Friday, July 16, 2010

Journey of Faith Friday: Salvation

Amber's Articles





SALVATION






I was 11 years old and had little understanding of Jesus death, His resurrection, hell, or redemption (I had attended church on and off through out my short life, but at this point have little memory of what I knew and/or did not know in regards to Christian faith).  My sister and I, along with several friends were watching a play that was being held at the church we had been attending.  It was a play that demonstrated the difference between life after death for a person who had surrendered their life to Jesus and a person who had not (I think it's called Heaven's Gates/Hell's Flames).  That evening several of my friends surrendered their life to Jesus, including my sister.  I remember sitting outside, alone, on a curb, trying to process what I had just seen and heard.  After a few moments, I walked back into the church, joined my sister and friends in accepting Jesus as Savior of my life.  I wish I could say I followed whole heartedly from that point forward, but I can't.  I was baptized a few weeks later and I remember carrying my Bible to school attempting to read it on a regular basis.  The days passed, then months, then years and I became another Christian who attended church with little discipleship and excessive rebellion.




Several years later a sad, broken, 19 year old girl met Jesus in a new way while attending an F.C.A. meeting at the University of Kentucky.  Here is what I wrote in my journal:

November 11, 1998

"One of the most extraordinary things of my life happened tonight.  I experienced your power, LORD, so strong in my soul that I knew everything would be okay.  It was at FCA, brother Wayne spoke and everything he said I related to....I should be an example for non-Christians to notice.  That is what I long for.  A relationship with you where you feed me with your grace and starve me of doubt.  

You make me whole.  You protect me.  You save me.  Most of all, you keep your eyes on me even when I am failing.  Brother Wayne related everything tonight to the time Peter went fishing and caught nothing.  God said cast your net on the right side and he caught more than he could pull in.  However, before he rejoiced [over the number of fish he caught] he [jumped in the water] and swam to the LORD....Well, tonight I ask for my net to be filled....I lay down living my way.  I'm tired of being tired.   I convert my doing to your doing.  My power to your power.  My word to your word.  And my heart into your hands.  Strip me of the sinfulness and [cover] me with your love.  

I am here, take me and use me as one of your tools to spread the gospel.  Whatever your plan is for me I pray to listen and follow.  [I] praise your name!  You are an awesome God!"

Again, I wish I could say I followed whole heartedly from that point forward, but I can't.  However, the difference is that night began a journey that is ever changing, but the focus has been the same.  For the past 12 years, my focus has been allowing Jesus to transform me into the person He desires me to be.  I have stumbled.  I have fallen.  I have doubted.  I have believed.  I have led.  I have followed.  I have bowed.  I have ignored.  I have heard.  I have loved.  I have cried.  I have LAUGHed.  I have crawled.  I have ran.  I have raised hands.  I have raised fists.  I have kept coming back.  I have been and am being transformed.

When I reflect on my story of salvation I am reminded of   

Psalm 40: 1-5

1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
he turned to me and heard my cry.




 2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
       out of the mud and mire; 
       he set my feet on a rock 
       and gave me a firm place to stand.
 3 He put a new song in my mouth, 
       a hymn of praise to our God. 
       Many will see and fear 
       and put their trust in the LORD.
 4 Blessed is the man 
       who makes the LORD his trust, 
       who does not look to the proud, 
       to those who turn aside to false gods. [a]
 5 Many, O LORD my God, 
       are the wonders you have done. 
       The things you planned for us 
       no one can recount to you; 
       were I to speak and tell of them, 
       they would be too many to declare.






What is your story of salvation?  How did you come to know Jesus as Savior?  Would you share it with us today?  If you'd like to share your SALVATION STORY... enter the direct URL to your exact post  in the link tool below (just under "you are next").  

If you join us, please help us find one another by sharing the "Journey of Faith Friday" graphic via HTML code within your post.  You can copy and paste the code that is located below "Journey of Faith Friday" at the top of this post.   

I look forward to reading how your journey with Jesus began.
Thank you for sharing.






Next Friday:  Consider sharing a time of doubt in your faith journey and 
how God revealed Himself to you through your time of struggle.



7 comments:

Laura said...

I couldn't figure out how to submit at first so the first one doesn't work. If you know how to erase it you can get rid of it! I tried but I can't figure it out. This whole blogging thing is still hard!

Stephanie said...

Thank you for sharing your touching story, Amber! I really love this new "Journey of Faith" and your blog looks GREAT!! Did you do it yourself?! I love it! I'll definitely be linking up next Friday!

Carolina said...

I will be leaving my story, I just need a couple of days to write it out!:)

I love the title of 'picking up stones along the way'. I inmediately thought of a passage which I will send to you soon.

kelster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kelster said...

Great Amber! Funny you should mention Psalm 40. I wrote a poetic rendition of the chapter years ago, and just realized I never posted it to my blog here, although I did on hubpages. Check it out. I'll post it today.

Sandy said...

Thanks, Amber, for sharing your accessible, transparent story - I loved reading it. Thanks, also, for the invitation, encouragement and structure to write. It took me all afternoon to write and assemble and the post is pretty dry, but at least I got it done before day's end! :-) And now I get to enjoy the other women's stories...

Rene' said...

Thank you for sharing your faith...it really touched me and I know you are touching many more lives... I pray the Lord continues to use you!

Blessings,
Rene'

ps this is my first time here and it is really late...I will stop back :)