Saturday, September 30, 2006
Bloggy Tour of Testimonies
All my growing up years I attended church. I was from a Catholic family, went to a Catholic school, attended Catholic church. I went through all the ceremonies and traditions at each stage of a young Catholic child's life and even though most of the time I don't think I really knew the meaning of what exactly I was doing I knew it was centered around living your life for God in the Catholic tradition. I grew up thinking that if I did all the right things in church and did not commit any huge sin like murderering someone that I would be okay and would get to live in heaven.
In grade 4, in the Catholic school, I was given small copy of the 4 gospels. I loved reading about Jesus and what He did here on earth. Now, I thank God for those nuns that gave our class those gospel books as they are what started my love affair with the Lord. In my elementary school years is also when there were quite a few movies coming out of Hollywood such as "The Greatest Story Ever Told" that my mom took me to at the theatres that God used to just continue to draw me. I loved them. Couldn't get enough. "The Ten Commandments" became my favorite T.V. movie that I watched every year. I just loved learning about God and Jesus and my love for the man that Jesus was on earth kept growing.
Around this same time, a neighbor friend invited me to her Luthren church, to a summer program, where I again was told of Jesus' love for children and mankind. Again the tugging of my heart towards God. I felt this all through my growing up years.
In high school came a huge test for me. I was sitting in biology class when the teacher decided to ask each and every person whether they believed in creation or evolution. This was a public school in the second half of the seventies. There was a girl in my class who held a very real strong influence over me and she answered evolution. When my turn came I could see her eyes boring into me and I started to get very nervous. I knew without a doubt what I believed. Creation, definitely. I'd done reports on evolution and just couldn't believe people would believe that over a loving Creator God. But the pressure I was feeling got the better of me and I answered that I wasn't sure. Immediately I knew in my heart I'd done the wrong thing and in my heart I felt like I had hurt God. I had no sure knowledge of this but it was such a strong feeling. And looking back upon the rest of my high school life now, I know it was at that point I turned a corner in my life. And it was not the right direction at all. It was like that with that denying of a creator God a protection had been lifted away me. Up until then I had considered myself a pretty good girl. But when I denyed the Lord in front of my class it was like I had an "in" with that girl. The partying started. The drinking soon followed.
About 3 years of going downhill grabbed a hold of my life. I still thought of God. Defended God and the Catholic faith anytime I was challenged on it. Usually with a cigarette in one hand and a drink in the other. I met my future beloved hubby after high school and we dated for a year. A year of dances & parties all of which involved drinking. It was the thing to do at the time. Then one day my best friend who I knew lived a sordid type of life, came to me telling me that the Lord had "saved" her. Whaaaat? What did she mean by that? Now she no longer wanted to come to the bar with me. What was up with that? I had a lot of questions and just kept an eye on her thinking she'd drop this phase she was going through. But it didn't happen and one night she asked future BH and I to dinner. There she told us that God had totally changed her life. Then as her friend took BH out on the balcony to witness to him, she took me into her living room to witness to me.
What she told me in that 1/2 hour took my breath away. As she told me Jesus died for me, to take away my sins, so that I might have eternal life with Him, all the memories of my love for Jesus the miracle worker, the man who died on a cross, started to flood back into my heart. She told me I had to be "born again" if I wanted to get into heaven. I'd never heard the term, but it was like light flooded my soul and I knew she was speaking truth to me. I asked her how does a person get born again. And being a baby Christian herself and not really knowing how to lead me to salvation she gave me the scripture from Romans 10 verse 9 and 10. Then she gave me a bible to take home.
When I got home I could hardly wait to look it up again and read what it said. In my bedroom that night I read: "that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation."
I knew I believed that God raised Jesus from the dead, I believed that deep down in my heart. But because I'd never been taught I wasn't quite sure what confessing with the mouth meant. So I got down on my knees, read the scripture verse out loud, believed that I'd just confessed and so now I was saved. God in his grace and mercy looked at my heart and not my words or lack of a formal prayer of salvation and in that moment I was born again and met not Jesus the man who had done such great miracles here on earth, but Jesus the Son of God, my saviour. The seed of love for Jesus that had been sown in my heart when I was a child now flourished into a relationship with Jesus and my Father God. I knew this was what I had always wanted. Now it was real. It was not just a knowing about God and Jesus, but actually getting to know Them personally in a two way relationship for the rest of my life. It was no longer about just trying my best to be good ( and failing miserably), but about repenting of my sins and having them washed clean and being made a new creation before my God. It was about a whole new focus, a whole new mindset and way of living.
To say that my life changed is a mild understatement. It turned 180 degrees, radically different from what it was. My whole way of looking at life changed. I loved church, loved the worship, couldn't get enough of the Word. And you know what's really cool. Future beloved Hubby also got saved at the same time. So we started on our walk with Lord together and were able to grow together. God is so good.
So my testimony is one of God's grace towards me. Won't you recieve God's grace towards you?
If you'd like to read more testimonies or you have a story to tell of recieving God's salvation Lauren is hosting this Bloggy Tour of Testimonies and you can go over here to link up.
Posted at 11:15 PM