What was life like before you met Jesus?
I was introduced to Jesus early in my life through Sunday School and at summer camp. As I went along in life, I tried to feel loved in many different ways that were never fully satisfying. I chased after being liked, being a leader, recognition, success, materialistic things, positive thinking, and the prosperity gospel. Nothing could fill the void no matter how hard I worked.
How did you meet Jesus?
I met Jesus as a kid in summer camp where counselors who truly loved Him shared the gospel. I went home excited, but my family just laughed it off and no one followed through to water and feed that little seed that was planted. I was a rebellious teenager. After we married and had children I decided to go back to church, but it consisted of a liturgy I didn't understand, and it felt empty. I started listening to Christian radio, reading Christian books; I was searching...but I still also pursued worldly success. After achieving a huge career goal, I again felt even more empty. A friend asked me how it felt to achieve such success, and thankfully, I told her the truth. She invited me to Bible Study Fellowship. There, the word of God and the Spirit of God introduced me to Jesus. Through in-depth Bible study, I was shown the holiness of God, convicted of my sin (especially of selfishness), told the good news of Jesus' death to pay the penalty, and bring me into the family of God through Himself. I learned the "wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our/my Lord." And I learned that eternal life is not just for after we die but is a new quality of life that begins in Christ, through faith, and never ends. It is living Jesus' Kingdom values on earth as it is in heaven--even today. I learned that I am eternally secure (no one can snatch them out of Jesus' hand) but also called to sanctification, to grow and mature as a disciple. I also learned that true blessedness is found in Jesus, Himself - He is the prize!
After being saved by Jesus, what is your life like now?
It has been over thirty years since I was born again by faith in Jesus. He is patiently growing me in the grace and knowledge of Him. I know that I am born of His Spirit because He has caused me to put to death what belongs to my earthly nature (Col 3) Only the Holy Spirit could cause all the lusts I had for material goods to die, only He could cause me to put to death greed and idolatry, in which I once walked. Only He could kill the old self that manipulated things to get my own way. He has slayed my old self and now, by His power, I put on the new self, which is being renewed daily in Jesus. Christ is all in all for me. I surrendered my career and all the trappings. He has given me His righteousness; new clothing of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. It is nothing of me, I know that it is all Christ. "For I have died and my life is now hidden with Christ in God, it is no longer I that live, but Christ in me." (Gal 2 and Col 3) And, as He is constantly growing me His grace and knowledge, I now see that not only am I baptized by His Spirit, but out of obedience, I want to be baptized in water to the praise of His glory. To fully identify publicly with Jesus and His people.