Welcome to Songs of Salvation! Each Sunday I will feature a Christian author sharing a "Song of Salvation" to uplift and encourage believers and glorify God.
And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death. Revelation 12:11 NLT
Authors, find out how to share your Song of Salvation here.
“I don’t have a good testimony.” How many times did I say that in my younger days? Like many people raised in the church, I don’t have a gripping salvation story.
However, I’ve come to see that I do have a powerful testimony—a song of sanctification.
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me” Revelation 3:20.
At the age of nine, I attended a performance of my church’s youth group choir. Having attended Sunday school all my life, I knew all the stories and verses—and had the perfect attendance pins to prove it. But it wasn’t until that musical that it all came together. Those high schoolers glowed with the love of Jesus, and I wanted what they had. When they quoted Revelation 3:20, I finally understood what it meant to have Jesus in your heart, and I prayed.
Not a story that will bring swarms of lost sinners to Christ. But God wasn’t—isn’t!—done with my story. In college, I abandoned my “goody-two-shoes” ways in search of fun and popularity. Instead I only found chaos and heartbreak.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” 1 John 1:9.
As a little girl, I would agree with the Sunday school teacher that I was a sinner, but I didn’t really believe it. After college I believed it. I knew full well what I was capable of, and I was appalled.
On the first day of pharmacy school, I met my future husband. He invited me to church, and I accepted eagerly. But coming back into the Lord’s presence was like walking into the full sun from a pitch-black room. It hurt. It hurt deeply. The Lord’s light showed me how far I’d fallen. But in his mercy, he also showed me the way back. He forgave my sins.
“‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing’” John 15:5.
“I can’t do this, Lord!” As a new mother, I fully comprehended my own insufficiency. In college, I could apply formulae to solve any problem. In motherhood, there are no formulae. In pharmacy school, I received A’s and accolades for my hard work. In motherhood, I received no accolades.
I couldn’t do it on my own, and I turned to the Lord as never before for the love, patience, gentleness, and strength to handle my new responsibilities. I began attending women’s Bible studies and dedicating myself to regular time with the Lord.
“The Lord said to [Moses], ‘Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute?…Is it not I, the Lord? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say’” Exodus 4:11-12.
On January 6, 2000, I awoke from a dream that I knew was a novel. I felt compelled by the Lord to write it. This was a thrilling experience—but terrifying. A chemistry major like me had no business writing a novel. And a sinner like me had no business writing for the Christian market.
Over my objections, God made it clear that he wanted me to write. He finally directed me to the conversation he’d had with Moses at the Burning Bush. I heard his words directed at me. Stop arguing. Go. Write. I will help you and teach you.
So I took that scary step of blind faith, and I obeyed.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” 2 Timothy 1:17.
In 2003, many things happened at once. I began teaching Sunday school to fourth- and fifth-graders. I began teaching women’s Bible studies. And I began submitting my manuscripts to editors and agents.
A pattern emerged. God called me to do something I knew I couldn’t do. I latched on to God’s power, love, and self-discipline, and I obeyed. As I obeyed, I saw God work through me and accomplish things I never could have accomplished on my own. This filled me with joy and awe. And that joy and awe made it much easier for me to obey the next time God called.
“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples…. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last” John 15:8, 16.
In 2010, my first novel was published. With that fulfilled dream came responsibility. My words are out there—in print, in my teaching ministries, and on social media. Those words have the ability to destroy or to edify. Those words have the ability to lead people astray or to lead them in the right paths. I take this responsibility seriously.
As a published author and a speaker, I need the Lord as never before. I need his strength, his love, his patience, his truth, and his power. Most of all, I need his presence.
This past week when I taught my Sunday school kids, the memory verse was Philippians 1:6. It is the song of sanctification. The song of God working in us throughout our loves, transforming us into his image as we obey him and serve him, as we lean on him and depend on him, as we admit our weakness and yield control. And oh, what a lovely song it is!
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” Philippians 1:6.