Every night the girl’s parents would tuck her into bed. The soft covers would be pulled up around her small round face. Her tiny hand would slip out and reach to fit into her Father’s embrace. The mother would place her hand gently upon the girl’s head and run her long fingers through the daughter’s dark brown hair. The conversation would start out simple, talking about the day and routine activities. Gradually it would grow into deeper matters of the heart and heavenly things. This particular night the daughter was extraordinarily intrigued. She had seen her Father reading the thick leather book each day and listened to the songs about Jesus her mother would sing while doing chores. She watched her best friend walk down the church aisle and be baptized in the big church bathtub. The messages week after week of sitting with Grandma at church were beginning to take root in her heart. On this night, she had worked up the courage to ask the question she’d longed to have answered, “What did all of this mean?” Slowly and clearly the answer came to her. The loving parents explained in detail how to become a Christian and how to pray the prayer. At age seven, the little girl at bedside asked Jesus, the Son of God, into her heart to stay.
This is my story. Unfortunately, I remember nothing of that night. I can’t tell you what day it was, what exactly spurred me on to ask questions, or what words that I prayed. This day only lives in the memory of my parents and what little details they have shared with me. Though this night is the night that I have turned back to as the night when Christ came to live in my heart.
I do distinctly remember sitting in church on a Sunday night. Pastor Eddie Norris was preaching a message. I couldn’t sit still because of the urging inside of my soul. The Holy Spirit was prompting me to take the next step of obedience. I knew exactly what that was – baptism. I couldn’t sit still, but neither could I move forward either. Walking to the front of the church was one of my biggest fears at seven. But, the urging and stirring would not go away. I lost my will to fight it and I gave in. I was sacred to death, but obedient. I tapped my mother on the shoulder and told her I wanted to be baptized. This is my earliest memory of a personal experience with God.
I knew the basics at that time: that I was a sinner, that Jesus died on the cross for my sins and that if I asked Him into my heart He would forgive me of my sins and let me live in heaven with Him. That’s not so bad for a young second-grader. Accepting Jesus for me also meant that I now had to follow the rules in my Bible and I needed to go to church all the time. Don’t get me wrong, I loved Jesus and did want to do those things, but they were more rules to me at the time. So this began my journey with the Lord.
(In light of my post, “What Does it Mean to be Saved?” I wanted to share my personal story and the work the Lord has done in my life.)