[10 years ago this week, I was born and to celebrate the occasion I wanted to share this story: my story.
Sometimes people ask me how I became a Christian, and I have no qualms telling them the lead up to that night. But, I don’t really ever talk about that moment. I guess I don’t really know what to say. It doesn’t make any sense. I didn’t come out of that night and praise God with all my heart. I didn’t attribute any healing to him. I just went back to the tent and went to sleep.
Once I stopped being prayed for, I stopped crying, and I didn’t cry again over my father for a long time.
I don’t know what happened that night. I don’t think of it as my conversion. I was just breaking, and I wanted to be held.
It’s strange. It’s really strange. I feel like I started writing about it because I thought by the time I got to this point I’d have some amazing truth to offer about how that moment changed me, but I don’t. I don’t understand and I wish I did. I do believe that was the first time I surrendered to Christ; the first time I accepted His help knowingly.
The next night, we were singing worship songs, and suddenly I found myself worshipping. I guess that’s how I knew I believed in God. Because I sat down, in my usual position, and then stood again, and turned my face upward, and felt the urge to kneel or jump, and almost lifted my hands before I remembered myself.
The more I worshipped the more I felt that this was what I was made for. The more I realized that, although it sounds harsh, it didn’t matter if I was doing this next to my family, or with strangers, all that mattered was that I was focused on this force so much bigger than all that I was. And the force wasn’t vague or general any more. It was Holy, and it was the God of Abraham and Jacob, and the God who had wrapped Himself in skin to reconcile me to Him. This God made me tremble in fear over my sin, but this God was also Jesus; recognizable by this grace that was flowing everywhere.
I remember Mike coming on stage and telling us we needed to stop worshipping and get some sleep. Then he said, I know you feel like you could do this forever, but hey, you will! I remember suddenly realizing that right there -that is what I wanted. To stay in this place, to worship God, to let the world fade beyond the sound of praise, forever, for all eternity.
So, I caught a glimpse of a reflection of the echoes of God’s glory, and decided that all my questions didn’t really matter much in the face of that truth.
After that, I guess I was a Christian. Although looking back now, I think I’d say I didn’t really change until after another crisis of faith moment, but I suppose in a few years, I’ll look back and see how far I am from God, even now.
It reminds me of my friend Leanne. We’ve known each other since my first year of University, and we were friends even then. But each time we remember something that happened, even in our second and third year it seems like we didn’t know each other at all back then.
I think when you love someone, it can only grow, and you can only compare the blessings of today with the shadows of the past.
It’s like that with Jesus. I love Him now. I look back to when I first knew Him, and I think that I didn’t know Him really at all.
I think in another year, I will look back at this moment, and then look at the light of Jesus. It will just seem so much closer than ever before.
And I guess I believe that one day I will look at Jesus’ face. I guess that’s what it’s all about.
[Those words were prophetic.
I wrote them when I was 23, but that was seven years ago, and each year since then I have wondered if I really knew Jesus.
I read them now and I shake my head a little and think of the girl I was and I am humbled by how very little she actually knew the greatness of her sweet savior and friend.
But I knew enough of Him to know that I wanted more of Him.
And I still only know Him in part, but just like 23-year-old me, I know enough to know that I want more of Him.
I cannot wait to see how much more of Him the next ten years brings.]