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 did not grow up in a Christian home. My family was mistreated by various churches and so they left the church. I, however, was always curious about church, and especially Jesus. When I was about 7 or 8, I started reading my aunt’s discarded Bible on my own. That year, over Thanksgiving, I got upset with my family because they weren’t doing anything to honor God on God’s holiday. They all thought I was crazy, since Thanksgiving was about the pilgrims in their minds. So, I grabbed the Bible, and I turned to Psalm 100, which, in that translation, is subtitled, “A Psalm of Thanksgiving.” I presented that to them as proof that Thanksgiving was about God, and I proudly stood in front of my family and read that Psalm before dinner.
As I grew up, I was constantly drawn to God, and I would go to church with anyone who invited me. I used to finagle invitations to spend the night on Saturday nights with friends so I could go to their churches. I attended a variety of churches and my love of God was strong. However, in high school, I was bullied by a lot of kids in one of the church activities I went to, and so I stopped going to church. Then, in college, I went to a religiously affiliated college, thinking it would connect me to God. Unfortunately, because I wasn’t baptized into “their” church, I was treated as less than by many of my fellow students and staff. I started walking away from God, secretly loving Jesus in my heart, but afraid to say so, because the people who claimed to love Jesus the most were the most cruel to me.
However, one summer, when studying in the West Bank, I found myself walking the streets of the old city of Jerusalem on a regular basis. There, I could feel the whispers of God, and was in awe of walking the same paths Jesus must have traveled. I knew in my heart that I firmly belonged to Jesus, and I made a firm commitment to pursuing Him. When I returned home, I found a new church, and recommitted my life to Jesus, choosing to become baptized as a Christian.
There are a lot of mean people in churches, and becoming a Christian doesn’t mean you won’t have to deal with those people. I’ve learned to listen to the whispers of Jesus in my heart, leaning on Him for comfort. I’ve learned that those are the people who need Jesus most of all, and they are exactly in the right place to find Him, if they will open their hearts to His love. Listen for His whispers in your heart, and He will guide you where you need to go.