I grew up in a Christian home where we went to Church and Sunday school every Sunday. We also attended Bible school every summer.
When I was 5 years old, I was at Bible school at our Church. At the end of every day our teachers had us bow our heads and close our eyes to pray. On this particular day our teacher said if anyone wanted to accept Jesus as their Savior to raise their hand. I knew then that this is what I wanted, so I raised my hand. The teacher came and prayed with me. Then she said I should tell someone what I did. When I got home I told my mom, she was happy, but being on a farm and a big family, she was also very busy.
That same night while I was sleeping, I was either dreaming or saw a vision of Jesus standing in the clouds with His arms stretched out. I can still see it. It was so real, beautiful and very colorful. As I was growing up I tried to be a good Christian, but there were many times I fell into worldly ways. I still went to Church and sang in the Choir.
Our Pastor, at that time, was very strict and would preach more on the fear of God than the Love of God.
One Sunday afternoon, my sister and I were supposed to go to choir practice, but we met up with our boyfriends. They asked if we wanted to go to a rodeo in another town with them. So of course we went even though we knew it was wrong. Sundays in our home was the Lords day and a day of rest. While we were growing up, we couldn’t do anything – like wash our hair, clean or do laundry. We had to play quietly in our rooms.
On our way to the rodeo and all day there I knew this was all wrong… I was so afraid that if Jesus would come back at that time I would surely go to Hell.
It was also against our religion to dance. I loved to dance even after I was married and we would go dancing. I would pray that I wouldn’t die on the dance floor because I still wasn’t sure where I would spend my eternal life.
It wasn’t until we started attending a different church that I felt the love of God. I knew then that once loved always loved, but we still have to be accountable for our sins and ask for forgiveness. Jesus said He would never leave us or forsake us. At times I think we leave Him or just put Him aside for a while. He is always waiting for us to come back to Him.
I went through a lot of heartaches throughout my life. We had to bury 2 of our children, which was the hardest thing I ever went through. I never thought any of my children would die before I did. I wondered if any good would ever come from this and I still wonder why.
As I said from the beginning, I come from a Christian home and I knew my mom and dad loved me, but they never told me. When we lost our oldest son I went to my parents and told them I loved them and didn’t want to wait until something more happened to share my love for them, they told me that they loved me too.
From then on, saying I Love You was so much easier. With my own family it’s just a common every day thing to say I Love You.
I believe that is what God wants to hear from us that we Love Him. We know that God loved us so much that He sent His only Son to die on the cross for our sins and that He rose from the dead to give us the free gift of salvation.
So through the good times and bad I remember that the Bible says in Philippians 4: 13 “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”