As a child, I went to vacation Bible school at the same church every year. Games, toys, fun and homemade ice cream!
Sitting around a small table with a few girls, our teacher had each of us read a verse from our Bible lesson. The other girls laughed at me when I had difficulty reading from the King James Version of the Bible. The teacher never encouraged me nor did she stop the teasing.
I occasionally stayed at a girlfriend’s home on Saturday nights. Her family attended that church so I went with them on Sunday mornings.
Year after year in VBS and Sunday school, children raised in that church told me, “You can’t be baptized because you haven’t been saved.”
Thinking about those experiences, I see the harm done to me. “You can’t…” and I believed it.
The curse riddled my life with painful scars. My heart bled a little more with every failed relationship. My emotions never fully developed. My spirit only knew evil. My body knew sexual abuse. I couldn’t be loved.
If you have read my devotion, “Earl Would Tell You”, you know of my anger and fear toward Earl when we met.
I accepted Earl as a man – not a Christian. I separated his roles. Fighting with the calling God had on Earl’s life, I declared, “I married Earl – not the pastor.”
By the faith Earl and other Christians lived before me, I began to know the love of Christ. Through the testimonies of women whom God had redeemed, I saw Jesus working in my life. I felt more of God’s love for me each day.
How did I know I was saved?
My life changed without my conscious effort. I didn’t have to give anything up. I didn’t have to do anything against my will. Every yoke of sin fell away. Bad influences stopped talking to me. My sinful desires were no longer there. My language no longer cursed but praised God for redeeming my soul.
I later heard about some awesome prayer warriors who had lifted my plight to the Lord for salvation and forgiveness over a year.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 NIV)..
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved” (Romans 9-10 NIV).