Q: I’ve gone to church my whole life. When I was around nine or ten, one night I prayed and asked Jesus to save me. The thing is, I was really shy (and still am), and so I didn’t tell anyone. Since I hadn’t told anyone about my relationship with Christ, I wondered if it was real, so a week later I asked Him to come into my life again. That happened a couple more times, but I still never told anyone. Eventually, when I was twelve, my pastor asked me to meet with him, and I prayed with him. Now, I keep wondering when I was really saved. It was a process for me, not a particular moment, and I sort of feel like I need to know a real date. What do you think?
Thank you so much for your honest and vulnerable question. You are definitely not alone in your feelings, or in your wondering when you “really” got saved. I love the word you used, “process.” That one word describes so much of our journey in faith! Sure, many people have a particular moment when they decide to give their lives to God–when they believe that Jesus is Lord, and that God raised Him from the dead (Romans 10:9, NLT). But even then, their lives are always marked by a process of surrendering more and more of their lives–their sin, dreams, hopes and fears–to God, in exchange for more holiness through the Holy Spirit’s work in their hearts. I think there are just as many people, though, who can’t point to a one-time “conversion” at all. Theirs is a story of God gradually, but purposefully, drawing them closer to His heart over months or even years. This is your story, and mine as well. Even though I “prayed a prayer” with my mom when I was four years old, I can point to two major turning points in my teen years when I really, truly, wholly gave God control of my life.
I think that’s part of the beauty of our individual love stories with God: They’re just that–individual. Think about it–How boring would it be if every husband and wife had the exact same love story of how they met, fell in love and lived life together? Our relationship with God is the most beautiful, romantic relationship we can ever have in this life or the next. Doesn’t it just seem right that our individual stories with him should be unique?
Thinking about the shyness that kept you from telling anyone about your decisions(s) to follow Christ… I definitely understand how hard that can be. I’m assuming by now you’ve come to a place where you can be more open about your faith? Baptism is a big part of that. It is an opportunity to “go public” with your faith. If you haven’t already been baptized, I’d encourage you to do so!
I hope that helps, sis. Continue to cherish and cultivate the beautiful love story God is writing with you!