I cannot remember a time when Jesus wasn’t a part of my life. One of my earliest memories is of my grandmother diligently teaching me the Lord’s prayer before saying goodnight each day. My parents and grandparents practiced and modeled devotion to God by observing many rhythms of Christian life – church on Sunday, weekly bible study fellowships hosted in our or other church members homes, and special Christmas and Easter services. When I was seven, I was gifted with a children’s Bible that I devoured. It was my favorite book, that would often be taken in my backpack and shared with friends at school.
I am grateful to have had consistent access to churches who preached the Gospel and children and youth ministers who faithfully taught the Gospel through weekly Sunday lessons. All the influences at home and consistent access to church is what God lovingly used to show me how my sin leads to death apart from following and trusting in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.
I made a formal decision to follow Christ on a regular Sunday service at around the age of 10. The pastor asked if anyone felt called to follow Jesus for life that day. He invited anyone who wanted to become a Christian to bravely stand and walk towards the front of the church to signify the commitment and allegiance to follow God. On that day, I felt like I couldn’t wait any longer to declare in some public way that I believed in Christ’s power to save me from a lifetime of sin. I remember the Holy Spirit convincing me that fear shouldn’t stop me from following Christ and that He wouldn’t let me go once I made this commitment. That day, I took a step of faith to walk to the front of the church to start a new life in Christ.
It would be a few years later before I was baptized on an Easter Sunday while I was in middle school.
Since my baptism, I have grown in my relationship with Christ, depth of understanding of how the gospel impacts all of life and our world. After following Christ now for more than two decades, I can attest to the Holy Spirit’s power to keep me rooted in my faith throughout various stages of my life thus far – through tumultuous teenage and college years, through the transition from childhood to adulthood, through 11 years of marriage, and through the transition to motherhood. I praise God for His gracious love to call me as a follower from such a young age and has never let me go.