Today is a day to celebrate. Today is a day to rejoice. Today is a day that has gone done in history. It’s in the book. The Book of Life. Today is the day the Lord saved me.
10 years ago today I surrendered my life to the Lord. 10 years ago today I gave over the reigns of my shambled life and allowed the giver of my life to lead my life. 10 years ago today I was saved by grace alone. 10 years ago today I started to live. To really live.
(Today is also my mom’s birthday which makes it all the more special. Love you, Mommy.)
I remember the day clearly. Well… sort of clearly. I remember on February 7th, a Saturday, going to a “friend’s” house for a party. I was one of “those” teenagers that thought drinking and smoking and “who knows what else” was the thing to do. And I did all of that and then some that Saturday night and into the wee hours of Sunday morning. I was doing what I had always done. I was partying and drinking and smoking away my life for the night. And normally this would have sufficed, this would have been fun, this would have been fulfilling. But not this night. Somehow this night was different.
To lay out the back story, I had just finished with a year out of town where I did whatever the heck I wanted to without any regard for doing what I knew was right. Very much away from the way I was raised and knew. I was making my own life, however awful of a life that was. At the same time my old roommate/friend Kathy that I had known for a few years was going down her own path. Well actually, God’s path. Sometime in that year she had encountered God and He had completely changed her life. When I moved back to my hometown I looked Kathy up, probably to party with her, but she wasn’t having any of that. She did however go on a long walk with me telling me all about her new faith and how it had been transforming her life. I honestly don’t remember this walk, but Kathy does. And somewhere inside, my heart remembered.
How do I know? Because that Saturday night, when the normally fun time of partying was not fulfilling the excitement I had expected from it, when it felt dirty, when the partying had unexpectedly lost it’s appeal, I called a cab. I called a cab in the first light of that Sunday morning and it drove me straight to Kathy’s house, knowing she would be getting ready for church. I knocked on Kathy’s door and asked, “Can I come to church with you?” She said, “Of course.” Now mind you, I was a pitiful mess. I’m sure I stunk of all kind of nastiness, I looked like I had been run over buy a Greyhound, and my clothing choice was less than desirable. But God. Kathy’s friend, and my soon to be dear friend, Annette, picked us both up for church and the rest is history.
There certainly weren’t any firecrackers or booming voice from the heavens, just a still small voice inside of me, calling out to me, yearning for me. The three of us girls went to Sunday school and I was so uncomfortable, in a great way, that I couldn’t stay in class. I walked out and sat in Annette’s car. I knew God was calling me. I knew He was calling out to me in a real, tangible, frightening yet amazing way. I KNEW it. Right then and there I gave my life over to Jesus Christ. There were’nt any dramatics, I didn’t pray a specific prayer, I simply asked God to be the center of my life. I asked Him to take the wheel. I asked Him to heal me and the damage I had inflicted upon myself and those around me. I asked Him to be the lover of my soul, the shepherd of my life. And He did.
And He has been ever since. That Saturday was the very last day I hung out with those “friends”, the very last day I participated in the drinking and “who knows what else”, the very last day I was a stranger to the Lord. As I was thinking back on that day and realizing it was my 10 year anniversary of being a child of God, I began to go through the slideshow of my life. Certainly I have not had it easy as a result of my salvation, in fact I have had it pretty bad a few times. But when I look back on the many many many ways God has provided for me, protected me, loved me, sheltered me, guided me, cherished me, spoken to me, and molded me, I am AMAZED, HUMBLED, and so beyond THANKFUL.
Without God, my life would still be in shambles. I wouldn’t have nearly the blessing that I have, I wouldn’t have the relationships I have, I wouldn’t know the love I know. I wouldn’t have hope, I wouldn’t know mercy, I wouldn’t have peace. Without God, life would not be worth living. Without God, there would be no life. God IS my life. I was made BY Him to WORSHIP Him.
From Jeremiah being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, to Shiloh having scoliosis as a baby, to us praying fervently for Levi, to marital issues, to getting through hurricane Katrina, to the many jobs, to the many moves, to the happy times, to the sad times, there is no way we could have gotten through it all without God. We have miraculously been protected through so much, we have been miraculously provided for during some scary times, we have been blessed beyond belief. We have been taken care of, I have been taken care of, by my God. Nothing has happened, or not happened, in my life that has been beyond His reach. He has cared for me and my family with a perfect care, a perfect peace, and a perfect love.
What a good God we serve. What a good God I serve. So on my 10 year anniversary of the day God saved me, I look back, and I remember. I remember all that God has done and all that He has promised. I look forward to tens upon ten more years of living for the Lord. I look forward to what amazing God-given graces are around the corner. I look forward to serving God and bringing glory to Him in new and awesome ways, now and in the future.
Let me emphasize again the fact that this does not mean my life is or will be easy. It honestly, hardly ever is. Life can hurt, life can leave scars, life can be pretty sorry sometimes. But God. The bible tells us in Romans that ” God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose” and I believe that. I believe in the God who saved me. I believe that He is real, that He is near, that He is my daily strength. I believe that He is for me and only ever does, and allows, what is the absolute best for me. I am thankful for my anniversary, I am thankful to be able to share my faith with my family and friends, I am thankful God has brought me so far, I am thankful that I will one day meet my God and be wrapped in His embrace. Thankful. Thankful. Thankful.
Happy Anniversary to me! I would love to hear about yours.
From our “Whole Family” to yours…….