Songs of Salvation – Christy Hayes

Posted March 24, 2019 by Phyllis Helton in Songs of Salvation /

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And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb and by their testimony. And they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.

Revelation 12:11 NLT

I was baptized as a baby and went to church with my family exactly twice a year—Easter Sunday and Christmas eve—not including the occasional wedding or funeral. I never felt comfortable at church because I didn’t know the words they recited, the songs they sang, or the book they preached.

I spent my adolescence, teen, college years, and early married life convinced I didn’t need to go to church. I was a good person, I knew right from wrong, and I had a strong moral code. I believed there was a God, but I certainly didn’t have a personal relationship with him or know anyone who did.

When we had kids, my husband and I felt strongly about their need to know God. My husband was raised a Christian but had gotten out of the habit of attending church during college. Despite my apathy toward church, I didn’t want my kids growing up without at least a basic understanding of Christianity. We found a local church with a fantastic minister who preached on the Bible in ways I could understand. Although we only attended services on Sunday, it was a good start.

When we moved a few towns away, our new community was home to a well-known mega-church and we attended with some friends. I disliked the crowds and felt the messages didn’t talk enough about scripture, but we ended up as regular attenders because our kids loved their services and were blessed to find leaders who poured into them a love of God. Despite my indifference, my kids were well on their way!

Around the same time we decided to enroll our kids into a private Christian school, a friend asked me to join the neighborhood Bible study. My knee-jerk response was to decline, but since my kids now had to learn the Bible, I figured I should learn it too. Fortunately, we started with a disciple study of the Old and New Testament—the absolute best foundation I could have asked for.

During this year-long study, the same friend who’d asked me to join the group lost her son—my son’s best friend—in a terrible accident. To say his death rocked our world is the understatement of the century. We felt lost as we struggled with our own grief, the grief of our kids, and the hole his passing left in our hearts.

It would have been so easy to turn against the God I’d just discovered during this time, but watching my friends cling to God and their faith while facing the worst tragedy of their lives was a sight to behold. I just knew that if God could get them through the loss of a child, He could get me through anything I might face. I desperately wanted what they had—an unshakable belief in the Lord. Instead of turning away from God after tragedy, the experience strengthened my faith and I opened my heart to Jesus.

Now attending church and Bible study regularly, I felt a change occurring in my heart. I gave God my worries (and there were many) and experienced a peace like I’d never known. Not long after, I felt wronged by a friend and couldn’t shake my feelings of resentment. Frustrated because I was in danger of damaging an important relationship, I did something I’d never done before—I got to my knees and begged God to release me from the anger. Before I could take the next breath, my irritation evaporated and never returned.

Since that remarkable day when it felt as if God said, “Trust me and let it go,” I’m proud to call myself a believer in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Walking with Jesus means knowing I’m not in control and trusting in God’s plan for my life. It means peace and freedom, but not freedom from life’s ups and downs. I’m not alone no matter what happens, and I’m loved by a God who gave His only son for my sins. Their amazing sacrifice is enough—now and forever.

After this life-changing conversion, I had the opportunity to co-author a faith-based father-son memoir, The Power of Faith When Tragedy Strikes, and I recently released my first Christian romance. I’m happy with the turn my life and writing has taken and I look forward to spreading my love for Jesus to those who may never have met Him.


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