DidiLyn over at Meyers on the Hood is hosting a truly unique Bloggy Carnival this week called “Tell Me Your Story.” All I have to do is tell MY story...should be easy enough, right?
I grew up in a Christian home. We were in church every time the doors were opened. The church I grew up in was very rules-oriented, and the rules made life difficult. I also attended the school run by the church.
I learned a lot about God while in this church. I learned that Jesus had died for my sins. I learned that all I had to do was to ask Him to come live inside of me. I knew all of this from an early age. In my child's mind, I didn't want to do that yet. I had a lot of time. I was scared that if I did ask Jesus into my life, I wouldn't have any more fun. And fun was much more important to me than was praying or having God in my life.
During this time frame, a new Christian radio station came on the air. There were lots of boring preachers on there, and lots of great music. I loved listening to the music. There was also a time on Saturday mornings set aside for children's programing. I LOVED listening to the stories. The Lone Ranger. Fibber McGee and Molly. The Green Hornet. The Children's Bible Hour. I loved them all. I could be transported out of my life in my imagination and live these great stories.
I listened to the children's stories for a lot of years, and loved every single week that I had the chance to listen. Every single week, there were great teachings...stories and object lessons reinforcing things I had already learned in church, Sunday School, school and Vacation Bible School. Every week, Uncle Charlie on The Children's Bible Hour invited children to pray with him. Every week I justified to myself why I didn't need to pray just yet.
The year I turned 11 was a difficult one for our family. We were living on the dairy farm and working 15 to 18 hour days. My mom was dealing with health issues. My brothers and I were dealing with some not-so-nice children in school. I was become the very introspective and shy child I remained the rest of the way through the rest of my school years. I really started thinking about what it would mean if I were to die...what would happen to me after dying. I knew that Jesus had died so I wouldn't have to be punished for my sins.
Finally, in September, while listening to Uncle Charlie yet again, I decided that it was time. I wanted to have some kind of security in my life, and this was the only way I could think of making my ultimate future secure. I prayed along with Uncle Charlie on September 11, 1980, and asked Jesus to come live in my life.
I really wish that praying the prayer changed my life completely. I don't have one of those testimonies, where asking Jesus into my life completely transformed me. I had already been living a good life, attending church, and trying to please my parents. I continued down that same road. I didn't have any great teaching. I still attended church. I graduated from our church's school. I went to a Bible school. I took notes on sermons. Then, I applied for Bible College.
I loved college. I was not nearly as sheltered. I was learning. I was getting to know this God to whom I had committed my life. One of the best things I started learning in Bible College was that I was LOVED. That God truly loved me. And that He wanted me to KNOWN that love.
And today, 28 years after accepting that gift of LOVE that He gave me, I still feel like I am only just now STARTING to know a little about His love for me.
And that, my friends, is MY story. To read more stories, go see DidiLyn!