From a very young age, my parents instilled in me who Christ is and what he came to this earth to accomplish. I remember never questioning or doubting anything about it. I can remember my parents always praying together, separately, and with me and watching in amazement as those prayers were answered; even the smallest prayers. As I grew into my pre-teen years there was a period of time that I went through a great amount of fear about the future. This was during the Y2K belief that the world would turn to chaos when we hit the year 2000, and this fear became more real after we had a big earthquake toward the end of 1999. I guess I felt like it was something out of the book of Revelation. I felt so ashamed of being afraid of this, that I chose to not tell anybody what was troubling me. I would lie awake in bed at night, not being able to sleep because I was so worried, and also fearing another big earthquake. Then it finally clicked...I just needed to pray. And pray I did! I would literally pray until I fell asleep. I would pray for comfort, for a hopeful future, and whatever else was going on in my life. The amazing thing is that it was like I could almost feel Jesus sitting at the side of my bed with comforting hands that made every worry, fear, and stress disappear. It was during this period of time that I realized my need for Christ and that no matter what I was going through or would go through in the future, He could turn it all around.
It was within a year after the whole Y2K thing turned out to be a hoax that I received Christ as my Lord and Savior. I use Y2K as a reference because in the final months of 1999, I was fearing the worst...that the world was coming to an end. As a thirteen year old boy, that was extremely frightening. I found my comfort in Jesus and it was during those months that I really established my relationship with Jesus Christ. When we made it to the year 2000 and we were all still alive, I not only thanked Him but began to realize that there was nothing to fear in the first place. I continued to pray daily and nightly, only to find that Jesus was still there to answer my prayers and guide me through each day. So on Easter Sunday, 2001 at a sunrise church service on a college football field, I felt Jesus speak to me this time. When the service was ending and the pastor made an altar call to anyone who wants to come up and pray to be saved, I felt the tug in my heart (and so did my younger brother), and we both walked up to the stage and a pastor took us aside and prayed with us. The joy I felt after that is something I can still feel to this day because from that moment on Jesus has lived in my heart and has never left.
Since I accepted Christ as my Savior, my life is different because I rely solely on Him to see me through ALL circumstances of my life. I have also learned, and continue to learn, about what sin is, and what Jesus was sent to this earth to accomplish. Jesus was the only perfect human to walk this earth, and also the perfect example of how God created us to be. He left footsteps that can be extremely hard to follow, but well worth it if we do. Yes, Jesus died for us to save us from our sins, which is the definition of love. But following Him, and being an example of Him and His works should be our top priority in such a broken world, because when Jesus saves us, He saves us form hell!