Lauren over at Created For His Glory is hosting a Bloggy Tour of Testimonies today so go on over and read about how others have came to know the Lord or a testimony of their faith.
I had gone to church for periods of time during my childhood. I can remember a time or two when I was in the 1st grade that we went as a family. It may have only been on Easter and such, I can't actually remember. But during 2nd grade my parents divorced. My mom and I moved in with my grandma, and my dad and brother moved to California.
During grade school I would attend church when a friend invited me, or sometimes I walked to a nearby one on my own. And like a lot of kids I got baptized. I'm sure at that time I understand what it meant and my intentions were sincere. But I didn't necessarily carry that over into my adulthood.
Now it wasn't that my family didn't believe in God they just didn't attend church or necessarily live a "christian" life. Don't get me wrong they were really good people, and tried to do things right.
In 1974 my brother had gotten divorced and was headed down a path of drinking when a friend introduced him to the Lord and he turned his life around. On occasion he would invite my parents and I to attend church with him. But more importantly he wanted us to accept Christ.
I can remember when my first child was born, and knowing I should get them (I had a step-daughter too) into church, would visit one nearby. Because I didn't feel like I "fit in" I would soon quit going. It wasn't that people weren't nice, I guess it was more that I felt inadequate. That "I" needed to clean up my life before giving it to God. (We all know how well that works out).
Then at the beginning of 1991 I started to feel a void in my life. I had been in an on-again, off-again, relationship with a man for 10 years, but I had an emptiness inside which really had nothing to do with that relationship.
Soon I realized that it was a void that only God could fill.
During the month of June my dad had surgery, had complications, and was transferred to a major hospital in Springfield, IL to have additional surgery.
By July my brother had been diagnosed with lung cancer and was given 3 months to a year to live. My dad passed away July 8th. I can't begin to share with you all the wonderful things that God did during this time. And not only did I receive precious time with my family, I received a peace above all peace.
I had seen so many things transpire during those 7-1/2 months. From the way God worked in my dads life and was working in my mom and I, to the love and support that my brothers christian friends/family had shown not only to him and his family but to all those around. I knew that I wanted that in my life.
On August 9, 1991, in my brothers hospital room, my mom and I dedicated our lives to the Lord. I knew this road would be difficult at times but I also knew that I wanted to see my dad and brother again one day. I mean I wanted to see them sooooo bad that it was like I was guaranteeing my train ticket to their destination and nothing.....nothing, was going to get in the way of me seeing them again.
Now granted that may not have been the right reason to give my life to Him. God knew my heart though. And soon my love for Christ overshadowed my deep desire to see them again. And I strongly believe it was a good enough reason at the time and through that path it lead me to the real reason to seek Heaven and all its glory. I do want to see them again, but first I want to see Jesus.
Over the years when I have looked back I know that God carried me through. I'm certain many of us can relate to "Footprints in the Sand".
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,other times there were one set of footprints.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish,sorrow or defeat,I could see only one set of footprints.
So I said to the Lord, “You promised me Lord,that if I followed you, you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there have only been one set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,you have not been there for me?
”The Lord replied,“The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand,is when I carried you.”
Copyright © 1984 Mary Stevenson, All rights reserved
Jesus, who died for my sins and all those who come unto Him. My life, and yours, will never be the same again.
**I pray that if you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior that you will ask Him into your life today. If you believe that Jesus Christ died for your sins, that you are willing to repent of your sins, ask forgiveness, and want to accept Christ wholeheartedly in your life, but you are unsure how to pray you may repeat this prayer.....
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior. In Jesus' name. Amen.
For additional information you may want to visit Billy Graham Ministries, or Christianity Today. If you don't have a Bible you can read one on-line at Bible Gateway. They have several reading plans available.