It was May 1983 and I was 21 years old. My boyfriend asked me if I wanted to attend church with him the following weekend. I was madly in love with him I said yes. I was nervous as we walked up the steps on the beautiful sunny day to attend the service. I had not been to church since I was a child. I don’t remember what the minister was saying but I sensed the Lord near and He spoke to me and I replied in my mind and heart to Him.
Yes, I believe you are real and that you really are there. As soon as I said that to Him tears coursed silently down my cheeks. As we were walking out of the church I said to my boyfriend I feel different but I said it is not the normal emotions and I couldn’t put my finger on it. I was a changed person a new creation in Christ.
From that point on, Jesus and His love kept speaking and guiding me. The sky was bluer and the grass was greener. I knew this was what I had been looking for all my life.
I couldn’t stop talking about Jesus and how He changed my life. I talked to all my friends in the bar about Him and He led me every step. He brought a newly saved girlfriend into my life and we tentatively started going to a church where the gospel was preached. Then Jesus opened up a door for us to rent an apartment together and a couple came to our house from the church to start a bible study with us of what it meant to be a Christian which helped to ground us in the basic truths of God’s word. Then my boyfriend was accepted into the Army and had to go to another province for basic training.
I devoured the bible the word of God. I was so hungry and thirsty for this Jesus who was so alive and active in my life I fell head over heels in love with this man. I wanted to follow Him wherever and do whatever He wanted me to do. My life was transformed from night to day! His love was real and strong, and I was excited about Him and what He had done and what He was doing in my life! I was on fire and in awe of Him and His great and amazing love for me!!
It wasn’t a religion or being good or rules or money like winning the lottery, or a boyfriend or anything that could satisfy or give meaning or change your life–it was Jesus!!!
In the fall of 1983, Jesus used a song by Amy Grant to talk to me about His wanting me to surrender it all and to get off the fence to make Him Lord and to follow Him wholeheartedly. So I asked my Christian friend and my boyfriend to pray for me about this as I got on my knees and prayed to the Lord for a good 30-40 minutes to help me as I was trying to obey Him in this.
Then the tests came. As the months went along, a godly Christian woman said to me “make sure the person that you want to marry is the one that Jesus wants for you.” I started praying about the boyfriend in the army that I had recently gotten engaged to. As I was praying I sensed God wanted me to offer him up as a sacrifice to Jesus and to trust Jesus and that Jesus only wanted him to be a friend. I cried my eyes out to Jesus as I offered this great love and desire to my Lord and such peace and relief came to my soul. God had me wait until I was 47 to get married.
The benefits of following Jesus–where can I start? It is God’s very best for me in this life! Nothing else satisfies the hunger and thirst in my soul. Nothing else can compare with the love of Jesus and getting to know Him and follow His will and plan for your life. It is, He is, so completely good. It is the adventure I longed for and the security of the path to Eternal Life! Following Jesus is the true joy of living. Nothing and no one compares to Him! He is worth everything! I want to hear “well done” when I stand before Him, don’t you? I want to know and love Him more! He is so precious, so consuming, so beautiful. He fills my longings. He quenches my soul. He is my all in all. I can’t wait to be free from this world of sin and sufferings and this body of sin. I will be free at last and with the lover of my soul, my Savior the Lord Jesus Christ!
I am a 58-year-old married woman who lives in Hamilton Ontario Canada. I worked for nine years in a group home with mentally disabled behavioral adults. Then I have loved working as an E.A. (Educational Assistant) in the Public School board (Canada’s largest school board) in an innercity middle school in Toronto for nine years then for the last ten years in the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board. I enjoy singing, reading, writing, little kids, animals, as well as flower and vegetable gardening.