My Testimony

My testimony...coming to know Christ, that was a long difficult process but not because of God, He made it so simple. I grew up in church, in and out of church, but mostly went, even when my mama couldn't go herself because of Cliff or another circumstance she still sent us with people that would take us. I remember first hearing of someone being "saved" at Grace and Glory, a church I went to when I was a child. I'm sure I heard that term before but this is when the Holy Spirit started speaking to my little girl heart, I wondered what that was all about and it stayed in my mind until even today. I wanted that too and prayed many times over the years to come for that in my own life, for Jesus to come into my heart. I think sometimes we put so much emphasis on walking the aisle to the front of the church and doing this and that that we lose sight of what salvation really is and how to receive that gift. Because it really is a gift and can only come from God, not by anything we can "do" to obtain it.
"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." Ephesians 2:8-9

I remember praying a lot as a child, especially at night, I would sing songs to Jesus that weird? I guess God put a song in my heart long before I knew I would sing for Him later on. Fast forward to the teenage years, we began going to a little country baptist church and after a while the pastor came to our house, my sister, myself and my younger brother, Curtis, all told him that we had asked Jesus into our hearts. We were all baptized soon following that visit. It was also at this church that God revealed my talent for singing, they had a youth choir and encouraged us to join, Candy was the singer and I just loved playing instruments but I said sure and was awed by God's goodness in giving me this gift. Throughout high school I sang a lot but also went forward and rededicated my life a lot, once at church camp, another time a a revival at a different church, and each time I would be "good" for a while and then fall again, never really having the peace that is promised in His Word.

Over the next several years I would wake crying and scared, worrying over not really being saved and that if I died that night I wouldn't be with my Lord in heaven. So much self-talk, "you're okay", "you did that a long time ago, remember?", "what would people think?", "your kids are saved and you're not?", and on and on. I was in torment. I would hear sermons and the preacher would say "know that you know", how those words echoed in my mind and heart. I wanted a relationship with Christ, I really did, by this time I was married with two beautiful boys, we were attending church regularly, serving, and living a godly life. But I still didn't have the peace I so desperately longed for.

One afternoon I was standing at the kitchen sink and self-talking and trying to talk to God. I told God I would do whatever I needed to do to be His, to please just call me to the altar and I would go. No more caring about what people would think, my pride, anything else. So, I continued on, going to church and each Sunday waiting... It was a few weeks later, I don't even remember what the sermon was about but at the first chord on that piano I was at the altar giving my life to Jesus. Surrendering....that's what it's all about, surrending, giving in, dying to self. I have never doubted since, I have that precious peace my King promised me. The getting to this place was my storm but how God used this is even more amazing.
A few years later I chaperoned a youth camp and on the second night felt the Lord telling me to tell "my story", each night we gathered in one of our rooms and talked about what God was doing, the messages that day, etc. I asked the youth pastor if I could share my testimony that night and he said sure. I told those kids my story, told them how I didn't know that if I died if I would go to heaven or not and how I had struggled so much before I really knew Christ and how now I finally knew that I knew I would be with Him someday. Christian had just finished 6th grade and he was the youngest youth on this trip, he talked to me a little later that night about he himself not being sure of his own salvation. I really wasn't ready for this, my own child not being saved, the kid that oozed the love of Christ? I simply told him to read his bible that night. He was saved that week of youth camp, he was saved that very night in his motel room, he would later tell how he read in the book of John about Nicodemus and being born again. I really didn't think how me being obedient in telling my own story impacted his life until a couple years after that even. Fast forward again and James and I were interim youth leaders at our church. We were preparing for a youth mission trip and had all the students write their testimonies. Later James and I read them all, each one was precious but one really caught my was my son's and the words that touched my heart were these...
"it was something my mom said..."

How beautiful is my Jesus to grant me such a gift, to use me in drawing my son to Himself. How important it is to be obedient to His calling, to tell your story.

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