When I was a child, my parents were very active in church and thus, I went to church as well. All of my life I was raised in a Christian home and a Christian Church, however, for some reason, I never really accepted Jesus Christ as my savior, nor really understood what he had done for me. I knew what the Bible said but it was not real to me. On my 18th birthday I decided that I was my own man and that I no longer had to attend church just because my parents did.
My life before Christ could be categorized as a moral life (in a secular sense) but one of a constant drive to satisfy something I did not understand. I choose the path of material possesions. I had motorcycles, cars, jet ski’s, ultralight airplanes, model planes, trains and helicopters, all sorts of things. All of them filled the void I was attempting to fill, but only for a short period of time. I became increasing frustrated, my temper was easily triggered and although I would never admit it then, I really didn’t know why or how to solve the problem.
In October 1997 I met who is now my wife (November 14, 1998 we were married), Crystal. For some reason I was attracted to her on the spot. I have always been very conservative with dating and never wasted my time if I did not know a person and thought that they would make a good wife… but not with Crystal. I asked her out without knowing anything about her. Her simple reply was,
Yes, I would love to go to dinner, but I have a standing agreement with my
father that he meets anyone that I go out with. You need to ask him
At that point I thought,
Now here is someone special, someone who understand committment. 21
years of age and has a ‘standing agreement’ with her father? Cool!
I was happy to but nervous. I tried calling, he wasn’t home, I tried again and again. Finally, he was home and we began to talk. He asked a few simple questions, starting with,
Are you a Christian?
My response was a very affirmative, Yes! (I mean, I did go to church all my life, I was born into a Christian family, I knew a lot of the Bible, I’m a Christian!). The next question was
Do you attend church regularly?
Without thinking for a second, I replied Yes! It was then that the Lord reached me. I do not remember anything more about the conversation with Dale, but I remember everything else that happened in the next few moments.
Immediately my whole body broke out in a sweat, my stomache became so upset that I rushed off the phone and ran to the bathroom to relieve it (um, vomit), I broke down into tears and could not believe how I had acted my entire life. I don’t want to say that the Lord spoke to me verbally, but He spoke to me in a manner that I was waiting for each and every word coming from His mouth. I was awe struck. I felt such guilt and shame. I will always remember what He said to me.
Jeremy. What are you doing? You know what is right. How many times do I
have to ask you?
I wept in shame and guilt. It was as though blinders were taken off my eyes and I had seen my life through God’s eyes. That Saturday right after I came to my senses, I asked the Lord to forgive me and asked Him to be Lord of my life and never to allow me to abuse the life He’s given to me but to always serve Him in His will. I spent Saturday in my room weeping, reading the Bible and talking with God. Late at night I decided to force myself to sleep so that I would be ready for tommorow. My first church service as a Christian serving and loving the Lord because He first loved me.
The next morning (now Sunday of course), I arose and told my parents
I was going to church with them. They were surprised but I did not tell
them of the previous day. Worship came, I could hardly stay away from
the alter. The end of the service came, I ran to the alter not even
getting 1/2 the way their before I wept for joy and for sorrow of my past
life. Their I publicly gave my testimony and told the church of my
salvation. Many said they had been praying for me, and for that I will
be forever thankful.
I went to Crystal’s house that afternoon for dinner. Still with an
upset stomach, I sat at the table unable to eat a bite. I did not tell
them what had taken place, but 3 months later I came under severe
conviction because of the way I had entered their lives…on a lie. I
called Dale on the phone and told him that I needed to talk to him. I
immediately went to his home, told him the whole story fully expecting
his forgiveness but also to hear
Jeremy, I forgive you, but your not the type of person I want for
my daughter. Have a good life.
Instead, Dale said
Jeremy. If God has forgiven you, who am I to argue with him?
Later that day I told Crystal. It went well, but took some time to
adjust to the new knowledge that I had only been a Christian for 3 months.
I thank the Lord so much for the type of salvation he has given to me. You
see, I think logically, and I can explain anything
away, especially something “supernatural,” but my savlation I cannot.
It was too powerfull, too intimate, too real, too personal, too awesome.
I could not ever think away my salvation. Praise God.