March marks the beginning signs of spring, my favorite time of year. The days are getting longer. The bitter cold of winter begins to roll out as the weather gets warmer and calmer. The lawns turn green, the trees bud as they awaken from their long winters rest. Splashes of color dot the landscape in flowers. All of nature awakens to the glow of new life. But this year I have an even better reason to be excited for the month of March. This March, I celebrate fifteen years since I’ve rededicated my life to Christ.
My mom taught me about Jesus as early as I could understand. I was about four or five when I gave my life to Christ. I loved the Lord even as a child. I remember reading my Children’s Bible before I went to bed at night and singing hymns in the middle of the night when I was afraid of the dark. I sensed His presence with me even as a little girl. When I reached high school, I became more interested in my boyfriend than what the Lord wanted me to do. I fell away from walking with the Lord. For seven years I tried living life my own way. It wasn’t working. I felt like I was walking around with a dark, weighty cloud on me.
When I was twenty-three years old, my husband was working with a Christian guy. One day, out of nowhere, I got a phone call from this man’s wife wanting to know if I’d be interested in going to her church for a women’s gathering with her and a van full of other women. But she had to know right away because they were leaving now. I thought, “Are you kidding me? I don’t even know you. I don’t think so.” Somehow, what came out of my mouth was, “Sure, I’ll go.” I hung up the phone and thought, what just happened? Why did I say yes? I need to call her back and tell her to forget it. Then I remembered she was probably already on her way. So I went anyway.
When we got to the church I went through the motions of doing what everyone else was. I sang when they sang and listened to the message, but my heart was not open. By the middle of the speaker’s message I figured I already knew what she was going to say. After all, I’ve heard all these Bible stories when I was a kid. Nothing new here. As she was closing I wondered why I even came. We all stood to sing some closing songs. We began singing “I Surrender All” when something in my heart clicked. I…surrender…ALL. Everything!
My home, my marriage, my finances. All in His hands. My life!
It’s as if the Lord reached out of that song and grabbed my heart. I began to sob as God was working on me. The woman who brought me asked if I wanted to get prayed for. Through my tears I said no and continued to cry. She said “Are you sure?” “Yes, I’m sure” I said. So we all went home.
The next day on my living room floor, I knelt down and prayed to return to my first true love, Jesus. That next Sunday the couple came and picked me up for church. It was a beautiful church. It wasn’t the building that made it beautiful, it was the people. It was a beauty I had never seen. In this large church there were rows of people pouring there hearts out to God in praise. You could see Jesus reflecting off their faces. I couldn’t keep my eyes from scanning these people and I just kept thinking, “How beautiful!”
Later in that service there was an altar call and I asked my friend if she would go up with me. I knew it was important to make my decision public, even though I had made my decision for Christ earlier that week. So my friend and I went forward and I made my decision for Christ public March of 2000. It felt like a big weight was lifted from me.
That moment changed my life and I’ve never been the same. I know what it’s like to live life apart from Christ and I know what it’s like to live life with Christ. I never want to live without Christ again. I am so thankful for the gift of salvation the Lord has given me. It is the greatest treasure I could ever have. However, this celebration isn’t just about a choice I made one day. It’s also that every day since God has walked by my side. Leading me, sometimes carrying me, in this journey of life. My life has taken twists and turns I never thought I’d be on. Each step of the way the Lord has been faithful to me. He’s restored me and healed me physically, spiritually, and relationally. It’s been a great journey with the Lord. One that gets better as you go. The joy and peace I’ve experienced walking faithfully with the Lord is better than anything this world could ever offer. Praise the Lord for His gift of salvation and faithfulness to me!
If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. Romans 10:9-10 (NLT)
And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns. Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. Psalm 9:1 (NIV)