8 years ago today I made the decision to give my life to Christ. I was in 8th grade and I had been invited to a Disciple Now weekend and the main reason I decided to go was because one of the “popular” girls invited me. I had no idea that weekend would change my life. The first night the speaker spoke the Gospel and I knew it was the truth. At the end of his message he said that if anyone knew they needed God in their life to come forward. "Are you kidding me?" was all I could think. Did he really expect me to walk to the front of that church with everyone staring at me. No. Way.
That night we stayed up entirely too late and after most people had fallen asleep I decided to write a letter to God, at about 3am. I said that I wanted Him to be the Lord of my life and I wanted to follow Christ and I knew that He had died on the cross for my sins. But I didn’t know how to know if it was real. I wanted to believe and surrender, I just didn’t know how. I asked God to give me a sign the next day that this was real and something I should do. The next day I got the ‘sign’ I had anticipated. On Sunday morning I went to the front of the church with another girl and as people came and told us ‘congratulations’ and hugged us I just remember being overwhelmed with Christ’s love for me.
Jesus died on the cross for MY sins. He did nothing to deserve to feel the weight of my sins. The cost of my sin is death, this is what I deserve. But Jesus loved me so much that He died for me, He gladly did so. How beautiful is that truth? I remember feeling so in awe of this and just overwhelmed by His love. I was baptized at my church about a year later and the next few years I began to understand what it meant to be a Christian and to have a relationship with God.
I could talk for days about the goodness and the faithfulness of the Lord. He has taught me so much in the last 8 years. I’m a different person than I was at the age of 13. I know the difference is the power of God moving in my heart. I have done things and had experiences I never imagined myself doing. As a shy 8th grader my goal in life was to not be too noticed. My life before Christ was not completely awful, I was a good kid and did all the right things. I did not radically change the moment I came to know the Lord. But my life after knowing Christ has been rich and full of freedom and love. It has been a journey and every year God shows me more about who He is and who I am in Him. I am no longer the timid 13 year old and I have learned that true confidence is knowing I am complete in Him, my Father. I have never known my earthly father but my heavenly Father is more than enough. His love is never ending.
I am so grateful that I attended that D-Now weekend in 8th grade. I am overwhelmed with praise and awe when I think of everything God has done in my life in the last 8 years. I am so excited to see what the rest of my life will be with Him. God is a pursuer of our hearts. He pursued me as a 13 year old and in the years that followed I learned what it meant to pursue God. How cool is it that the creator of the universe is pursuing you and wants to be in a relationship with you?!
Think about His love and how you can be confident and walk out in that love. “For I am convinced that nothing can separate us from His love. Death can’t, life can’t. The angels can’t, the demons can’t. Our fears for today, our worries about tomorrow. Even the powers of hell can’t keep God’s love away. Whether we are in the highest sky or in the deepest ocean, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God revealed through Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:38-39). Think about what the Lord has done in your life today and praise Him. Praise Him everyday. Our God is worthy of every second of our day to be spent in praise and worship to Him.