was official…I was going to church.
Why was I all of a sudden scared to go?
God was drawing me to Him.
“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them.” John 6:44
Before I knew it, I was driving with my friend and her new friend’s to church. I kept telling myself, I’m going this one time and that’s it. (Wrong!) Church is not for people like me. (Wrong again!)
I walked into those doors and instantly people welcomed me. I noticed that most of them were happy. I thought to myself, Fake! There all faking. No one is THAT happy, right!?
I made it through praise and worship… Barely.
I made it through the preaching. I don’t remember a word that was preached. I think I was too busy looking around and checking everybody out… Observing every single detail about the church.
Then came the altar call.
First let me say that this was my first time ever in a Christian church. I new NOTHING about salvation, The Trinity, grace, nothing. I never even seen a Bible before, much less know what’s inside of it.
I was a sinner.
Okay, now back to the altar call.
The Pastor was asking if anyone wanted to accept Jesus in their heart and to be forgiven of their sins, to raise their hand.
I just sat there with my head bowed, my eyes closed, and my hands on my lap.
He asked if anyone once new God but have fallen away and they want to come back, to raise their hand.
I still sat there. I didn’t move.
I remember feeling so confused like, I’d like to believe it’s that simple but these people don’t know me. They don’t know what I’ve done or what’s been done to me.
I was only 18 years old, but have already experienced so much that I thought it was hopeless for me. I mean, I had no hope, no goals, no nothing for my life. Yes, I graduated high school. Yes, I had a part time job at Sonic. But I had nothing else.
Anyways, the Pastor invited people to go pray at the altar and that’s when I got approached by a girl, and she asked me if she could pray with me. I didn’t know what she meant so I said yes because I thought everyone could use prayer, right!?
I didn’t know that she meant a prayer of salvation; to accept Jesus as my Lord and Saviour!
Let me give you a little glimpse of what life was like for me before this day…
I am a product of a one night stand… So they say. Till this day, I’ve never met my dad, nor have I ever seen a picture of him. I only know that he was tall, skinny, with blue eyes, and long straight blond hair. (Now you know where my kids get it from) As far back as I can remember, I was always scared. Scared to talk to people. Scared to meet people. Scared to do anything or be anywhere alone. I’ve never had self esteem or self worth. I always felt like the outcast, the black sheep because I was the only one of my cousins who didn’t have a daddy. As I got a little older, I learned to pretend that I didn’t care if I had one or not.
But I did care. I’ve always cared.
Any self esteem and self worth that I tried to build up for myself, which wasn’t much, all went down the drain the day I got violated.
I was in the 4th grade.
It went on for 3 years. I hated him. I hated myself for being weak and not sticking up for myself. I hated the fact that I was scared. I hated the fact that no one could hear my silent cries, my pleas for help. I hated everything. I hated life. I hated my dad for leaving me in this world to fend for myself. I hated my mom for not aborting me when she had the chance. I hated everyone.
My life turned a corner in the 8th grade… For the worse.
That was the year when everything I was holding in all came out…sorta. I started hanging with the wrong crowd because they may not have known every single terrible thing that happened to me up to that point, but they understood me. They understood brokenness. They understood abandonment. They understood the pain that they saw in my eyes every single day.
They understood and they didn’t ask, so I was safe.
I got introduced to smoking, skipping school, guys, crazy music, sex, parties… Everything.
Even though I tried everything to fill the void in my heart, I was still empty inside longing for love and acceptance.
No matter how hard I tried, I never found it.
I found true love and acceptance for the first time in my whole life 18 years ago, when that girl approached me asking to pray with me.
I had no clue what I was doing.
I had no clue what it meant to be saved. I had no clue that the minute I stepped foot in that church, that my life would be changed forever. I had no clue that the girl praying with me would be my future sister in law!
But God did.
I went along with the prayer even though I didn’t completely believe that it was gonna work for me.
I can’t say that I felt this wonderful cleansing deep within my soul and was overflowing with joy that everyone else in this church apparently had. No, it wasn’t like that for me. I got up from that altar went to my seat and wondered what in the world just happened!
I didn’t understand right away, but once I did comprehend that, which was months later, (don’t judge.. I’m a slow learner, okay!) what I did was accept Jesus in my heart and he forgave me of all my past sins and that I was forgiven and that I was His child, I was overwhelmed with an emotion that I never experienced before: Joy.
Everything I was searching for, I found in Christ.
Everything that I needed, I found in Christ.
Everything that I am, I found in Christ.
The most amazing thing to me at that time, and still is, is that Christ loves me so much that He died for Me. ME! As messed up and confused and lonely as I was, He died for me.
I was a sinner.
And that is exactly who He died for.
I’m still a sinner but I’m a sinner saved my grace.
I’ve made some mistakes in my 18 years. But I’m not the young brokenhearted girl I was when I first came to Christ.
Christ can do for you what He did for me.
I love music, so here’s a song that I’m loving right now in this season of my life. I have a feeling it’s going to be my favorite song for a long time.
Colton Dixon “Through All of It.”