Are you looking for a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
Today I am going to share my full story of how I began a personal relationship with Jesus. I will also be sharing how you can have that same relationship. My relationship with Jesus is not a religion, it is not a a set of rules, or salvation from hell. It is a relationship where I am lost in this world without Jesus. He is a my hope.
I have waited a long time to share my testimony on here because my faith has evolved and faltered and I thought my story had no value. Then it hit me that every story is a story of God’s power and love.
Childhood and Jesus
I can’t tell you how many times I “accepted” Jesus as a child. I went to church as a child. My parents took me as a young child and then later on I rode the church bus once my parents no longer went. I was a Vacation Bible School addict, not only going to my church’s but several other churches as well. I knew the Bible. Memorizing Bible verses was something I was very good at. I could tell you how to get to Heaven with the Romans Road.
Did I have a personal relationship with Jesus as a child? No.
I didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus as a child because I was repeating back what I heard and was “accepting” Jesus because I wanted approval from the adults I was around. As a child that suffered abuse at home, the adults at church were different and I wanted to be accepted by them. Though I did not accept Jesus as my Savior as a child, those bus workers, Sunday Sunday teachers, and adults that mentored me played an important role in me knowing Jesus.
I do believe a child can have a personal relationship with Christ, but I was not one of them.
Jesus and My Teenage Years
I became very involved with church despite feeling like an outcast because I was a bus kid. By my teens I was a foster kid and had lived in several homes by time I was 15. My foster mom, Irene, had a very personal relationship with Jesus and I admired her life. She lived what I learned about in church. Her marriage was amazing and she was a wonderful Mom.
When it came time to pick a career, I knew I wanted to be a teacher and a Pastor’s wife. I chose a Christian college.
The Start of My Personal Relationship with Jesus
Going into the Christian College experience was a little eye-opening for me. “Church” activities were all the time and everyone seemed to be in love with Jesus. Why didn’t I feel that way? Where was my passion for Jesus? I knew the Bible, I could sing all the hymns (and could probably tell you the hymn number), I could repeat the verses. I was missing something though.
In September shortly after the beginning of the semester there was a special chapel speaker and he was talking about missing Heaven by 12 inches (typical distance between the head and the heart). Even though I “knew” Jesus, I did not know Jesus personally. I knew about the Savior, but never made it personal. I believed Jesus died for my sins, I believed he loved me. I had to make the transition from head knowledge to heart acceptance.
The Prayer that Changed My Life
Most of the time when someone is leading someone to Christ they have them repeat a prayer. I am ok with that, but I needed something more personal. I didn’t want to repeat the prayer I heard all my life and even lead other people to pray.
For Jesus to become my first love I had to open myself for a relationship with Him. First, I apologized for not coming to Him earlier and then ask for forgiveness for all of my sins. Then I asked Jesus to become my Lord, my Savior, my All in All.
I wish I could say that a change to loving Jesus like others I was around was instant. It’s not for most people. The more I spent with Jesus praying and reading my Bible, the more and more I fell in love with Him. The more I realized God took care of me this whole time.
Once you ask Jesus in your heart, you should start changing. You hear stories all the time of drug addicts, criminals, and other people who did terrible things who changed their life completely around once trusting Jesus as their Savior. My story is not that. I was a “good” girl that had a rough childhood so my change is different no less as amazing as someone else. I went from a fake relationship to a real one. One that changed my life forever.
How Can You Have Jesus as Your Savior?
First thing is that you have to believe there is more to life than what we are living. It is hard to believe in Jesus if you don’t believe there is more to the life we are in.
Next you admit that you are not perfect, you sometimes lie or are prideful, or lust after something. Do a complete soul search. God created us with a free will and that means we don’t always do what is right. We don’t always want to do what is right either. See Heaven is a perfect place and sin cannot be there so by ourselves we can’t get to Heaven.
Jesus was 100% God and 100% man. He experienced temptation, yet did not do any wrong. God gave us Jesus to have him die for our sins so that we can enter Heaven.
Ask God for forgiveness and accept Jesus as your saving grace into Heaven and for your life. It really is that simple. Invite him into your life and cultivate a relationship with Jesus by getting to know Him through His love letter to us (The Bible). Just like any relationship, it is a two way street. Jesus loves you and will always be there, but you need to put effort into knowing Him better.
The best things about all this is that once you accept Jesus as your Savior, you are His forever. You are His child, even if you stray, you are still His.
I would love to hear your story about how you came to Jesus, share in the comments below!