I was saved by Jesus at VBS the summer of 1981. I was 9 years old.
Many Blessings this Easter!
But it wasn't until March 21st, 2002 that I actually met Him face to face.
Today at the Easter Service, Pastor Craig spoke about how today there is still HOPE and we can still turn our lives around if we only trust in Jesus, have a personal encounter with Him, and accept Him as our Lord, Our Savior.
Being Easter I am so thankful and in awe at the sacrifice He made for us! and Rejoice! that He Has Risen and lives in me today!
After that moment at VBS, I knew I was a christian, I prayed, I went to church, attended all of the usual church activities, things in my life were usually pretty easy.... no problems, no devastation, no real needs...just coasting along with MY "Life Plan". I graduated HS, then college, got a great job, caught the man of my dreams and became his wife, had two amazing girls...praying the whole way and sailing smoothly along, but never really meeting HIM face to face. I knew He was there, but He was kind of like my Bible, took Him out only on Sundays, but otherwise kinda just sat Him on the shelf, unless something out of the ordinary arose and I "needed" something. Pretty selfishly, I was thinking I was handling all this life stuff pretty good on my own......
Then came March 21st, 2002. My youngest daughter became gravely ill, went into respiratory failure and was on life-support for 4 days. By His Grace, she recovered and today, is a 2nd grade softball playing spitfire.
God made Himself so real to me in those days that I could literally feel His presence, almost actually seeing Him holding her sick little body. In the early hours of her illness, it was chaotic and unsettling, but as the days wore on, we got word that people from all over were praying for her, and I, myself, was literally on my knees in the floor at His feet praying. Gradually, my Hallie and I had a calm over us that was indescribable and remarkably life-changing. I could hear His voice in every decision that was made for her and He was so comforting, loving, and reassuring.
Shame on me for waiting for a near-tragic event to take place to actually take the time to meet HIM face to face, but I am so glad that He was there as He promised He would always be once you ask Him to live within you. God IS SO Good. Though I had placed Him on the shelf throughout my rather dull life, He came and held us up during those darkest hours and literally made His presence known. From that day on, my life has changed in a great way...I changed jobs, we found a new church home, and best of all, I changed the way my relationship was with the Lord that I had invited into my heart on that summer day in Vacation Bible School when I was 9.
Trust me, I am no Saint, no "religious guru" that can recite bible verses on cue, I have faults and they are many, I sin and sin often, but now my Jesus is a dear friend of mine that travels through life beside me, not behind me. I speak with Him regularly about everyday stuff....today, He is not just an acquaintance that I call up every now and then when I find it convenient or if I find myself in a fix.
So this Easter, I am giving thanks and praise that I have had a VERY close encounter with Jesus and that He walks with me on this amazing journey of life, and that through His incredible sacrifice and love for us all, I know that He always will.
Many Blessings this Easter!