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 can’t recall a time in my life when I didn’t know Christ, honestly. One of my earliest memories of my faith being challenged happened when I was six. The annoying older brother of my friend started an argument one morning before Sunday school. He’d asked me if I’d ever “prayed the prayer” and I had no idea what he’d meant. He insisted if I hadn’t “prayed the prayer,” then I wasn’t really a Christian because you had to officially ask Jesus into your heart to be saved.
I remember insisting with all of my tiny might that he was wrong. I loved Jesus, believed He died on the cross and was raised to life, and that’s what made me saved. Not some “dumb prayer.” I’m sure I probably stuck my tongue out at him, too. That boy never backed down, and I clearly remember asking the Lord in prayer that morning in service if I really did need to say a specific prayer with specific words. To this day, I know that I know my little six-year-old self was on to something.
I’d like to say I continued to live a life of blind faith, free of that boy’s kind of legalism, but I can’t. Like too many other Christians out there who’ve grown up in the church, I fell into self-righteous “holiness” like a modern day Pharisee. I spent a lot of high school on my high horse, separating myself from the world under the guise of “being in the world and not of it,” while failing to extend grace to the lost who didn’t know they should live differently than they were. I used the stick we should only use to measure other believers against the world, and that’s wrong.
Somewhere in college, God began to change my heart. I once again saw the world through the same lens as that stubborn little six-year-old, but I had a lot more growing up to do.
And then came motherhood. My three girls are all about two years apart. A seven year span of pregnancy and nursing took its toll on my body, my heart, and my hormones. When my youngest was about six months old, I recognized what I was feeling as postpartum depression. The next year was a battle against everything I’d ever known about myself and motherhood, learning to manage expectations and allow people to minister to me as I accepted that what I was going through was not failure. I’d spent so many years trapped in legalism and living what I thought was a righteous life, I lost the ability to accept my own shortcomings.
The Lord used that time in my life to teach me grace. He reminded me of that sweet, fervent faith of my six-year-old self. That He loved me, I loved Him, and that was enough. He became all that I had left—even with a wonderfully supportive husband. No one but Jesus could pull me out of the pit of depression and anxiety. And it changed me.
God did a miracle then. He made me comfortable with sharing the good, the bad, AND the ugly in life with other mommas out there. Women are conditioned in so many ways to hide the darkness. To put makeup over the imperfections. To appear to have it all, do it all, and with a smile. Inside, we might be dying a little more every day, but the world will accept us if we just fake it ‘til we make it. That’s not okay.
Since those dark days, I’ve learned how important it is to be real and honest with others. To admit failures and flaws. Like Paul said in 2 Cor. 12:9-10, “so now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (NLT).
It’s not an easy thing for this recovering perfectionist to do, but I have never in my life felt more free. There has to be a point in our lives when we not only accept our salvation from Christ, but when we accept that His gift isn’t merely about our eternal destination. It’s about a richer journey getting there. We have to accept the whole with the parts—that we were not made to judge and criticize and point out splinters in other people’s eyes. We were made to love and be loved.
And Love covers a multitude of sins. It gives grace to those who don’t deserve it. And ultimately, it sets us free and saves us from ourselves. It gives us a testimony to share to be a blessing to others. I pray if you’re struggling, whether it be a struggle of with faith, sin, temptation, depression, legalism, or any other battle, that God will bless you with peace and grace abundantly, in Jesus’ name! May you come to Jesus with the faith of a child, ready to crawl into the Father’s lap and rely His love to do the big things you need in your life.