I grew up very different from the people I grew up with. My father was the son of a Baptist preacher. I guess that makes me a preacher’s granddaughter. My grandfather grew up Methodist while my grandmother was a Baptist. My grandfather loved her, but they were of a different faith. In the Bible, it says we are not to be unequally yoked.
Even though he passed away before I could meet him, I was well known in the Baptist church I grew up in because of my grandfather. To be honest, I hated going to church. I did not see the point. I guess that is what every kid goes through. I would rather remain at home exploring the woods and playing with my dogs. (We did not have iPads and Phones like the kids do today.)
I never even thought about salvation until it was brought to my attention when I was nine years old during VBS. I thought all I had to do for salvation was say, “God save me.”
Done. I did not know you actually had to put your faith and trust in God and give your life to Him.
There was a big storm at my house one night, and I decided to pray. I said, “God save me.” I never truly gave my heart to Him. I thought of it as words out of my mouth rather than my heart. I was not even under conviction. When I told my mom about it, she was not excited like I thought.
She just said, “Okay, just talk to the pastor about it.”
Talking to the pastor just frightened me. It frightened me because it did not feel right. I knew I was not saved deep down. Years went on, and I still was not saved. I remember a friend coming up to me asking me if I was, and I said no. She elbowed me hard and said I was a terrible person because I was not saved. It breaks my heart how churches and people are these days trying to force salvation. I recovered by saying I was saved but was not baptized yet. I felt ashamed when people asked me, so I used that as an excuse.
When I was eleven, my church had a rocky year. Our pastor that we had for almost twenty years resigned. There was a big divide and people left. We began to pray and God answered our prayer with a preacher that we needed so badly. He was such a blessing that I can not describe. He began to preach salvation, and many made professions of faith and were saved.
I remember that year was the worst. I was under conviction. Knowing that you are separated from God is the worst feeling in the world. There were times I could not sleep because I was scared I would wake up in hell. I was unsaved. I was a dirty sinner. I was imperfect and unrighteous. I thought I could make it on my own. I was a preacher’s granddaughter. I was brought up in the church. I sang praises to God and memorized scripture! Why did I need to be saved? I was a good girl who never drank, did drugs, or wore anything ungodly. It is because of these verses.
"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”(Romans 3:23)
“There are none righteous, no, not one.” (Romans 3:10)
None of us are perfect. None of us are Jesus. That is why Jesus died in place of our sins. If this is untrue, Christ died in vain. He died so we could live. He loves us so much, and I cannot see why.
I had enough that Thursday night at my church’s VBS. I kept hearing salvation messages over and over. I was sick of it. That night I talked to my cousin about it. She told me I needed to talk to the pastor. I was very shy then, but when it came to my eternity, I did not care. I had multiple chats with our new pastor about salvation, but this time I was under conviction.
After our chat, I came home to my bedroom, went to my bedside on my knees, and prayed. I do not remember much about what I said, but I believed. I surrendered my all to the one true King. I asked Him to come into my heart and change my ways. I was a sinner in need of the savior who died in the place of my sins. Afterward, I knew I was saved. I had a feeling of peace like no one can describe.
June 18, 2015, was the best day of my life! My family was so happy for me, and they all came to see me get baptized that following Sunday on Father’s Day.
The devil tried to get into my head telling me I was not saved. There was no way a perfect God would save a dirty sinner like me. My friends, the devil tries to destroy everything we have. All my joy was not going to be destroyed by him. He no longer was a part of me.
After I was saved, I had so much joy inside me. I wanted others to have what I had. I began witnessing. Some did not like the way I was acting and some did. I had a friend, who I still pray for today, tell me I was not changed. I was the exact same person I was a few months prior.
This really discouraged me. I realized how much of an outcast I was compared to other teenagers. I decided to fit in with the crowd rather than be a light. I stopped having a relationship with God. This is the biggest regret I have. I fell so behind. We are to continue to know God. We are to bear his fruit.
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
God soon had my attention when I went through a series of depression. I lost most of my friends after standing up for my faith. My friends tried to convince me to support things that were not right according to God’s word.
I became so depressed and lonely that year. I never want to go through those feeling ever again. It was such a dark place.
However, my church went on a mission trip to Canada that summer, and I rededicated my life to Christ. I realized He was the truest friend. He was always there with me. I wanted to honor Him with my life. Once I gave God the control button of my life, I began to witness more unashamed. Because of this, God changed my life completely and blessed me.
I gained a whole new group of friends who share the same faith as me. These friends I will never trade anything for. I fell in love with the music ministry. God opened the doors for me to learn music more and more at the school, GSofA. I have gained a whole new life because of Him.
Through Him, I find my identity. Many stopped hanging out with me from my old life because of my faith. There comes a choice when we must choose between the world and God. I have gotten negative feedback about my faith. It hurts, but we are always promised tribulation in this life.
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
I would rather have Jesus than anything. I have been picked on because of my beliefs saying I was too religious. I have been told I could not do things because I was a Christian. I have been looked down upon. Yes, it hurts but it is so worth it.
I chose Jesus because He is my savior, and He loves me more than anything. I would choose Him over and over again if I had to choose between him and worldly treasures.
If you do not have the joy of being saved, I am praying for you. Jesus loves you so much! He is only one prayer away. Cry out to him and he will receive you with open arms! If you have any questions, my blog is thekaylajournal.com. I would be glad to hear from you! My social media are also @thekaylajournal and @mikaylarainey. I love y’all and I am praying for ya’ll!
Your Sister In Christ,