I received salvation in 2018. No longer living as a “Churchian.” A Churchian is someone who believes because they go to church, do good deeds, and say a prayer they are saved. I believed this for years. When I would do wrong, I’d scrutinize myself as a backslider. I could never fully understand why I kept backsliding into the same old daunting sins. I blamed it on being weak. I blamed it on my current circumstances. I blamed it on depression. I blamed it on lost blessings and promises. I blamed it on never feeling as if I could ever be good enough; mom, dad, sister, brother. Anything and everything I felt contributed to my cycle of sin.

I began to understand that I didn’t need to obey God simply out of my fear for Him. He wasn’t watching me like a reality TV show; throwing obstacles, threats, torments, and penalizing me every time I screwed up. Although holy fear is necessary for understanding God’s wrath. I began to obey God simply because I love Him. He has done more for me than I can even count. There are still moments in my life where I cannot express the magnitude in which God has moved on my behalf in multiple situations.

In the past, while in sinful relationships, I would “attempt” to give men all of myself. My mind, my heart, my body. I would invest time, money, and my dreams into them. I wouldn’t dare cheat or disrespect them. I wasn’t perfect, but my desire to do these things stemmed from thinking these were actions of love. During these times, I considered myself a Christian. It didn’t matter how many sinful vices I lavished in, I felt like God had my back, “God knows my heart.”

I knew that my actions were far from being what a Christian represents. I attended church (off & on), I said the prayer at the pulpit when I was a teenager. “God come into my heart…” “God forgive me for my sins” “Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior.” It was encouraging but my life didn’t change; there were even people who would support my sin but deep down, I knew that my lifestyle was leading me to hell. I knew that it didn’t matter how much money I made, the promotions I got, people I helped, I still had an ache; something was missing. At times I’d go to church, hear a person speak an excellent motivational message encouraging me to keep going, God had a plan, God’s not disappointed in me. That God allowed everything to happen for a reason and I was loved. This usually carried me for a few months. Then, I’d end up right back where I started. Living in sin, unhappy, alone, and ready to go MIA (missing in action) at any moment. I sat in the quiet and dealt with the thoughts pounding in my head, no one to judge me, have pity for me, or consider me weak or a victim alone. I would beat this.

In 2018, my love for Christ changed. The energy I invested in sin I began to invest in knowing my Lord & Savior. I no longer sought out motivational speeches about how to keep it all together. Instead, I sought out Bible Preaching sermons. My desire to understand the WORD for what it is rather than how it related to my life decreased. I realized that in Christ, I had no excuse to sin continually. Yes, I was born into sin. Yes, I’ve been hurt. Yes, I’ve seen bad examples of how things should be handled. Yes, I’ve felt in my heart that doing certain things were right but in later, in reading God’s WORD, understood I was wrong. I wrestled at times with the WORD because there were things that I had believed my whole life, and here in the WORD, I’m being told my beliefs were wrong. Going to church and asking God to come into my heart was not the moment that saved me. Yet, for many years, I thought that’s what it took for the most part. I realized that what looked like a “good” person to the world is not necessarily good to God, nor does it guarantee my entry into heaven. I realized no one can tell you when you’re saved. That’s something only God knows. I realized that a Preacher cannot in any way save you. They are commanded to Preach the WORD of God without theatrics, and it’s the Holy Spirit that draws men in.

We’re now closing out 2019, and my life has completely changed. I’m married. I work for a new company. My priorities have changed. I went from a woman who focused on climbing the corporate ladder to give my child a better life; to a wife who tends to the needs of my family. A family I desire to grow in Christ. Instead of focusing on my son’s confidence in himself. I focus on him having confidence in his Creator. Instead of targeting my son’s behavior to change. I teach him lessons from the WORD for God to change his heart. I’ve lost specific stressors in trying to have everything worked out. Having to be in control all the time. I’ve learned to let go of what I believed, felt, seen and accepted simply because that’s how it’s been done and leaned how Christ says it is to be. I’m #DyingDaily to the misconceptions of what a Christian is, what we tolerate, what we demonize, create, and invest our time in. I know this walk is not an easy one. I also know there’s no use in spending a whole life thinking that what you believe is right based on “feelings” rather than knowing what is right based on the Holy Spirit and understanding God’s Living WORD.

I pray that in reading my testimonies this year, God has opened your heart to examine yourself. To honestly know if you are saved. Many believe they are saved because they simply said a prayer or because they’ve called themselves a Christian their whole lives. Salvation doesn’t come through your actions. Salvation comes through the action of Jesus Christ on the cross. You are saved through Faith alone, Grace alone, in Christ alone. I realized I was saved once my desire for sin decreased not because of fearing God but because I love Him. I didn’t lose my salvation. I just never had it before. I want to please Him; I want to be His joy. My heart posture has changed. If I have faith that everything works out for the Good for those who Love God. If I have faith that my life is in His hands. If I have faith that there will be a new earth. If I have faith to store up my riches in heaven, then why worry or become depressed about the things that happen in my life. The thing about this walk is I know everything good comes from God, and I must simply be a vessel for Him to use as He sees fit. In doing so, it will always work out in bringing Glory to His Kingdom.

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