I was not initially raised in a Christian home. Having spent 6 years in the military, my father was an extremely principled and strong disciplinarian. Mother was kind, fun loving and just a tad bit eccentric. My sister and I have often teased that growing up with our parents was very similar to what it might have looked like to have been raised by Ricky and Lucy Ricardo. We always knew we were loved, but there was a lot of tension in our home from unresolved anger and arguments between our parents.
On the corner of our street sat a small Missionary Alliance church. To me, it looked very similar to the tiny church seen on the tv series, “Little House On The Prairie.”
One summer day, the pastor of that church stopped by and introduced himself to our family. He asked my parents if my sister and I could attend Vacation Bible school. Thinking it would be a fun activity, my parents readily agreed.
That was the summer that I heard and accepted the saving gospel message of Jesus Christ. I was only 6 years old at the time, but I clearly remember the day I curled up on my grandmother’s sofa and asked Jesus to come into my heart. Our family became good friends with the pastor down the street and the Lord used his kind and caring life to show each of us the powerful, life changing love of Christ. Within the next 6 years, my parents and sister also accepted Jesus as their savior.
My life was…
Happy, until the summer before I entered Junior High. My parents sold our home and moved us to a large city in California.
I grew up in a small town in the 1960’s. My parents did a great job sheltering my sister and I from the hippie generational movement and all the drugs and licentious lifestyles that went with it. They were involved in most of our elementary school activities and knew all of our friends and their parents very well.
However, my father started working a night shift right after we moved into our new home, which meant he slept during the days and worked late into the evenings. This left my lonely mother in charge of two teenage daughters who were desperately searching for friends and acceptance in our new neighborhood. We found both, but within the wrong group of peers. Sadly, my sister and I spent our junior and senior high school years grieving our parents through our bad friendships and the life choices that came along with them.
Then, one day…
I heard what seemed to be a still, small voice reminding me of the love and security I had experienced as a small child. It was nothing audible, but more of a series of memories and emotions I had not thought about for years.
Not long afterward, in the midst of feeling totally lost and hopeless – a classmate invited me to come to a bible study at his church. Graciously, I declined. Yet, because of his persistence in asking, I finally agreed to go.
It was at that bible study, that the message of God’s love and offer of forgiveness sank deep within my heart. Many of the bible verses I had learned at vacation bible school, along with the promise of a new life in Christ, began flooding my mind. As a result, in my junior year of high school, I decided to ask Jesus to forgive me of my innumerable sins. I forever gave my heart and life to Christ in March of 1977.
Eventually, I no longer wanted to be around those who desired that I return to my previous lifestyle and I began going to church, praying and reading my bible regularly. The freedom and joy that followed my salvation decision was unbelievable!
My life is filled with hope, peace and security. Troubles still come, but I have an unshakeable confidence that goes beyond what I could ever produce within myself. I am never alone – for Christ is always with me.
Jesus has forgiven my past, present and future sins and has provided me with eternal security and hope. This forgiveness and peace can be yours as well. It’s just one life saving decision away…