Abbey M.

Abbey M.

from AL
Story #196
I was definitely blessed to have parents who not only took me to church every chance they could, but who also lived out their faith at home. They were two of the best examples of what it looked like to be followers of Christ, not just because of how they loved other people but because I saw them spend time studying the Bible and praying and making their relationship with God a priority when others weren’t around. My parents showed me that our salvation is not based on our works, but it’s about knowing Christ through His word and through prayer, and then taking what we learn and sharing it with the world through words and actions.

I was 11 years old when I prayed to God telling Him I believed that Jesus died in my place for my sin and asked Him for forgiveness and to be a part of my life. I had understood long before I prayed that prayer what it meant to be saved, and I fully believed everything I had been taught about Christ. I can remember my mom talking one night to my dad about her testimony as they were fixing supper. She was going to be sharing it with her sunday school class the next morning, and I remember asking her how she remembered when she got saved. She answered me with a question asking, “Do you not remember when you asked Jesus into your life?” And as an 11 year old I started to realize I didn’t remember a time when I actually repented of my sin and prayed for salvation. So that night, maybe out of worry that I wasn’t truly saved, I confessed my sin and told God I wanted Him to live in my heart. As an 11 year old, salvation was all about understanding why Jesus died on the cross for me…and it was also very much about choosing Heaven over Hell. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned those are not the only reasons I choose to follow Christ. Now my salvation is also about understanding that I am to be used by God to point others to Him. It means that my life has a purpose to help others know what the Gospel is all about. I got baptized a couple years later, and I’m thankful my parents waited on me to make that decision myself. I don’t think I would have truly appreciated the importance of it if they would have had me do it when I wasn’t ready. I felt the Lord tugging on my heart at 13 that it was time for me to show the world that I was choosing to follow Christ by getting baptized.

Growing up I was the kind of kid who followed the rules. I had a strong conviction of sin and tried to let my actions please God. I stayed out of trouble in high school and college because I wanted my life to reflect that I did not want to follow the world. I’m not perfect, and yes I have my fair share of sin in my life. Even though I fail a lot, I still try to be the best example of a Christian that I can. My relationship with Christ became most important to me when I lost my mom to cancer when I was in seventh grade. I have no idea how I would have handled the situation had I not been a Christian, but because I was and because my heart had been changed by the Lord, giving up on God was not an option. I can honestly say I have never had any anger towards God for the loss of my mom. Of course there have been and still are times when I get upset that she isn’t here with us, but one thing that God has consistently shown me in my life is that His plan is greater than mine, and amazingly enough it always works out so beautifully. Even though we have to go through trials, He always proves that He is still in control, and the end result is always better than we could imagine. I haven’t gone through a time in life where I have walked away from God...because I love life with Him, and I honestly don’t think I could handle life without Him.

Why do I choose to be a Christian and live my life for His cause? It’s because life is truly meaningless without Him. It’s because I believe hell is a real place, and I desire others to not have to spend eternity there. It’s because I want others to get to experience His love and know how awesome He really is. It’s because He is the one constant in this world, and I can trust His promises to take care of me. It’s because I am a sinner and I need a Savior. It’s because the one thing that has proven to give me the MOST joy in life is seeing God glorified. I don’t have everything in life figured out, and my relationship with God is a work in progress. I am constantly experiencing his grace and mercy in new ways and learning to love Him more and more. And the more I walk with Him on a daily basis, the more I learn that nothing else in this world satisfies.

“I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; apart from You I have no good thing.” -Psalm 16:2