I was raised in a Christian home. Mama took me to church before I was even born, and Mama and Daddy both did their best to teach me right from wrong. My Papa was a Baptist preacher, and I knew many of the Bible stories by heart at an early age. It wasn't until the age of 14, just before I started ninth grade, that things really came to light for me, though.
I went to visitation at a local funeral home to see the family members of a distant relative and to console them during their time of loss. It happened that there were actually four grieving families, and my dad discovered that I was actually distantly related to all of them in some way. (That's what happens when you live in a small town.) Anyway, the night we were at the funeral home, I remember that the power went out. I can't remember exactly why the power went out, but I remember how it really made me think. It made me wonder if all the deceased individuals were in heaven or hell, and then it made me stop and think about myself. I stayed awake much of the night pondering this.
The next day, I attended the funeral, and my Papa was one of the ministers who led the funeral service. His message was about making sure of your salvation before death. Again, I pondered the thought of heaven and hell.
That night, I attended a revival service at my church, and by the end of the sermon (which I don't even remember that much about), my heart was beating so fast that I knew the only thing I could do was go to the altar and ask Jesus to save me. My parents were there with me, as well as some of my good friends from the youth, but I asked Daddy if he could go get my Papa. I knew I had to pray for myself, but I really wanted him to pray, too. Papa came, and I stayed in the altar a long time because I didn't want to get up until I was sure that I had accepted Jesus in my heart.
Finally, I felt peace like I had never felt before, and I publicly announced that I was saved. I was baptised a few weeks later.
I continued my walk through high school and studied my Bible regularly. When I went to college, I continued to attend church, but I wasn't as close to God as I had been in high school. I wasn't doing anything particularly bad. I didn't drink and party, I didn't use vulgar language, I respected the curfew my parents gave me when I was under their roof, and I dressed moderately. Everyone around me would have thought I was a strong Christian, but I knew that I was doing some things that did not please God.
In July of 2004, when we were 23, Brent proposed to me, and soon after, I really became convicted of some of the things I had been doing (or not doing) that really hurt my testimony, even though most people had no idea of the things I had been doing. This is the point where I recommitted my life to Jesus, and ever since I have tried to be the Christian witness that God wants me to be. Yes, I have failed at times, but I know that God has forgiven me of my past mistakes, and when he saved me, He saved me for eternity. I thank Him that he loved me, although I was, and still remain, unworthy.