I don’t remember asking Christ to be my Savior. Well, I don’t think so anyway. Have you ever created a memory because someone told you it happened? My mom told me she led me to Christ when I was four. So I have this memory of sitting on my bed with my mom, folding my hands and repeating a prayer. But I’m quite positive it’s not a memory at all. I don’t remember being four years old. I couldn’t understand grace when I was four. I do remember finally grasping an aspect of God’s grace and love at age 11.
When I was eleven I thought I might accidentally stab my sister with a kitchen knife. I didn’t want to stab my sister. I loved my sister. But this was an age where I was afraid I would accidentally sin. If I found out something was wrong, I wondered what would happen if I did it. But I had intense guilt about these thoughts.
I was a perverted child who would snicker with my girlfriends when someone said, ” Do it.” I would easily lie to my parents and not feel guilty. My conscience wasn’t strong. But one day I came home from my grandparent’s house to a surprise party for my tenth birthday. I was so grateful and overwhelmed with my parent’s love, that I felt guilty for the way I was. Suddenly I listened to my conscience and realized I wanted to be a good person. Being in the presence of love made me want to be better. It made me want to be deserving of this love. So, shortly after my tenth birthday I confessed to my mom how I had been behaving. I thought, from then on, I would be free of guilt and condemnation. But instead I started feeling guilty for everything. Every bad thought or slight mistake, I was overwhelmed with guilt, running to my parents to confess. I probably drove my parent nuts. I remember one day vividly. I was very depressed and heavy with guilt. Everything just felt suffocating. I went in my room and just cried on my bed. I felt crazy and alone. I couldn’t escape the guilt. It felt dark. I could feel this tug-of- war on my heart between good and evil. I wanted to be perfect but I couldn’t control my thoughts. I wanted to be good yet knew I couldn’t be.
I started reading more scripture and paying more attention at church. I looked to God for help, understanding I couldn’t be good by my own power. Somehow by age eleven I finally grasped the unconditional love of God. I started praying more and taking every thought captive. Finally this guilt and depression faded away. Age eleven was a pivotal age for me. I had an epiphany. I started to see myself the way God saw me; as a precious child of God. I felt His love and just wanted to worship Him. I wanted to tell everyone about his great love and grace. I felt goodness won the game of tug-of-war over my heart. I found peace in the presence of God.