This day four years ago marked the biggest event in mine and Dylan’s lives. It was the day God saved us.
I know a lot of Christ followers who cannot pinpoint a specific day that their lives were forever changed by God Almighty. For many, it is more of a period of time. But for the two of us, we can give you the day our world was turned upside down.
Our salvation, it seems, is unlike most couples out there, in that the two of us were saved on the same day! We started our marriage as unbelievers, and by God’s grace alone, we stayed married until that blessed day. Prior to Feb 10, 2008, both of us would have said we were “believers”, but it was merely an intellectual belief. We believed that Christ was the Son of God. We believed He lived, died, rose again, and lives in Heaven, “watching over us”. Sure we believed, don’t all good southern kids. We even knew some of right lingo to get through a spiritual conversation if need be, but there was one huge problem. We loved sin. There was no evidence of Christ in us. In fact, in most areas, our lives were the complete opposite of anything that resembled the life of a believer. And had we been taken from this earth prior to that day, we would have spent eternity apart from our Father.
The Bible tells us in 1 John 1:5-10, that if we walk in darkness, we are not in Christ, and therefore there is no salvation (my explanation of the passage). And without salvation,”…the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). We deserved death. We loved sin, not God. And our lives were proof of it. We had many gods and The God of the universe, was not one of them. But praise be to God the Father, who pursued us, even in the depths of our self-indulged world, and saved us from our sins.
Prior to Feb 10, 2008, if asked about my testimony, I would have gotten really fidgety, and then told you, “It happened in 4th grade, when I asked the Lord to come into my heart”. I always wrote that off as my conversion experience. However, this was just a feeling that happened one day when my teacher made me emotional by something she said. I don’t even remember that something was. At that time, I did not understand the cost that following Christ entailed, and I definitely had not surrendered my life to Him. I continued living life for me, and it showed. I grew up to be a teen and twenty-something that enjoyed a life of partying and self-indulgence. Nothing about my life honored Christ. And all that “fun”, was breaking me down. I was depressed, even if you didn’t see it from the outside. I put on a good show. And it all caught up with me in January 2008. God was stirring, gripping me with thoughts that were not letting go. I hated my life, I hated living. I just wanted it all to go away. I was broken. But it was that brokenness that God used to woo my heart.
My brother-in-law had been more than persistent in asking Dylan to come to his church, and in the true fashion of a non-believer, Dylan found every excuse not to come. We had been there before, and it was too convicting. Kinda torturous. We would leave worship in silence. Being eaten up with guilt and conviction, and just knowing something was not right and needed to be changed. I however knew I could not go on like I was for much longer. So we went back for the next few weeks.
It all came to a head on this day 4 years ago when our pastor, David, was teaching a series called “Sin in the Camp“. I will spare you every detail of that day (though it remains vivid in my mind), because I would go on, and on. But I left that service with a promise to God that I would not let the sun go down that day without confessing my sins, and letting go of my life as it currently was being lived. I had to first confess to my husband some things that I had been keeping from him. I knew this could have great ramifications, and that is part of the reason I had been hanging on to my secrets for so long. I loved my husband and did not want to lose him.
Evening came, and I knew I had to keep my promise. I never would have thought this conversation I had been putting off for so long, would have ended the way it did. Dylan loved me in spite of my sins, and even confessed sin in his own life to me. We wept. It was a tough night. The unknown was scary, but we knew we could only do it with God’s strength, and so we rested in that. Dylan then led us in prayer, for the first time in our five years of marriage. We begged God for forgiveness for our sin, and our total disregard for Him and what He has done for us. We asked Him to change us. And that, He did.
By no means was that change apparent to everyone when we woke on February 11th, but He started that day, molding us into something that looks less like us, and more like Himself. Sanctification is a lifelong process and He uses His Word, other believers, and life situations to teach us more about who He is, and to show us our sin. We’ve learned to hate sin… in our lives, in others lives, and in the world in general. We have a completely different view of the world around us, our purpose in it, and He has borne a desire in us for others to see the Truth.
So today we rejoice. In Christ’s unfailing love for His children. In a marriage that was made new. In 2 hearts that were made new. And for the promise that He will never leave us or forsake us. He’s brought us new life and though we will never be able to repay this precious gift, we pray that we bring glory to Him in the way our lives are lived from here on out.
I wanted to include a few verses that really helped me understand what that day (and our lives thereafter) meant, and who deserves every ounce of credit for it. 🙂
I John 1:5-10 God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.
Ephesians 2:1-10 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (emphasis mine)… (photo below, not mine, but isn’t it lovely)