It was June 24, 1988, and Christina was 6 months old. I was at Ocean Grove at a conference with my friend from Bible study, Gloria Fairchild. The speaker was Bill Gothard and the seminar was Institute In Basic Youth Conflicts, and the Bible verse was Revelation 3:15-16: I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. I no longer wanted to be lukewarm but burning like a fire. The wind of the Spirit caught me up, like a hurricane, and transported me to a new place, never to return. I came out of a long dark tunnel, out into a beautiful light. I was born again.
It has been like a romance, where I suddenly wanted to know more and more about my beloved Jesus. Through reading the Bible and memorizing scripture, it was like seeing Him for the first time, drawing near to Him, tracing His lovely face with my fingers, leaning back into Him and sensing His presence, smelling His fragrance, memorizing His smile. I began to trust that He loved me, He was trustworthy, His ways were good and true.
And that transformed my life. Bad habits fell away from me, and things that I used to love to do, I discarded. There were words I no longer said, places I no longer went, music I no longer listened to, movies and TV shows I no longer watched, books I no longer read. None of this was a burden to me. In fact, the more things I let go of, the better I felt. I felt lighter, free, fresh, healthier the more things I gave up. It brought peace. Actually, it was not like giving up at all, it was like stripping myself of dirty smelly rags.
Of course there have been times of confusion, times of difficulty, times of sorrow. There have been seasons when I allowed myself to enter back into another dark tunnel. There have been times when I have been faithless, but not Him, I thank God, when I was faithless, He has proved time and time again that He was faithful. He has been patient, persistent, and merciful. Through His love, I have grown: like the sunshine and rain nurtures a flower, I have blossomed in His care.
Perfection is still far away, waiting for that day when I strip off my body like a garment and be given the white robe and join the multitude of heaven:
There before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.” ~ Revelation 7:9-10.
I remember on the other side of this decision to follow Christ, I was afraid. I did not want to give up control of my life. I thought I would miss out on something, have to give up too much. What a deception that was! Instead I have found I have received everything.
Have you said yes to Jesus? Have you invited Him into your heart? He wants you too! Looking back over 25 years, it was the best decision I ever made.