Salvation Stories

Today I'm linking up with Callie Nicole from Through Clouded Glass to share the story of my Salvation.  She had this wonderful idea to create a blog link-up where we all shared our stories, in anticipation for Thanksgiving.  I don't know why I never have sweet ideas like this, but I'm glad at least somebody does!  So, thanks girl!

Salvation Stories

My story is rather simple... it is not one of revelation or white lights.  I did not feel anything when I finally decided to give my whole life to Jesus.  It was completely a conscious decision, made purposefully... it was not feeling drivin or emotional.  

I grew up in a "Christian home".  We went to church almost every Sunday.  I went to Christian school and later a Catholic High School.  I grew up singing hymns and Bible songs.  I went to children's church, VBS, and youth group.  I knew all the right answers... "Jesus"... "The Bible says so"... etc.  But had I given my life to Jesus?  My whole life?  Every single part of me?  No.

I remember being 5 years old.  I was in Kindergarden and we went to chapel weekly.  At the end of the chapel service, the pastor would ask if anyone wanted to invite Jesus into their heart, to repeat a prayer.  I did.  I felt good.  I knew Jesus and loved him... I really did.  But then the next week came, the pastor asked us to invite Jesus into our hearts, and I did again... just in case He didn't hear me the first time.  And this went on... for years.  I wasn't absolutely certain that He was there... of course, I was only 5 and I didn't fully understand.  But, I also didn't ask my parents. 

In my teen years, I became overwhelmingly rebellious.  I still went to church on Sundays... but with a massive hangover and sunglasses on to cover my dozing eyes.  Youth group was a joke... it was a way for us to show off to one another and brag about who did what and with who.  But, during the service, we all still knew the right answers... and even could recite Bible verses at this point.  I believe Jesus was in fact still residing in my heart, but I had buried Him so deeply underneath my own desires, that you couldn't tell He was there at all.   I really felt like I was young and that I'd have time to be a "good Christian" later.  At this point, I just wanted to have fun.

Then in my late teens I fell even farther away from Jesus.  When I was diagnosed with RA and began to have physical disabilities, I became frustrated and depressed.  Instead of leaning on my faith and trusting in the Lord, I found comfort in alcohol.  I knew that what I was doing was wrong... I knew I was a disappointment... but I shut out those thoughts and voices and continued to drown my sorrows.  I soon realized that it wasn't enough.  I had such a huge hole in my chest... a void that was making me empty.  But I was so angry with my situation that I couldn't turn back. 

Mauricio and I started dating when I was 21.  He was still in high school and only 17.  I had known him for years already, as he went to youth group with me.  Since I was older than him and since he wanted to be with me so badly, I was able to persuade him to fall into the hole with me.  He had his own problems at the time too, and we both knew that we were "bad Christians".  

It wasn't until about 2 years later that a change was made.  All of a sudden, Mauricio changed.  He was not the guy I was originally with.  He didn't want to party anymore... and that was the least of it.  He had been convicted.... convicted to turn his life around, grow up, trust in Jesus and lead us to a future that was pleasing to Him.  At first, I didn't like it.  I had been this way for a long time and it was hard to change... really hard.

You know, that's the thing they don't tell you about becoming a Christian.  Changing doesn't happen overnight and it's not easy.  But Mauricio was praying for me and so was I... that Jesus would open my eyes and my heart and that I'd love and obey Him.  And so I started to... little by little.  I let go of a lot of my friends and made new ones.  It wasn't easy and it hurt a lot, but I knew it was the only way for me to be right with Jesus.  I changed my behavior first, and my heart followed.  I made the conscious decision to stop doing the things I knew were not pleasing to Jesus, even against my own desire and will.  And after practicing that... denying myself... my heart began to change... it became softer. 

You see, for me it was different.  I knew the truth about Jesus.  I believed He was the Son of God.  I believed He came to the earth for the forgiveness of my sins.  I believed He was my Savior.  I had all the head knowledge... all of it.  But I hadn't surrendered. I hadn't given Him my whole life.  

"... for whoever loses his life for my sake will find it".  Matthew 10:39

So I lost my life.  I gave it to Him.  And guess what?  I found it.  I found the life that He has wanted me to live.  And it has FAR exceeded my expectations!  His future for me has been filled with love, blessing and light.  I can't believe I ever wanted to do it alone!  

Throughout the years I have surrendered even more... although I'm sure there's far more to go.  I have learned more about the identity of Christ, but not just with my head... also with my heart.  And the more I learn about who Jesus is, the more I fall in love with Him.

Now I still say that prayer every Sunday to invite Jesus into my heart.  But not because I don't think He's there, or that my time with Him has expired or that He didn't hear me the first thousand times.  I say it now as a reminder.  A reminder of who I am and to whom I belong.  Jesus is my Savior.  I am His, completely. 


Heloisa said...

Dear Nicole...
It's just amazing...
I love you!

Callie Nicole said...

This is a beautiful story, Nicole - I loved reading about how choosing to give Jesus your whole life turned your life around! It gave me shivers. Thank you for sharing your story!

Rita said...

WOW MIJA, You ARE Amazing!! I am so proud of you, you are truly an inspiration to me! I LOVE YOU, MAMI