January 25, 2013

my testimony

My family never went to church.

My dad and mom were both raised Catholic.  They both went to Catholic schools.  My dad, he never bought into the religion.  At one point when I asked him who he thought created us, he replied that he believed aliens created us and dropped us off here on this planet and left us to fend for ourselves.  At another point in his life when I asked what he thought would happen to him after he died, he said he believed nothing happened.  When you died, you died.  Game over.  Anyway, he's all over the place when it comes to his "theology."

My mom, on the other hand, did buy into the Catholic faith, somewhat.  We never went to church regularly or anything like that.  In terms of church attendance, if I ever walked into a church, it was a Catholic church, and it was usually because someone was getting married, a baby was being baptized, or someone had just died.  But, you could tell my mother believed in the whole "Jesus being born of a virgin to die and save us from our sins so we can all go to heaven" story.  In fact, what little belief in Jesus I had growing up probably came from her insistence that every Easter we watch King of Kings - which would come on TV without fail every year.  She believed everything in that movie to be true, so I believed it to be true. And, we both believed that would be enough.  If we died, we would go to Heaven to be with Jesus.  That, or end up in purgatory - a Catholic thing.  Either way, we were safe! ;-)

My whole family - along with most of northwest Indiana - is Catholic.  That is until my aunt Cheryl - my dad's youngest sister - visited a Southern Baptist church with a friend one Sunday and got "saved."

When she told us she was "saved" and that we needed to be "saved," we thought she was crazy!  We didn't need to be "saved" from anything!  We were Catholic, so we were fine! We made fun of her - a lot. (Sorry, Aunt Cheryl!)

That is until a day in 1995 - the summer before my senior year of high school - when my sister and I were babysitting my aunt Cheryl's little girl -  my cousin Amanda...  We were going to stay the night and go home the next day (a Sunday).  That night though, my aunt got to talking to me about Jesus...

I remember sitting at her dining room table and shooting all kinds of questions at her. I was going to prove her wrong that I needed to be "saved."  However, it came down to this...

She asked me if I believed the Bible was God's word, and I said that I did. So, she proceeded to show me in the bible where it said that I was a sinner in need of a savior - which I had no problem believing - and that I needed to accept God's gift of Jesus' sacrifice for my sins, repent of those sins, and ask Him into my heart.

She showed me where it said that Jesus was knocking on the door to my heart - so to speak - and she showed me that simple "belief" in Him wasn't what would get me into Heaven.  I mean, the devil believes in God, but we all know Satan isn't going to end up in Heaven ultimately. ;-)

Basically, she showed me in the Bible where it said I had to open the door of my heart, of my life, and let Him in. I had to accept Him as my personal Lord and Savior - be born again - if I was ever going to one day be with Him when I died. 

I saw it all! In the Bible!  God's word!  How could I deny that?!

I asked, "How do I do this?" 

She invited me to church the next Sunday, and she said that when the pastor gave the invitation at the end of the service, I should go forward and he would lead me in a prayer to accept Jesus into my heart and life.

At first, I said, "I can do that right here and now. I don't need to go to a church to do that."

And she replied, "True."  However, she showed me this verse in the bible:

Matthew 10:32 Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven.

And I knew what I had to do!

So in July of 1995, I went forward at First Baptist Church of Griffith, IN, and I prayed for Jesus to come into my heart and take my life - I opened the door of my heart to Jesus.

It was life changing!  I felt different.  I felt new. I felt as if I had been "born again."

Because I gave Him my life, I began living according to His agenda and not my own.  And Lord only knows where I would be today if I hadn't done that!  Oh, the blessings I have in my life are too many to count because I've let Him rule my life and NOT ME!

I have grown - and am still growing - in my walk with Him. I have learned so much about the bible through reading and studying it, and I've learned so much about my Jesus.  My bridegroom. 

I am so glad that I accepted his proposal and opened the door of my heart to Him! I am betrothed to the most high King of Kings!

Revelation 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

I am loved, and my only REAL desire in life is to be worthy of that love - even though I know I could never do that on my own.  It is His sacrifice that makes me worthy of anything good.

If you haven't opened the door of your heart to Jesus, please, don't wait!  It's the best decision you'll ever make!

Your bridegroom awaits. See what I saw in the bible that brought me to a saving knowledge of Him - click The Roman Road.

Meet my Jesus!

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