Sunday, October 01, 2006

My Story: How I Met Jesus

Jesus loves me, this I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong,
They are weak but He is strong.


I was raised in a Christian home and knew from an early age about Jesus: that He was God’s son, God come to earth, that He died on the cross to take the punishment for my sins, that he was buried and rose again the third day, that He was in heaven now and I could have a relationship with Him. I knew the lingo, the songs, I had memorized the scriptures, I was steeped in Christianity.

When I was five, I heard my younger sister run down the hall shouting, “Mommy, Mommy, I just asked Jesus into my heart!” Not to be outdone, I quickly bowed my head, said flippantly, “Jesus-come-into-my-heart,” and then ran down the hall. “Mommy, Mommy, I just asked Jesus into my heart!”

I banked on that insincere, competitive prayer for a long time. It’s funny how we think, so often, that salvation comes from some kind of evangelical sacrament such as praying certain words or walking the aisle. I had asked Jesus into my heart so I must be OK. The thing was, I was a rebellious and miserable little girl. I was compliant and well-trained enough that I didn’t give my parents too much trouble, but I can’t describe in words how miserable, bitter, and angry I felt inside. I was the same competitive, selfish person I had been before I said my flippant little prayer.

When I was 12, some pressures came to bear in my life that caused me to jump from riding on the coat tails of my parents’ faith to a dependence on my own. The thing is, I found that I didn’t have any. As I said, I was miserable, and I knew somehow that things weren’t right between me and God. I didn’t know what it was. I thought I knew Jesus, but then from time to time I questioned it. During these times of question, I prayed over and over for forgiveness, just in case. After all, I believed. I did all the right stuff, more or less. I was a pretty good little girl. No one else doubted whether I really knew God or not. But I couldn’t shake this feeling of being pursued. At the time I felt pursued by doubt. Now I know that it was the Hound of Heaven chasing me down until I let Him catch me.

One night, laying in my bed, I had it. I said, “OK, God, I want to get this settled once and for all.” The thing was, I really meant it this time. I was really sorry for the bad stuff I’d done, for all that selfishness and bad attitudes. I really wanted Him to take it all away. I didn’t think “OK, I’m going to really get saved tonight,” although I knew that Christianese terminology. I just knew that I was finished, that I wanted God to have the reigns, that I was through with the torment. No one told me that I needed to do it. In fact, we weren’t even going to church at the time. It was just me and God.

My life completely changed after that. You might say, “You were only twelve, how could your life have changed that much?” All I can say is that I was there, and I know it did. I went from being rebellious and miserable to happy and peaceful. One of the most notable changes is that I wasn’t lazy any more. I remember vacuuming the floors one day with a happy attitude, and my dad asked, “What in the world happened to you?” At that moment, I didn’t know. Looking back, I realize that that summer I was twelve was when I really met Jesus. It wasn’t about how much I knew or how many prayers I prayed. It was that I told Him I just wanted Him to have my life and to take over. He did. I was a different kid.

It scares me sometimes to think of the road I might have gone down if I hadn’t given in to God that day. Could I have rejected Him? I suppose so—but I just can’t imagine that happening. He pursued me with a sweet love that can’t really be put into words. He chased me till I found Him. It’s been a friendship that rivals all others. Jesus loves me, this I know.

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This is part of the Bloggy Tour of Testimonies, hosted by Created for His Glory. I prefer the term "story" to "testimony"--story is a term everyone can understand, regardless of religious or cultural background. And this tour has some good ones. Hop over to Created and read more.

12 comments:

Erna said...

God does change a heart indeed, no matter what the age! Thanks for sharing your testimony today. :0)

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about your life turning completely around ~ 180 degrees. Mine was too.

Thanks for sharing and blessings to you.

Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

Wonderful testimony. I enjoyed reading about it. Thanks for sharing.

I posted mine today.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your testimony. I praise God that He never lets us go. This testimony touched my heart, and you are right the words do not matter only the heart.

Heather Smith said...

Your testimony reminds me a lot of mine! I "played church" for a while myself before realizing at 12 that I needed to make a true confession! Thanks so much for sharing this!

Barbara H. said...

Thank God He showed you the difference between trusting in Him personally and "praying a prayer." There are some in my family who I am afraid are trusting in the latter -- I pray He will make it as clear to them as he did to you.

Mountain Mama said...

An inspiring testimony. Thanks for sharing.

Lauren said...

I too know what you mean about everything being different. It wasn't just my actions it was my feelings about everything, how I viewed life. Thank you so mush for participating and sharing your story. :)

Lauren said...

well that was supposed to say STORY

Charity Grace said...

Thanks for all the kind words. :)

MegLogan said...

I can relate to how you knew something was wrong. I thought (hoped) I was saved for a long long time. I was even baptized in a profession of faith. But I hadn't turned the reigns over to His control yet. I didn't understand that I had to yeild to Him, not just verbally "accept" Him. Glad to know someone else out there felt the Hound of Heaven, when they thought they already knew Jesus.

Mrs Meg Logan

justin said...

Thanks for sharing your testimony. I was wondering if you'd like to post it on my new site called ShareMyTestimony.org?

I created the site to let Christians share their testimonies, and read other testimonies to see how God is working in the lives of others.

If you'd like to contact me, you can click on the contact link on my site.

Thanks,
Justin