Sunday, February 22, 2009

My First Love Story

I had a wonderful time telling you all about how I met Eric but let me tell you about my first love. It all happened at the very young age of four.
I was at a Vacation Bible School being held in my own home (at least I believe it was). There was a bit of bribery in the whole affair. If you asked Jesus into your heart you received a Bible.
The cover of the Bible had a picture of Jesus sitting under a tree with children all around him and a child on His lap. I envisioned that I was that child...sitting right on Jesus' lap.
I was bound and determined to get that Bible and saying a prayer was easy right?
It took me the whole week to say that prayer. When I finally did I was given the Bible and then was told that I needed to confess with my mouth that Jesus was Lord. My parents took me down to our church building (it felt so strange to be there in the middle of the was so quiet) and I told the Pastor that I had asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior.

I grew up in the church nursery and Sunday school. I eventually graduated to the "big" church at a much younger age then most children do now. We went to a local Baptist church in the Bay Area and then in Central Oregon. I know nothing different then hearing the Gospel from the pulpit every Sunday. I now know what a blessing this is.
Too bad I didn't understand that blessing when I was in my teen years. The world was enticing and I was easily enticed. But, boy did I look good on the outside. I had a natural talent at the piano and so I became fully engaged in church music. To this day my heart skips a beat when I hear a good choral piece! I was quickly put in the spot light and enjoyed the accolades of many an older congregate that thought my voice sounded like an angel.
Pretty soon my head swelled to the point that I thought I deserved the solo part that another singer got. My heart was deceived and was growing full of pride.
The cup of my life was perfectly clean on the outside with no chips or blemishes but the inside was encrusted with a thick layer of nasty gunk. Even if you poured fresh clean water in it it would pour out nasty, gunky water.
Then, I was kicked out of Liberty University. That was one of the first times I had reality kick me in the stomach. It was ugly but it would take many more years of stomach kicks to finally get my heart headed towards "home".
Thankfully, as with many of you, my first Love worked on me with patience. He judicially worked out His mercy in my life through years of marriage with Eric and raising our children. Actually, to be more accurate, He continues to show me my sin through my children. There truly is nothing more humbling than to discipline your child on a matter that
you have not disciplined yourself.
Through this last year I have been faced with the physical reality that my husband for the time being is my first Love. Although I have walked closer with Him in the past fifteen years of my life I am enjoying getting to know Him more intimately. He has been a faithful Love. And, now the inside of my proverbial cup is just pretty much as nice as the outside. Thanks be to God!


Crayl said...

I too had one of those Bibles. I too, also had a road filled with distractions. I am ever so thankful for God's grace and mercy on my life, and His sweet patience.

babydoc said...

Thank you for continuing to share. As always you are full of much encouragement, and cause for praise.

Anonymous said...

Did you get saved when you were 4 years old or did you only make a profession? I made a coerced profession at age 9 but had never had the Holy Spirit's drawing. When I was 22 years old, I laid down my pride and fully admitted that I was not saved and if I died, I would not go to Heaven. The Holy Spirit had been working on me for years and I knew if I didn't get this taken care of that day, while the Holy Spirit was drawing me, I would never do it. I truly was born again on Valentine's Day 1995. It truly is a miraculous difference! I know without a doubt that if I died right now, I would be in Heaven. I never had that peace before. I didn't understand if later you had gotten saved or if you were saved as a 4 year old.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous,
Some of this depends on what particular theology you hold to. I believe that God called His own before the foundation of the earth...that is way before I turned four! I can't remember the details of that day at VBS but even so I don't base my salvation on whether or not I said a prayer. Instead, I look to see if there is a continued struggle against sin in my life. Am I being tested and if so, am I looking to my Savior for the answers or am I leaning on my own understanding. This side of heaven we are all only given assurance through the evidence of our life. If the fruit tree is producing fruit then it is a fruit tree. Paul tells us in Phil. 2:12 to continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. This is an ongoing action that requires me to actively look at my life.
Some people will have a definitive moment that they just know was the time that the Holy Spirit called them. Others will not ever know that feeling. I remember Ruth Graham being asked when did she accept Christ. She said that she did not remember a time that He wasn't in her life. I can relate to that. As I look back over my life I can see His hand in absolutely everything. He has never let me go. He has allowed me to stumble...fall flat on my face! He has allowed me to know great pain. And, through everything He has given me the beautiful gift of growing in His grace.
I hope that answers your question...and, praising God with you for His work in your life.

Anonymous said...

I think it is so important to leave a salvation experience to share with those left behind. Our pastor has encouraged us to write out our experience on a notecard or somewhere to share. It is such a great witness to be able to share that, of course there are many other ways to witness as well. I just think of my children, although they have heard me tell how I came to Jesus before, I want to leave them with a firm hope. Whatever experience a person has had, just be sure that you are saved by the blood of Jesus Christ, that you have asked him into your heart and have His Holy Spirit in your life and that you KNOW you are Heaven bound!