As a kid, the subject of God rarely came up in my house. Don’t get me wrong. I had (and still have!) good parents. They worked hard, taught us to respect others and encouraged us to be the best we could be. But they were always busy on the family farm. Church just wasn’t a priority.
I do remember, when I was very young, asking the ever-popular question, “How do I know if I’m going to heaven?” My mom’s response was, “If you believe in God, you’ll go to heaven.” I remember thinking, well that’s no problem; of course I believe in God. (How else did we get here if there’s no God?) So I considered myself a Christian, but believed only in a God who existed somewhere “out there.” I certainly didn’t know Him personally.
Throughout my teen years I never gave God much thought. I never prayed (unless I had an algebra test I hadn’t studied for), never read the Bible, and never really understood how Jesus fit into the picture.
I felt pretty confident in my ability to keep my life under control. So God wasn’t a topic I cared to hear about. Then I met my future husband, a rebellious preacher’s kid.
It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment when God went from being something I believed in my head – to someone I knew in my heart. Maybe it was around the time I learned (the hard way) how little control I had over my life.
Maybe it was when I finally swallowed my pride and admitted that I really did need a personal relationship with “that God out there.”
I learned many tough lessons along the way. But there was one night I’ll never forget.
On April 21, 2002 I finally took the plunge and got baptized during the Sunday evening service. It was the first time in my life I actually stepped out and publicly confirmed my desire and commitment to follow Jesus Christ.
I remember plopping down next to Curt, still dripping wet from the baptismal. The pastor began preaching, but I couldn't focus on the message. Finally, I slipped Curt a note.
I just can’t concentrate — I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of me!!
He scribbled something back and handed me the paper.
That’s how it’s supposed to feel.
That night our worship team sang a song called, I’ll Never Be the Same Again. And I believed it with all of my heart.