Friday, June 25, 2010

How I Found True Love

I grew up searching for love. I wanted to find the perfect man to share my life with and church seemed a good place to start. As a child I would go to church as often as I could. I went to Catholic church with my 'step' grandfather occasionally when I was really young and then as a preteen I began going to a baptist church with my sister's friend for AWANA. At first just my little sister had been invited to go along with her new best friend, and same name pal, Nicole, but after a week or 2, the rest of us were allowed to tag along also. That eventually evolved into not only Wednesday nights, but Sunday morning services as well. My first experience in Sunday school was not a super positive one, but I was just a very sensitive soul, and the teacher had unintentionally hurt my feelings. Still I felt drawn to church and I loved being surrounded by a group of people who just seemed to care.

Love was in the air at church and somewhere along the line that's where I met 'Him'. The man I had been longing for. He was kind and caring. I knew He would always take care of me. I loved Him.

Over the next few months, I jumped at any opportunity possible to go to church, where I could be closest to Him. The atmosphere there was like none I had ever experienced before, I was accepted in this world. When at my very public school, I was often the outcast and never quite popular enough to feel comfortable. But when we began going to church I never looked back. I didn't want that part anymore, I was content to who I had become at school, because I knew I would always have Him and I would always have church. Though I had never said a specific prayer, I knew Him in my heart. I was baptized along with my mom, at the age of 12. I knew Jesus' love, and I knew He had died for me, and I wanted nothing more than to give Him my life.

In my teen years, the monumental moment when I got my license came and I could not have been more thrilled to have a car. I actually had a job a couple of months prior, so I needed that car to drive to work, and more importantly to drive myself to church. My mom, being a manager in the retail business, was not able to have as many weekends off anymore as she had when my sisters and I were younger. I on the other hand, refused to work Sundays, at least any hours that conflicted with church. Occasionally I would do a short shift, I would rush off after the morning service and then rush back just a few minutes late for youth group. I was used to the rushing anyway, most of my shifts were immediately after school, a 20-30 minute drive away! I rushed EVERYWHERE those 3 years in high school!

Nothing could keep me from my church and from my Jesus. My heart ached, and still does today, seeing those around me, stumbling awkwardly in the dark. I even wrote a poem about it in high school. I would spend nights crying myself to sleep because I loved my friends, but some just would not hear the truth. Their ears and their hearts were closed to my words, to His words. I remember one girl though. She was new to our church, and a year older then I was. I had never had someone ask me so many questions about salvation! I said the prayer with her that I had heard recited so often in church, and since I didn't have all the answers for her questions myself, I was able to direct her to someone who would. I just remember feeling such excitement at her curiosity and then overwhelming joy when she did accept Jesus. She had met the perfect man that would love her unconditionally, just as I had years before. It was an indescribable feeling to be able to be a part of introducing her to Jesus.

But my heart still aches, because even within my own family, I know there are some still searching for perfect love now. Some think they find it in another person, others maybe in a bottle, or in sports or maybe work. Truly though the only place you can find such perfect love is in the Bible and in the hearts of His believers today. And the best part is, it is a completely free and wonderful gift. It can heal all the hurts in your past and bring new, true joy for the future. And it is unconditional, no matter what deep dark secrets you may cling onto, He knows them, and He wants you to let them go and be washed by His grace. And when you do, you have the assurance of an everlasting life with Him in heaven.

Do you know this perfect love yet? Will you go to heaven when you die? It's not about doing or being what the world calls 'good', its about knowing and accepting Christ's free gift of salvation. And if you want to know Him all you have to do is pray for Him to come into your heart and be a part of your life. There are no special secret words, because this must be a sincere prayer from your heart. Just close your eyes, bow you head and call out to Jesus, ask for forgiveness from your sinners and welcome Him into your heart and life to be Lord. You must turn away from things of the world, and rest on Him alone.

"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." ~John 3:16

"And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved." ~ Acts 4:12

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. ~2 Corinthians 5:17

In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace... ~Ephesians 1:7

If you said that prayer please feel free to contact me! I would love to rejoice with you in your new life and new hope in Jesus!! The next step would be to get a bible, so you can learn God's word and grow closer to Him, as well as to find a church with other believers so that they may encourage you and pray for you!

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