I’ve always been a firm believer in God. Even before I started going to church, I had a good idea of who He was and how He sent Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. I remember with extreme clarity how jealous I was that everyone around me was accepting Jesus into their hearts and I continued to refuse. It wasn’t that I didn’t believe, it was that I was a very stubborn fourteen year old and I refused to do what other people wanted me to do. I would accept Jesus, but in my own time and on my own terms.
I remember the first time I truly felt God was with me. I was upset with my mom for making me wear this awful pink sweater to church, so much so that I refused to get out of the car. I sat in the car throughout Sunday School and church. Then, a knock came on the door. I looked up to see my Sunday School teacher standing there. He had heard I was in the car and he came out to see what was wrong. I immediately felt childish for missing church because of what I was forced to wear – but I was already knee deep and I was too stubborn to quit.
Perhaps luckily for me, I was about to get my first lesson in becoming in touch with my inner feelings (we’ll discuss the second lesson at a later date). I opened the door and he climbed into the car. He had his Bible with him. As he read verses, he asked me what they meant. When I told him I didn’t know, he’s would shake his head, telling me that he knew that I understood what the Bible was saying.
He saw right through the facade I was putting up. No, something else was bothering me. Something I didn’t want to talk about.
We read through several verses and chatted. He looked at me and asked if I wanted to accept Jesus into my heart and soul. I remember the crushing feeling in my heart and soul when I looked at him, tears in my eyes, and said no.
I was not ready. I refused to give into what everyone wanted of me. I would accept Jesus, but when I wanted to, not when other people wanted me to. For the next several weeks, I would plan each Sunday as the Sunday I would be saved. And each Sunday I would not. It became an inner struggle. I knew what I wanted to do, but the stubborn fourteen year old girl was still trying to figure herself out. I was lost. I was scared. I felt alone. When our Sunday School teacher would ask if we had any prayer requests, every week I said I had an unspoken request. Each week it was the same request – for me to find my way to God.
The day finally came on May 8, 2005. Sunday School class was dismissed and I waited for everyone else to leave before walking up to my teacher. I looked at him and told him I wanted to be saved. I finally understood what it meant to me and myself. I knew I was ready to make that commitment. I knew I was doing it because I wanted to. I knew it was what I believed. We sat at the table and I accepted Jesus into my heart just before 11:00am that morning. I was filled with such a love and happiness from that point on.
I knew that I believed that God sent Jesus to die on the cross for my sins. I knew that Jesus was sent to save me and that He was the Way and the Truth and the Light. I knew that I would never truly be alone because God was always with me.
The stubborn fourteen girl had found her way home. Only God knew the struggles she would later face. However, for that moment, I was exactly where I needed to be.
I would later learn that people had been praying for me – that I would come to accept Jesus. But they also stopped bringing it up to me all the time – it was exactly what I needed but had been too afraid to ask for. Anyone who knew me knew that I would come around to it, in my own time, on my own terms; the best thing they could do was pray and let me work it out – and that’s exactly what they did.
I would be lying if I said my relationship with God was perfect. I’ve had my struggles throughout the years – struggles I plan to document on this blog, but when the time is right. Some of the struggles come from that same stubbornness that fourteen year old girl had. Some of the struggles come from life throwing curveballs at me. A lot of the struggles came from my dad’s death.
However, through everything that I’ve ever gone through in life, God has always proven to me that He’s by my side. He’s not going anywhere. He will protect me through any storm I walk through. When you think about it, is there really any greater reassurance in life than to know God is with you everyday? He will always be there, no matter what happens.