30-day Blog Challenge: Day Two…
It was less than a second, maybe half a second, but it changed everything. It was the moment I gave my life to Jesus. Every Christ follower has a story of salvation and I’d like to share mine with you.
I wasn’t raised in a house that put much emphasis on God. I was baptized as a baby, went to church occasionally, and said “grace” before meals but the Spirit of the Lord was not part of our home. I have very early memories of feeling like there was something missing in my life. I had an emptiness and longing that I couldn’t explain. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had symptoms of depression. I would become despondent for no apparent reason for days at a time. My parents didn’t know what was wrong and would say that I was just “moody”.
I was pretty miserable most of the time and I had trouble concentrating in school. I was not a good student and I was bullied on a pretty consistent basis. There was a lot of tension in our family and my parents fought a lot. They divorced when I was fourteen. This was pretty devastating to me. After that, I started to seriously rebel and made one bad decision after another. I felt hopeless and bounced from relationship to relationship to try and fill the emptiness I felt inside.
I was in my mid 20’s when I married my first husband. I was desperate to be married and have the fairytale life. Unfortunately, I married the wrong man. He was verbally and emotionally abusive. I thought that his raging was my fault and I became more and more depressed. I was in college at the time and had about a half-hour commute to the university every day. One day I came across a radio station that was playing a sermon from Dr. Charles Stanley. I listened.
For several weeks I would tune in to listen to Dr. Stanley explain the curse of sin and the gift of salvation through Jesus’ death and resurrection. I found it hard to believe that God loved me unconditionally and wanted to have a relationship with me. I listened anyway.
My heart was stubborn, but I was drawn to what I was hearing. Then one bright spring morning I sat in my truck with tears rolling down my face. I had come to the end of me. I knew deep in my soul that I needed a savior and His name was Jesus. I prayed to God, confessing my sins and asking Jesus to be the Lord of my life. I had no idea what it would mean for me, but I believed.
I didn’t know how to be a Christian, but I did get connected to a good Bible-teaching church. For the first time in my life I started making Godly relationships and I truly felt at peace amidst the chaos that continued to surround me in my personal life.
I would love to say that there was a miraculous transformation in my marriage, but there wasn’t. The transformation happened in my heart and spirit, which made it harder to leave. I was now a Christian and Christians shouldn’t get divorced. My faith became a bone of contention and I ended up leaving my husband because I truly believed that he was going to physically hurt me. I fell on my face before God begging for forgiveness for all the messes I had made in my life. I know I’m forgiven.
My story isn’t pretty and I spent many years trying to earn God’s favor. When bad things happened I thought I was being punished. I had to continually return to the Cross to give up the baggage I was carrying.
My relationship with Jesus began over twenty years ago and every day I learn something new about His grace and goodness. I am now married to a Godly man and we have three amazing kids. I try to show them the love of Jesus every day so that they won’t have to live the empty, sorrowful life I once did.