Friday, April 6, 2012

My Story

Every man or woman who has come to have a relationship with
Jesus Christ has a story; a few weeks ago we were encourage to tell ours. I thought today would be the perfect day to
tell mine.
I was born on this day, 45 years ago. I did not spend my formative years in the
church nursery or in Sunday school like my children did, but just a typical Midwestern
American family of the late sixties and early seventies. I remember yellow tie dyed curtains, birthday
parties, and my sister coming along when I was five. I remember visiting my grandmother, my
favorite babysitter, and the puppy my dad hid in the garage as a surprise. The first experience with loss that I
remember was the day I was eight and my parents sat me down to explain about
divorce. My world was never the same
again.
My parent’s divorce led my mother and my sister and I to
Tennessee, where I eventually ended up on a church bus and in a junior church
program with some very kind people who had a heart for children… and huge bags
of bubble gum. I was quick to raise my
hand when I was invited to ask Jesus into my heart, though I really had no clue
what that meant. In fact, I raised it
every Sunday for weeks until my mother told me to stop because people kept
coming to our house on something called “visitation”. I didn’t stop raising my hand, but I did stop
writing down my name so they would not visit.
My relationship with Jesus did not begin then because those sweet, well
meaning Christians never did really explain what Jesus DID for me, or why. At least I don’t remember that they did. Fortunately, God saw my heart was searching
and continued to put people in my life and eventually into my mother’s life
that would not shy away from the bloody truth of sin, and righteousness, and judgment.
When I was around fourteen or so, I was laying in my room
listening to my mother share the gospel with someone. I have no idea who that person was, or if they
ever came to a decision of their own.
She was explaining about how we had all sinned. There was no one who was righteous enough to
earn a seat in heaven. Being a
perfectionist, even at that age, I was quite aware of my own shortcomings. That was when I finally understood that the
cross was about redemption. That Jesus
took my sin onto Himself and bore the punishment that I deserved. That HE earned my seat in heaven; and that
all I needed to “do” was to let him do it.
I was not in a church. I was not
with a pastor. I did not even pray a
prayer.
All I did was believe.
Thirty plus years later, this relationship is the
cornerstone of every other. I have
walked roads of joy, and pain, and apathy.
I have had moments when He is as real to me the child in my arms, and
moments when I have walked away from Him.
He has never changed.
What is your story?