Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Saved by Grace: Meri's Salvation Story (Part 1)

image by diabolik808 / text added by me
Today I am delighted to introduce you to my best friend, Meri.  We lived in the same town for only a few years, way back in high school, but have remained friends ever since.  Although we've seen each other only once in the last 15 years or so, Meri has been a faithful friend since we met.  In spite of our geographical distance, she has consistently shared in my joys and sorrows--and allowed me to share in hers.  Now Meri has been gracious enough to share her salvation story, which I'll post in two parts--today and tomorrow.

My salvation didn’t come easily. I wasn’t born on the front pew at church like I joke my friend Carol was. I didn’t frequent Sunday school classrooms where flannelgraphs depicted sing-songy stories of Jesus walking on water and loving the lepers and prostitutes. As a child, I had a vague notion of Christ as a bearded, robe-clad hippie carrying lambs and young children around on His shoulders. He was someone who, ethereally, loved me; the Bible said so.

And the circumstances surrounding my coming to the Lord could’ve been much worse than they were – I wasn’t a drug addict or a ruinous alcoholic; I hadn’t spent time in prison for some unspeakable crime, nor had I encountered some tragedy that thrust me into a “walk toward the light,” near-death experience that gave me warm fuzzies.

But getting to know Jesus up close and personal, as they say, wasn’t a simple gospel presentation with an invitation tacked onto the end. For me, it took a messy, broken life – and a broken heart.

My parents “raised me right,” as some would say; I was moral, polite, an A student, and I knew (and exercised) right from wrong.

My family was a church-going family, but – to my mind – there wasn’t any meaning to the Sunday morning ritual, nor any fulfillment in it other than seeing my friends.

I progressed into young adulthood, living what I thought was a decent life. I had moved several hundred miles away to go to college (which stunk; the experience, not the education) and, afterwards, eventually landed a good job in that college town and built a life that I enjoyed. An apartment with a roommate (and later, on my own), repeated promotions at work, a new car, a full social life, travel, moderate drinking (but never drunk!), and a single-woman-of-the-80s promiscuous lifestyle. (Insert cliché here: ‘I was, basically, a good person and I never intentionally hurt anybody else with my decisions, so everything was fine.’) If anyone had ever asked if I thought myself a Christian, I would’ve exclaimed, Of course! What else would I be?! I mean, I believed in God and heaven and all that, so I was good. Geez. I didn’t have the faintest inkling of what ‘born again’ truly meant, or that giving myself to the Lord Jesus was the only way I’d ever get to heaven, the only way my life would ever be worth anything, the only way I would ever be happy…fruitful…blessed…right.

I hope you'll come back tomorrow to read the rest of Meri's story!  In the meantime, I am certain that she would love to hear your feedback in the comments section.  And if you would like to share your own salvation story as a guest post, please let me know!

4 Comments :

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

This is a great idea!! Hope someone who sees this today can relate. :)

Tammy said...

It is a hard thing when people are morally pure because they don't see a need for God. Looking forward to tomorrow.

Michelle said...

I can relate to so much of this! Amazing how you can grow up Christian but have absolutely no idea what God is until He slaps you in the face with something real. I'm gonna go read part 2 now!

cindy said...

Meri, this is such the day to day belief. I'm ready to run read part 2 now. A wonderful idea.

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