I had never seen this picture before I did a Google search for an image to add to this post. I searched for the name of my childhood church, Mamre Assembly of God, hoping for a picture without success. Then I found this one and instantly knew, this is it. This is really the image that best describes my moment of accepting Jesus.
When I was about four years old my parents were informed that I had a hole between the chambers of my heart and would require surgery. My mom & dad were understandably frightened and like so many of us, this fear turned them toward church. Christian relatives of my mother's encouraged them to take me to a service where I could be prayed for. I don't know how much they were driven by faith and how much by desperation but they following this advice. My doctors re-examined me following this healing service we attended and found there was no heart murmur, the first hint of my defect. That was because there was no defect, the hole in my heart was closed and I did not require surgery. This was the turning point for my mom and dad. With tangible evidence of a loving, powerful and healing God before them; they gave their lives to the Lord and as a family we began to attend Mamre Assembly of God.
That was the catalyst for my acceptance of Christ as my personal savior but I have to admit, that is as much of a story as I have to share. I was so young that I really don't remember a time when I was not "saved." I remember being raised on the story of my miraculous healing and perhaps with this remarkable testimony I had no option within myself except to know that I was literally saved by Jesus. I never experienced the common teenage doubt nor do I recall not knowing the Lord. That's why this picture so spoke to me. This is really the story of my salvation. I think of Jesus as always having been there. I used to be embarrassed when there would be moments to share one's salvation experience. People had actual dates and times, they could tell you where they were and what was happening. They could often name the person who prayed with them and led them to the Lord. I don't have that. I have no before and after. This no longer bothers me because now I realize what great privilege I've experienced. To have always known him, to have no memory of a time when I did not know for certain he was right there beside me. That must be a painful thing, to live without the assurance of Jesus. I have been spared that.
As I grew up I would come to realize at various times that I needed to recommit myself to the Lord. I might reach a new understanding, another stage of maturity and in this new grasp of what salvation really meant I would feel compelled to recognize the great sacrifice made for me and I would have my own private moment of accepting what I now understood to be the payment for my sins. I have also had times in my life when I was in soul drift and would need to drop my anchor again at the cross to remind myself that salvation was free but could be lost.
As a little girl I knew only that Jesus was my Lord and I needed to serve him to spend eternity in heaven with him. Over the years since my four year old heart was knit back together, God has healed my heart time and time again; now in spiritual places. I have been taught now of the potential of my own sinful nature to bring a living and then an eternal death to me. I understand now that the blood of Christ provided the life that I could not gain on my own. I have only begun to grasp what manner of love this is.
So that is my salvation story, not very exciting, is it? Not rescued from drugs or prostitution. No, just a four year old little girl who walked into a church one evening with her parents. Just a simple life kissed by Christ.