It was 1978 and I was at a revival. The choir was singing, I was with friends...I was 13 years old.
The preacher gave a message, I don't remember what it was about. The next thing I remember is turning toward my friend and asking her if she'd go to the front of the church with me. There were alot of people going...I felt the emotions and I wanted a part of it. I went to the front of the church with my friend. It was new and exciting.
I went home and told my mom I had been saved that night. I was baptized a week or two later. I told my friends at school about being saved and I tried to stop doing some of the "bad" things I had been doing...I wasn't really doing "bad" stuff , I was 13.
Years went by, I continued to go to church as a teenager for the next, say, 2 years.
As I got older, other things began taking my interests... and my time.
Before I knew it, I was gradutating from high school (1983) and living a life far from that "decision" I made as a 13 year old...the CHOICES I was making were not those of someone living a life with Christ... "I'll get back to Him soon", I thought so many times. "But right now I've got to 'live my life'...
Moving along to 1989...(as I've written in an earlier post 'Turning Point'), I was married in June of this year. My marriage, nor anything else in my life was chosen with God in the forefront. I was stumbling through a life of regret, living for the moment, making decisions based on selfishness/lies/and deceit. Oh, and I went to church, many times every year. I got married in a church. I went to church...if there wasn't something I was doing that day...
The year was 1991, I had a daughter. I loved her with every ounce of my breathe...I talked about God and sang the songs of Jesus to her. I even dedicated her to the church. My actions far outweighed my words. Again, not those of a life filled with Christ. But I still went to church, not ALL the time, but sometimes. We lived out in the country, it was a long drive.
Time went by...
Oh don't get me wrong, I went to church, sometimes. I sang. I prayed. I loved Jesus. I knew about Jesus. I taught and discussed Jesus, I was a good person, fun-loving, life of the party, everything was cool...But things in my life were spiraling out of control...day after day it seemed to get worse. I knew something was not right...something BIG was missing. I tried to "fix it""I" tried...
Fast forward...and believe me, it really does go by fast...
The year was 1999...I was pregnant again, this time with a baby boy. After years of self-service and living a somewhat double-standard life, I knew something needed to be "fixed"!
Things were just not right...nothing seemed right.
I knew what I had been taught, but I wasn't doing those things; I did good things, helped people, loved people, but where was Jesus in all this? Uh, He was there...I prayed to him...when I needed him...I knew about him, alot about him. I even told other people about him...
I entered the doors of a church in 1999 and my life began to change. I wanted more for my life, my family, my future. I started living a life more pleasing to God...I quit all those "bad" things. My focus was on my family, my children, my church...for the first time, I thought things were going in the right direction. I started helping out in church...I sang. I prayed. I loved Jesus. I knew about Jesus. I learned more about Jesus...I went to church...a lot.
And along the way, I kept thinking about that night long ago...1977...
when I walked the aisle as a 13 year old girl.
As I began learning more and more about Jesus, my heart began to do things I wasn't familiar with. At times, it beat faster and faster...I had sweaty palms...clinching fists...there was a pattern it seemed,
it was every time I heard anything about heaven or eternity or
"Do you know where you will spend ... E-T-E-R-N-I-T-Y?
Well, I think I do??? I walked that aisle when I was 13...No, I don't remember what I did once I got there. But I think I was saved...I'm pretty sure that's what it was.
No I didn't stay close to God.
Yes, I kinda strayed...well, YES, I DID stray away.
But it's ok right? Because I walked that aisle...I did!!!!
It was 2001.
I was in a service one night.
That dreaded moment came...the invitation...you know? It's the time when they ask you that question---
"Do you know where you will spend...? I didn't even hear the rest.
NO! I'm 36 years old...I have 2 kids, I am a Sunday School teacher, I sing in the choir, I do ALOT in the church!!! I went down an aisle a long time ago and---I think---I know???---I was saved. I said something when I got to the alter that night long ago...I think
And then I heard it.
Again. It sounded so far away... in the distance. My ears were ringing, I thought my heart was going to beat OUT OF MY CHEST!
"Do you know, beyond a SHADOW OF A DOUBT, that if you DIED---DIED!!!! tonight, where you would spend E-T-E-R-N-I-T-Y?"
My heart skipped a beat, maybe 2. I was gripping the pew in front of me with both hands so tight my hands were pouring sweat. I felt weightless. I was So SCARED!
NO!!! I didn't know!
Not for sure????
But I was 36 years old...I couldn't do this...my pride, my vanity...who cares!
I want to KNOW JESUS!
Not just know ABOUT HIM!
I want to KNOW....HIM!!!!!
I wanted to spend ETERNITY WITH HIM!
Somehow, I stepped out from my safety spot. I couldn't feel my legs.
I grabbed "JAN" by the hand and said, "I need Jesus."
We kneeled and prayed:
"Lord, I KNOW I AM A SINNER. I KNOW YOU DIED FOR ME. I WANT YOU TO SAVE MY SOUL. I WANT TO LIVE MY LIFE FOR YOU. I REPENT OF MY SINS! Thank you Lord Jesus for SAVING my soul! A M E N."
I began my life that day.
I gave my whole life to Jesus Christ.
I decided that very moment that I would live not just knowing about him, but living to please Him and FOR Him.
As of October, 2010, I have been a TRUE child of GOD for 9 years.
I serve him every single day.
It's not just about a prayer, words, emotions...It's a LIFE CHANGE...You MUST HAVE A CHANGE in your life!!!!
It's about giving your life to him. He becomes LORD of your life. It's not about YOU anymore.
Repentance: turning from one direction, and going the other...going toward HIM, every step you take. It's a constant pursuit, a race...running after Him, searching for HIm and what He wants from YOU!
Jesus wants a RELATIONSHIP with you...not just a "call me if you need me" friendship.
He CREATED us to Give him the Glory for everything in our lives.
Everything we do and say should GLORIFY HIM...study his word...talk to him...search for Him. Tell others about Him.
Life isn't perfect. We are not perfect. There have been very unfair, heart wrenching things that have still happened even after I gave my life to Him. But now, there is true hope...true guidance...a different way of looking at things, and accepting them.
Every breathe I take is because HE gives it to me. The very least I can do is give back to Him.
And so I do...simple as that.
It's not about ME anymore, it's ALL about HIM.
My life is richer, fuller, more peaceful, more joyful, more content than I could've ever imagined.
God blesses me constantly...the way HE see's fit. And I accept it with open arms. It's not about "things", "money", "fame", it's about HIM---love, joy, comfort, power, peace, compassion, selflessness.
WOW! It's hard to even put into words. My heart is busting.
My strongest deisre in this life is to TELL THIS STORY...the one about JESUS, to others. My constant goal is to hopefully share enough, that people will understand KNOWING JESUS...LIVING FOR HIM...not just saying a few lines of empty words and then getting up and dusting their knees off. It's so much more than that...It HAS to be REAL!
Don't fool yourself into believing that a few words will get you to heaven. It's simply not true. It's much more than that. It's living a life for Him...serving Him...making him Lord, #1.
And something not to forget, don't wait til YOU FEEL like changing...He wants you NOW. Just the way you are NOW. Let him help CHANGE you later...But give Him your LIFE now.
It's not about religion...it's about HIM...Jesus.
Since that night, October 2001...when I hear that question...
"Do you know where you will spend eternity?"
I ALWAYS, UNDENIABLY say...
Jesus Loves Me, This I Know.
And for now,
These are my Thoughts.