Pondering the story of my salvation easily brings me to tears of thanksgiving. I am so grateful that God set me free from the lies I have believed about Him, religion, and the way to eternal life. I grew up believing the lie that I was saved because I believed in God. To some this seems okay, but the Bible says otherwise, that even the demons believe and tremble (James 2:19), but we know that these enemies of God will end up in the Lake of Fire!
I did not have a personal relationship with God through His Son Jesus, and so I would have been destined for an eternity apart from Him and His perfect love and goodness if I had not been set free from these lies. It is in believing with our hearts and confessing with our mouths that God Jesus rose from the dead that we are saved (Romans 10:9-10). Furthermore, it is in personally knowing Father God and Jesus that we have eternal life (John 17:3); Jesus also infers in Matthew 7:21 that only those who do His will (or in other words, make Him Lord of their lives), will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.
Ears that did not hear, eyes that did not see
I grew up in the Church but after my family moved farther away from our regular church during my middle school years, we rarely attended and I only continued going to the Catholic school until the end of sixth grade.
I began to become more involved in music, first piano, but then playing the flute. This became a big part of my life as the years went by, and near the end of middle school, I became involved in the music ministry of a Catholic church about 20 minutes away, mostly going by myself on Sundays. I felt such joy every week as I drove home from Mass, not realizing it was the Lord drawing me even then.
Thinking back to this time in my life, I am amazed that though I didn’t yet understand the words we sang weekly with true understanding the words we sang weekly—“Christ has died, risen and will come again”—God brought me to Himself and has now called me to proclaim this very truth.
My life in between my latter high school years and through college was often rocky. The shame I began to feel, because of my own mistakes, the rejection of others, and the lies I believed about myself, caught up to me. I eventilation quit going to the very church where I had once experienced such joy.
I was searching for what I thought was love in the wrong places, feeling so empty because of lack of affection, encouragement, and acceptance. I felt so out of place as a very introverted and anxious young woman. I often experienced such extreme anxiety that I would geye physically sick.
Near the time of college graduation and after, I begin to attend church with my mom while visiting family. God began to tenderize my heart during the times of worship. For awhile, I honestly didn’t understand why I was crying! Nonetheless, even her pastor saw the Lord moving upon my heart.
A few months after graduating, I moved to another city. With the few basic cable channels I had, I saw a local church’s service being replayed in the middle of the night. Something stood out to me and I began to visit the church. Through the people’s warmth and God’s softening of my heart, I continued to attend, though I was yet to give my life to Jesus.
That summer I was contacted by a college student who received my name in her search for a flute instructor. Soon after we began lessons, she invited me to play flute with a church orchestra for a Christmas program. Little did I know that God would use her to orchestrate the very divine appointment that brought me to truly give my life to Christ.
No longer an orphan, no more an outcast
On a late Fall evening in 2006, hidden behind the curtain in the orchestra pit during a performance, I surrendered my heart to the Lord upon hearing the Gospel being shared with those in attendance.
Crying my eyes out in the orchestra pit to the song Orphans of God, I found the perfect Father I had always longed for; the Bridegroom, Jesus my King, who my soul now loves; and the best Comforter, Helper and Counselor of all, His Holy Spirit. On that night, I found that true love I had always been searching for, and felt true affection and acceptance for the very first time. I was now and always will be His beloved, forever.