"In a few sentences, write what led you to understand that you need Christ to take away your sin."
- The best way I have ever had the concept of sin explained to me is when I attended the baptism class that Pastor Jeff Barbour taught. I had always known that only if you repent for your sins and ask The Lord for forgiveness will you be forgiven. However, I did not fully understand the concept until attending the baptism class. The idea of being born with a stone heart and overtime there is wear and tear on your heart which is created through sin, is an idea that will remain with me forever. Without The Lord, the marks and scars created by sin would continue to grow unless I recognized that I needed to see the wrong in my sins, and not only decided to ask for forgiveness, but to not revert to old habits/sins.
"Describe what your life was like before you gave your life to Jesus Christ."
- I was born into a Christian family and although I never doubted Jesus Christ as a child, I did not make the decision on my own to follow God, therefore it wasn't MY choice. Throughout the last few years I have gone through many struggles which in some situations made me doubt my faith. The last seven months entailed the biggest of struggles I have ever undergone and I lived a life of pain and loneliness. I was selfish, unforgiving, ungrateful and as much as it hurts to say, I had lost my faith in God who had given me everything which I hadn't been thankful for at the time. I was extremely depressed and seemed to place the blame on everyone else for things which they, nor I, had any control over. My life was spiraling downhill and at times I felt as though I had no purpose on this earth. Little did I recognize, I thought I had "tried everything I could" except for putting my faith in God and seeing the signs that were being placed right in front of me, until now.
HOW AND WHEN AND WHY
" Tell us how and when and why(specific details) you received Christ as your Lord and Savior. Explain it in such a way that a non-Christian would understand how to become a Christian."
- After months of struggling financially and emotionally, as many people do, I began to question my place in this world. Every single day was a constant struggle to fake a smile at work and even at home. As everything in my life seemed to be taking a turn for the worse, I questioned why God would let this happen to me. I was working almost full time, going to school full time and trying to maintain a clean house while still struggling each month to make ends meet. Sometimes having to sacrifice going grocery shopping, or putting as little as 5 dollars in my gas tank I began to give up. All at once I saw a negative pattern taking place, my garage door broke, my bathroom toilet began leaking, my car tire had a hole in it, my dryer stopped working, the plugs in my house would not work, my dog almost died in which vet bills placed us in debt, and through all of this I had not given God any kind of appreciation for what we did have or even any thought as to why it was happening. As my boyfriend and I sat on the couch in our apartment, I believe God came to him and helped us realize together that we needed him in our lives. I believe The Lord was giving us signs, in which we unknowingly ignored, telling us, "I AM RIGHT HERE IN FRONT OF YOU." As we sat on the couch and talked about how we didn't deserve anything we were asking for because we didn't do our part in trusting Gods plan, I came to realize that my selfish behavior was the reason for my pain and loneliness.
"Who helped you understand what to do?"
- Together my boyfriend Robbie and I decided that we had given thought to everything besides God and we realized that we needed God in our lives. We knew that Dennis and Andrea Searcy had been attending HDC and we asked if we could attend with them on a Sunday service. During the service we both felt as though God was talking directly to us and in the house of The Lord we felt welcomed and we couldn't wait to attend again. After service we went to lunch with Andrea and Dennis and they helped us understand a lot of things that we had questioned previously.
"In a few sentences, explain how your life is different now that Jesus is in it."
-Since the day we sat on the couch and prayed and committed our lives to Jesus, we have lived happier lives all around. We pray together many times throughout the day, thanking Jesus for allowing us to be alive and thanking Jesus for things that we never even considered to be a blessing previously. We have truly come to recognize the important things in life and although we still have struggles, we are learning to manage our feelings about the situations by trying to remain thankful and have a positive attitude about the things that we KNOW will soon pass.
"Make sure you have a clear and concise closing sentence that you can memorize to tell others."
-Although I am a sinner daily, Jesus will always stand by my side and continue to love me despite the mistakes I have made in the past, and mistakes I will make in the future. At times I have felt as though I do not deserve Gods love since I have sinned and not fully committed my life to The Lord prior to just over a month ago, and I definitely did not think that I had the right to be baptized after just recently making the choice to give my life to The Lord. However, Dennis told me he had the same feeling and the way he explained it to me was that I do not have to "Polish" myself to choose to follow Jesus as my Savior.