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 was 23 before I became a Christian, and it only happened after I had hit a point in my life when I was at the “bottom of the pit.” I had grown up in a good home, with morals and values, and we even went to church, sometimes regularly, sometimes not. If you had asked me growing up if I was a Christian, I would have easily said, “yes.” I had Christian friends, was fairly conservative in my beliefs and hung with a relatively “good” crowd, but I didn’t have a personal relationship with Christ.
The problem with living a “Christian” life without a relationship is that eventually, life stinks. Something happens to mess up your perfect world, and there is nothing of substance to grasp onto.
That happened to me in college. I broke up with my boyfriend of four years, my roommate got married and moved out, and I was left floundering with no idea of who I was or what I was about. At the same time, I moved in with another girl who introduced me to the college nightlife. Soon, I got involved in a new crowd and completely left any conviction I might have had.
I graduated college and the Lord picked me up and moved me to the middle of nowhere in San Angelo, Texas. In that ordained relocation, God stripped away all of the things I had used to fill that void in my life, and I was left emptier than ever.
Then one evening I spent the night crying on the phone to my best friend while drinking a liter of wine…alone. When I woke up and saw the empty bottle facing me, I thought, “This can’t be my life.” It was in that moment when all the seeds that had been planted since childhood started to grow.
I fasted for two days, because I felt so unclean, and then kneeled on my bedroom floor and gave my life to Christ.
My husband jokes how silly it was to wait because God is the one who cleanses us, not anything we do. And while in hindsight, I can see that now, back then, I was burdened with an immense amount of shame that would, unfortunately, follow me into my Christian life.
See that’s the thing about our humanity. God forgives us and wipes away all wrongdoing, but we so very often don’t do the same. We don’t forgive others and we especially don’t forgive ourselves. And I’m sad to say that for thirteen years, even while I grew as a Christian, I carried around a load of baggage that kept me in bondage.
Then finally by the grace of God, through writing, he helped me see how I’d crippled myself when I had already been set free.
It was November of 2012, and I’d spent the weekend wrestling with inner demons that wrecked me both physically and emotionally. That Sunday, I got on my knees and pled with God to rescue me from myself. That very night, I had my answer. It was to write a book. And not just any book, but a book that showed an allegory between the freedom in Christ and the temptation of sin. How even when we know it’s wrong, we are pulled back in over and over.
Eight weeks later, I had a novel. And through telling that story of a young lady who finds a way to accept the unconditional love offered to her, I, too, finally accepted the full measure of what Christ could be in my life.
That book is now free to anyone who wants to read it, and I keep it that way because it was more than the beginning of a new career. It was God’s answer to my prayer and the final shattering of my chains.
Since then, God has given me a clear mission: to minister to others who have let shame dim the light they have for Christ. I try to do this in my writing, in my work as a Pastor’s wife, and as a mom to my three children.
The great thing about having cracks and bruises and brokenness is that God uses them to help heal others. And I pray He will never stop doing just that.