|Angela and I at my Bridal Shower|
Although, technically I was saved when I was about 5 or 6 years old, I didn't really start walking with the Lord until 1996. It was the day after Christmas and I was having lunch with a friend mine, Angela, when she presented the gospel to me with God's plan of salvation. I was concerned how this decision would effect my relationship with my husband and the rest of my family and so I politely declined the invitation. Thankfully, she didn't not take no for an answer.
As a not-so-religious Catholic with an Aunt who was a born again Christian, whom my family labeled a "Jesus Freak" and "Bible fanatic" I was afraid, that if I accepted Christ it would hurt my marriage and my relationship with my family. My husband and I were still newlyweds and he didn't seem interested in anything that had to do with God. Of course I had nothing to fear, God is soooo good, a year later the Lord brought Vince to Christ. However, my fears were not so quickly put to rest with the remainder of my family. Let's just put it this way - I proudly come from a long line of loving but opinionated, judgemental and extremely verbal Italian-Americans from Brooklyn, NY, enough said? Fuggedaboutit! But I digress. So I prayed with Angela my first "true" confession, that I couldn't live life without Christ and admitted that I'm a sinful person.
The interesting thing about the timing of my spiritual conversion is that a few days before Christmas, December 23 to be exact, I had asked God for just that. I remember it was nighttime and raining, I was driving home from work exhausted from a particularly stressful job I had at the time, and I felt as if I was in utter despair (of course as a bit of a drama queen, it could have just been PMS). Anyway, as it was nearly Christmas, a time when your supposed to be full of cheer and charity and all that kind of baloney, I was feeling alone, depressed and stressed (let's face it- I was feeling how most of us probably feel right before Christmas). So I prayed in between my tears, "God, show me the true meaning of Christmas this year, let me understand your love, let me feel it and experience it in my life, please don't let me go another year without you." Funny thing is - when God's love was presented to me, as you just read, because of fear, I rejected it. That is until I remembered my prayer, that I had asked God for this, so as I reasoned I'd better not walk away from the opportunity. And thank the Lord I didn't. I wish I could tell you that at that very moment my life changed, my heart was full of love overflowing, I turned from a life of sin, and blah, blah, blah, but in Christian jargon a relationship with the Lord is called your walk with God because your conversion is a journey. Your salvation is immediate, but the conversion is another story altogether. It's been almost 16 years since then and I don't know for sure if, like my precious Aunt, my family has a label for me, but the truth is I don't care. You see, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes, Romans 1:16"
Maybe you're bit curious about what a relationship with Christ can mean for your life. I'd be happy to recommend a resource for you to come to know God as your Lord and Savior today.
I pray that God will bless you and the most sincerest thank you to my dear sister in Christ, Angela, who was willing to let God use you to add this "dirty" woman to the kingdom of heaven.