Throughout my life, I considered myself a very good person with a positive outlook on life. Like the Pharisees, I self-righteously thought, "God, I thank you that I am not like other men - robbers, evildoers, adulterers."
I could not see myself as a sinner!
At age forty-five, however, I had become a broken woman! My lifelong religion had failed me and I had left the church.
Our rebellious son had dropped out of college. Our beautiful daughter, Amy, was being treated in a drug rehabilitation center. My husband, John, and I had not gotten along for quite some time and with the added anger, fear, grief and guilt, I decided to separate from John.
My judgmental mother and sister did not know how to comfort us. In complete agony and desperation, I cried out to my then "unknown" God. At that time, I had the feeling that my cry had been heard and I was somewhat comforted.
Amy started to read the Bible, which encouraged me to do the same. We both listened to a beautiful Christian tape and Christian friends were being brought into our lives. Amy graduated from the rehabilitaštion center and my husband and I agreed to a trial reconciliation.
At a Christian Women's Club meeting, I heard the salvation message for the first time, and made a covenant with my Father God to have Jesus, rather than myself, be the Lord of my life. At about the same time, Amy committed her life to Christ.
Neither Amy nor I were discipled and Satan battled furiously to try to confuse, frighten, and discourage both of us. However, we both were being drawn closer to our Lord and into strong Bible believing churches.
I discovered that my devout religious training had been a spiritual counterfeit and that my former religion, Christian Science, was not Christian at all, but was, in fact, a cult!
That discovery was so shocking and painful to me that I thought I would surely lose my mind.
Also, my mother (a C.S. practitioner) and I were in terrible conflict because of my rejection of her religion! Once again, I cried out to God to help me stay sane and to be able to really love and know Him through His Son, Jesus Christ.
John, Amy, and I were able to go to a Christian seminar where a biblical foundation was laid and where my husband also accepted the Lord. Amy went into a Christian college, and shortly thereafter our son graduated with honors from college and married his childhood sweetheart.
Somewhere, during this ongoing renewal process I was able to understand the following statement: "For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us." (2 Cor. 4:6-7).
No longer did I need to try to please a God who I thought demanded perfection from me!
He had made His light to shine in my heart through Christ! A precious unmerited gift!
If the Lord is willing this coming May, our daughter will graduate from college with a Christian counseling degree and she will be married to a wonderful young man who is also a Christian.
I thankfully close with verse two of hymn 293 found in Hymns for the Living Church, "Once I was foolish, and sin ruled my heart, causing my footsteps from God to depart. Jesus hath found me, happy my case: I now am a sinner saved by grace! This is my story, to God be the glory - I'm only a sinner saved by grace."
Copyright 1995 Watchman Fellowship, Inc. Used by permission.