This is my salvation story. I am immensely grateful God set me free from the lies I believed about Him, the faith and eternal life. I grew up believing the lie that I was saved simply because I believed in God and was baptized as a baby. I didn’t know that truly being saved involved:
- Believing that it was only by Christ Jesus’ sacrifice for my sins that I was able to be saved and spend eternity with God.
- Repenting for and turning away from sin in my life, making Jesus the only Lord and Leader of my life by living a life in obedience to Him.
- Having a close relationship with God.
There is no other way to be saved. Works don’t save us. Just believing in God doesn’t save us. Baptism or just attending church does not save us.
Now that I have turned to Jesus, I understand that, though believing in God is good, it is not enough. The Bible says even the demons believe (James 2:19), but we know that these enemies of God will end up in the Lake of Fire, so we must conclude there is more to it than that! We have to make Christ our Lord by denying ourselves and living in love and obedience to Him in every area of our lives.
The Truth About Eternity
Because I didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus, I would have been destined for an eternity apart from Him. I would be without the love and goodness I longed for if I had not been set free from these lies.
It is in believing with our hearts and confessing with our mouths that Jesus rose from the dead that we are saved (Romans 10:9-10). Coupled with this, it is entering into a personal relationship with Father God and Jesus that we have eternal life (John 17:3). Jesus even says 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.
Unhearing Ears, Unseeing Eyes
I grew up in the Church but during my middle school years our family moved away from our regular church. After moving we rarely attended and even my days at their Catholic school ended a few years later.
I began to become more involved in music: first piano (which I had begun years before with the music teacher and cantor at the Catholic school), then I began learning flute. Music became the biggest part of my life as the years went by. Near the end of middle school, I became involved in the music ministry of a Catholic church about 20 minutes from our current home, mostly going there 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.
Though I didn’t know the Lord, I would spend time at our piano picking out some of the hymn melodies and flatten bread as if it was communion. Though my ears were not registering the words of truth, my heart longed for Him without my mind being able to comprehend it.
I am amazed I didn’t truly get the truth of the words we sang weekly—“Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again.” Now that God has brought me to Himself, I live to sing and proclaim this very truth!
My life during the latter high school years through college was often rocky. The shame I felt because of my own mistakes, the wounds of others’ rejection, and the lies I believed about myself caught up to me. I eventually quit going to the 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 my emotional needs were not being met and because I felt rejected by most everyone. I felt out of place in the world and would escape into stories I wrote, read or made up in my mind. Depression and anxiety were close friends I desperately wanted relief from. I often experienced such extreme anxiety that I would get physically sick.
Near 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 on my heart.
Some months after graduating, I moved to another city for work. With the few cable channels I had, I saw a local church’s service being replayed in the middle of the night. Something tugged at me and I began to visit the church. Through the people’s warmth and God softening of my heart, I continued to attend even though I was yet to know the Gospel and give my life to Jesus.
That summer a student at my alma mater contacted me to give her flute lessons. Soon after we began, she invited me to play flute with a church orchestra for a Christmas program. Little did I know that God would use her to set up the divine appointment that brought me to Christ.
No Longer an Orphan
One late Fall evening in 2006, hidden behind the veil in the orchestra pit during a performance, I surrendered my heart to the Lord after hearing the Gospel being shared with those in attendance.
Tears staining my cheeks as I heard the song Orphans of God, I came to know Jesus and the perfect Father I had always longed for. That night I found the love I had been searching for, and felt true acceptance for the very first time. I knew I was loved and would be His beloved forever. My life has never been the same!