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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

My Testimony

I was prompted to share my personal salvation testimony by Courtney at Faithful Bloggers. I don’t think I ever wrote it all down before, except once, for my children. This is my journey to faith:

My parents always took us to church. When I was small, our church could probably best be characterized as “formal.” We always had paid organists who led a very gifted choir. The music was gorgeous! The sanctuary, also, was beautiful, with stained glass windows and heavy, oak furniture. Our pastor—we called him a minister—was gowned according to the occasion. There were real palms for Palm Sunday, Easter lilies for Easter, and poinsettias for Christmas. My dad was a soloist in the choir (though he didn’t yet personally know of Whom he sang). I was part of the children’s choir. Our minister was a talented storyteller. On Sunday evenings, he would tell bird stories to teach moral truths.

When I was eight or nine, my family went to see a Billy Graham movie at a downtown theater. I remember being under great conviction of sin afterwards. I remember telling myself I was a good girl and didn’t need to repent. So, I resisted the invitation.

It was customary in our denomination for all the ten-year-olds to attend a membership class. Our minister taught us about the founding church fathers and a lot of church history. (I wish he had preached Christ!)

After the classes were over, on the last Saturday, we were taken to the communion railing, told to kneel, and given little cards. They said something like, “I am committing my life to Christ.” We were supposed to sign them so we could join the church the next Sunday. I remember knowing this was a very important thing to do, and I solemnly signed my name, not having any idea what it meant to be committed to Christ.

I joined the church.

A year later, our family moved to another state. By this time, my father had come to know the Lord, and it was important to him to find a church that actually preached the gospel. It was kind of funny, because, each Sunday our family trooped off to yet another church. We visited all kinds! Some were formal, like our former church, and some were pretty lively. We ended up attending a little Bible church. It could hardly have been more different than what we were used to. The pastor preached the gospel every service. He preached it most clearly on Sunday mornings, when there were more unbelievers in attendance—including me.

I had thought I was a Christian until one particular morning in that little church. I will never forget that day. It must have been spring, since the ladies were wearing hats with flowers on them. The preacher was preaching the gospel, and it dawned on me, “I haven’t done that.” I needed to make sure I was forgiven. I had to do it then. So there, in the middle of the sermon, I bowed my head and prayed that the Lord would forgive me and accept me as His own. I was born again!

Afterwards, I didn’t tell a soul. I thought my parents thought I was saved, and I had this good Christian girl reputation . . . . And besides, I was very, very shy.

It wasn’t long until my friends at school rejected me. (I hadn’t said a word.) My mother and father saw a big change in me. I was less selfish, more concerned about souls, more giving. They knew. I remember my mother asking me what had happened, and it was then that I first professed my faith.

Unfortunately, with our religious background, we didn’t understand the importance of believers’ baptism. (We had all been “baptized” as babies.) So, it wasn’t until I was fifteen that I was finally baptized as a witness of my faith in Jesus Christ. I was baptized the same evening as my parents and three college friends. (Today, one of them is a career missionary, as am I.)

I’m still amazed at God’s grace to me. He had saved my mother, sought and saved my father, and He led our family to a gospel preaching church where I could clearly see that my being a “good girl” wasn’t enough. I finally saw myself as a needy sinner. I praise His Name!

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves:
 it is the gift of God:
Not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8-9).


Please share your thoughts.