Our church is doing the small group study, Just Walk Across the Room, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VysahP_x7Wc&feature=related in an effort to help us as Christians to share our faith with others. One of the exercises we are challenged to do is to put in writing our "Before and After" story. Before and after Christ, that is. To tell how our life was before knowing Christ and how our life is after knowing Christ.
For me the story starts a long time ago, when I was just a child. Even as a little girl, I could sense God calling me. I was raised in a christian home, by christian parents and grandparents who taught me by their example the gospel of Jesus Christ. I accepted Jesus as my savior at a young age and had a child-like trust in him.
During my teen years, I struggled with peer pressure and the pull of the world and I'm sad to say, the world won in that struggle. I did things that I knew were wrong on Saturday night and then I would go to church on Sunday morning. I straddled the fence, so to speak, during my teens and young adult life; confessing my sins and then falling to temptation again. I knew that I was "saved" because salvation is based on the truth that when Jesus died on the cross, he paid the penalty for my sins. (Ephesians 2:8) But, I was lacking in the commitment department: I was still carnal, a lukewarm christian. I never stopped going to church, but I had a deep longing in my heart for something more. I felt empty and disappointed with my life and how things were going.
But, one day a friend invited me to a ladies Bible study. And for the first time, I began reading God's Word for myself. I remember getting so excited that I read the whole book of John in one day. The Word of God became alive to me, and it began to change my life. (Hebrews 4:12) That ladies Bible study was just the beginning of a life-long quest to find out more about this God who loved me so much he would die to save me from death and hell.
I learned also about the Holy Spirit and his role in my life as the Comforter, and I asked him to fill me completely and to take control of my life. When I surrendered my life to him, yielding every area of it to him and his will, sin no longer ruled in my life. (Romans 6:6) I wasn't straddling the fence any longer. Gone were the days of running with the world and its crowd, because now I was walking daily with God's Holy Spirit as my guide.
Before I surrendered my life to Jesus and gave him the keys to my heart, I was living a miserable and defeated life. After Jesus became the Lord of my life, I now have joy and peace and enjoy sweet fellowship with him everyday.