For years, I struggled with decisions I was making in life. I would do well for a while and then things would go wrong, and I would feel like the world was crashing down around me. I did not grow up in a Christian home, but I always figured that there was a God.
My dad left a month before I was born, so it was always just my mom and me. We did have a lot of support from family and I spent most of my time with my Aunt Helen and her family; she had the most influence on me as a child. I attended a small non-denominational church with them, but around the time I was around 11 or 12, my aunt started going to another church and got saved, then one by one so did the rest of her family.
As a teenager, I was a “good” kid, so I really did not get into much trouble. It was at this point in my life that I began to pull away from my aunt and her family. Something was so different about them. They began going to church all the time, reading the Bible and quoting scripture, they talked and dressed differently, and they started handing out these funny little story papers (I later found out they were called tracts). I hated it! I wanted no part of it! I was not about to give up my friends and what I thought was my happiness.
That lifestyle carried into my adult years. “Partying, drinking, and careless behavior became the norm and it was taking me much further than I wanted to go” Partying, drinking, and careless behavior became the norm and it was taking me much further than I wanted to go. By the time I was twenty, I had been married and divorced. I continued this vicious cycle of a meaningless lifestyle replete with meaningless relationships.
I met and married my husband, Kevin, in 1992. My first pregnancy was riddled with complications and I remember asking God to let my baby be okay. When KJ was born healthy, it was then that I decided I had better start going back to church. I sought out the same type of church that I attended in my earlier years and my thoughts turned back to Aunt Helen. I knew she would be happy that I was going to church again. I remember calling her to tell her, and the response was not what I expected. She kept using words like repent, salvation, forgiveness, and saved (Note: born again, saved, and salvation are biblical concepts referring to the forgiveness of sins by God and the rescue of the person from the power and penalty of that sin. I could not take it anymore! I knew I just had to give up everything I thought I knew about God. This is God’s requirement for eternal life.) She would also give me verses from the Bible, which frustrated me more because the verses reinforced the fact that going to church was not going to get me into Heaven.
My second pregnancy also was filled with complications. Again, I asked God to spare my baby. I remember waking abruptly from a dream one night and I told Kevin that if this baby survived, and was a girl, I had to name her Angela Faith, because she would be an angel of my faith, but what did that mean? It was at that time that I really began to battle with God. Was He real? Was Heaven a real place? If so, was I going there?
I could not take it anymore! I knew I just had to give up everything I thought I knew about God. I needed direction, so I called my aunt. She told me I needed to find a church that preached truth from the Bible. That Sunday I visited one of the local Baptist churches. I was amazed. I had never heard these things before, not even in any of the churches I had attended. I was a sinner! How could I be a sinner? (Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.) I was a good person. I found out that if I broke even one of God’s Ten Commandments then I was just as guilty as if I had broken all of them. (James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all). Jesus died on the cross for my sins! What, MY sins? I needed to confess AND believe on Jesus Christ to get to Heaven.
Well, how in the world do I do that?
A dear woman from that church paid me a visit at my home and explained to me, straight from the Bible, what everything I heard meant. I got it! I understood! January 28, 1998 I repented of my sins, confessed them to the Lord Jesus Christ, and accepted Him in my heart as my personal Saviour. The Lord has changed my life dramatically and is changing me into His image every day that I live. (Romans 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. )
Am I perfect? Not at all, and I am still a sinner. The difference is that I am saved by the grace and blood of Jesus Christ. The Lord has changed my life dramatically and is changing me into His image every day that I live. Yes, I have struggles and trials just like everyone, but I know the Lord will use them to make me who He wants me to be. I have a personal relationship with Him. I go directly to Him with all my cares and concerns, prayers and praises, and needs.
The best decision I ever made was to give up! Give up and accept Christ as my personal savior. He wants to be your Saviour, too. Please, seriously consider making the best decision you could ever make and call Him to be your Saviour, too.