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 grew up in what was once considered a “non-traditional” home. Due to my dad’s alcoholism, my parents divorced when I was a toddler, and my mom became a single career woman. As a result, I grew very independent, and at the age of twelve, declared myself an atheist. Not a big deal since we didn’t attend church anyway. But looking back, I know my claim of atheism was simply a challenge for God to reveal himself to me.
I continued through some rebellious teen years in complete denial of God’s existence, but around fifteen, I began to experience negative emotions—a sense of futility, unexplainable sadness, and a disturbing emptiness. Of course, I didn’t know the emptiness inside of me was simply the void that only God could fill. All I knew was that something was missing.
These negative feelings increased dramatically when, just before my sophomore year, a carload of fellow teens were killed in a terrible wreck. As I grieved for them, I was keenly aware of my own mortality. And despite my claim that God wasn’t real, a part of me yearned for something beyond a short earthly life followed up by nothingness. For the first time ever, I cried out to God. My ‘prayer’ was simple: “If you’re real, please, show yourself to me.”
A few months later, I was “kidnapped” by some Christian kids and literally taken, against my will, to a Young Life meeting. By then I’d forgotten my desperate little prayer and, fuming in the backseat, I plotted an escape from what I knew would be a “religious gathering.” But before I knew it, I was sitting with about a hundred other kids, listening as they sung with enthusiasm, watching silly skits and, to my surprise, being caught totally off guard by the leader’s message. I’d never heard the gospel before. And something inside of me hungered for more. Of course, I was too stubborn to give my heart to God so easily.
So I willingly attended a few more Young Life meetings, listening carefully to the messages. I even went to what they called a “rap session,” a casual get-together where kids could talk about God, ask questions, or just express themselves. Finally, after several weeks of “investigation” I could hold off no longer. After a intriguing rap session, I went outside into the drizzly night. And there, all by myself in a soggy parking lot, I asked Jesus into my heart. I had no idea what the long term ramifications for this commitment would be, but I knew that I needed God—desperately. I knew I couldn’t survive any longer on my own.
The entire course of my life drastically changed that night. My problems didn’t all magically disappear, but I had real help now. And, never having had an earthly father, I was hungry to get to know my Heavenly Father and immediately began to devour the Bible, attending church, youth group, camps, Bible studies, whatever I could find to help me on my spiritual journey. My primary goal as a teen, was to love and serve God with my whole heart for my whole life—with His help.
I made that commitment many decades ago . . . but God remained my true lifeline during all the ups and downs of adolescence and the multiple challenges of adulthood—marriage, children . . . life. And now, all these years later and closer to the day when I will meet Him face to face, the more I appreciate the grace and mercy He’s poured out on me throughout my life. I never could’ve survived without His love.