Everyone has a testimony they say. I honestly really didn’t think I did. Not really. I mean I don’t have one of those great “the moment I was saved” stories.
Actually, I don’t know the moment I was saved. And that has caused me a great deal of “christian anxiety” for lack of a better term.
They (you know, those people who say the things) say that you’ll never forget the moment you were saved. So for me, I have really been bothered by not knowing the moment I was saved.
Because as a good Christian, you are supposed to know that.
As a little girl, I attended a Good News Club at the church beside my house. I don’t remember a lot about it, but the sweet older lady, Mary Jane (known still to most of the county I grew up in) had these little classes and it was a multi-week thing and we had fun and learned about Jesus.
I didn’t go to church other than this short term little Good News Club. But I knew. I knew with all that was in me that Jesus was God. I couldn’t explain it, but I remember saying in first grade that the Sun and the Moon were the same just like Jesus and God were the same. I didn’t know how wrong (and right) I was.
I remember sweet Mary Jane telling us about Jesus. I don’t remember the moments, but I remember that it happened. And I remember her telling us that we needed to ask Jesus into our hearts to get into heaven.
So, as a little terrified 7 year old girl, I remember hiding in my mom’s kitchen asking Jesus to come into my heart. Because I was terrified of not going to heaven.
Fast forward a few years. I never went to church. No more Good News Clubs. But I met and fell in love with my high school sweetheart. We married, knowing that when we had kids, we would take them to church. He had been raised in church. We thought that was a good thing. We didn’t really know why, just that it was the thing to do.
So we had a kid. And started thinking about finding a church. Then we discovered we were having another kid and decided it was time to stop playing house and get busy finding a church.
I’ve often said God can find you anywhere, even in church. And that is where he found me.
We fell in love with our church on the second trip there, 16 and a half years ago. The sweet little old couple that greeted us, remembering we had been there the week before with a friend, are long gone but greatly impacted our desire to return. When we decided to join, the issue of my baptism came up. The associate pastor asked if I had been baptized. I said no. He asked if I believed that Jesus died for my sins and rose from the grave. I said yes. He offered to baptize me so we could join the church.
That was pretty well my story. And it seemed pretty weak. Was I saved that day as a little girl when I so earnestly asked yet never even tried to live like Jesus? Was I saved that day in Ric’s office? Was I saved some time after that when teaching countless children about Jesus? Was it the night I laid in bed, chatting with God asking him again about how do I know I’m saved when I don’t know when I was saved? Was it that moment on the staircase at church as I listened to the worship leader sing “Amazing Love how can it be, that you my King would die for me” overwhelmed by the staggering truth of this one line?
Then finally, God, in the way only He can, told me that this was not worthy of my fret. Because the truth here is that my testimony is one of God’s great faithfulness to a little girl. When I prayed that day when I was 7, God knew. He knew where I would end up. Was I saved that day? I don’t know. I know it doesn’t matter. I believe I was sealed. I know if you had asked me when I was 16 or 17 years old I would have said I was not saved. I was not a Christian. And between those years and that moment in the pastor’s office, I never stopped and “prayed again”. But I know in that moment, I believed it all. Though I had almost no bible education, I knew the one simple important truth. It was deeply ingrained in my heart from a faithful servant twenty years before.
Jesus died for my sins. He paid for my sins with his blood. He bought me from the master of this earth and gave me a home in heaven.
When was I saved? Yeah, I don’t know. But I have been saved.
And this, my friends, is why VBS matters. VBS. Good News Clubs. Booths at the fair. Because God is faithful. He plants, waters and grows through His faithful servants. My life was touched and changed by a faithful servant who planted seeds at a Good News Club, in his office meeting new members, from her living room sharing her love of children, from the platform singing the praises of the King. My life was indelibly changed by a faithful God and faithful servants.
And this is why VBS matters so much to me.