Today as Christians around the world celebrate Easter, I also personally celebrate another special event. On this day, 23 years ago, I became a Christian as I asked Jesus Christ to come into my heart.
Let me take you back in time to that day. I was 13 years old, and for the past few months, I had this sense that God wanted a deeper relationship with me. Growing up as a daughter of missionaries, Christ was preached day in and day out. At 6, I had said yes to Jesus. I was known as a good girl by everyone around me. So in the eyes of everyone, everything was going well.
Yet recently, as I entered into my teen years, I felt that I needed more. My experience in boarding school had not been kind to me, and maybe it was what made me realise that I was not perfect. I wanted more out of life. There was this new hunger I could not explain and this need for God that was growing every day.
So on this Saturday evening as my Mum preached to the young people that usually gathered at our house in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. I had this conviction that tonight was the night. You see, I had gotten the impulse a few weeks prior at the youth service at Church. But to be honest, I was scared of what people would say. ”Pastor’s child, and it’s only now she is giving her life to Christ.”
Now in my living room, my Mama was preaching and giving the altar call. Still, I remained in my seat. I thought again, how embarrassing this would be if I put my hand up in front of all these people.
Later on, when the house was quiet. After the teenagers had departed for their homes, and we had rearranged the sitting room and dining. I went to my room, closed my door and started to pray.
Then I stood up suddenly; I wasn’t sure if I was doing it right. So I ran into my parent’s bedroom. My mother was startled. ”Bethany are you okay? She asked me.” You see, I had been sick for three months and was waiting to have surgery. So when I came bursting into her room, she thought I was in pain.
Then I quickly told her my predicament. I can still see her smile as she said to me that what I had in mind to do was just fine. There was no ritual as such; all I needed to do was confess my sins and ask Jesus to come into my heart.
So back to my room, I went, and I knelt and prayed that simple but powerful prayer. Then I felt a fantastic sensation of peace. It felt so real that I could almost touch it. Gone was all the anxiety and inside me was this peace and joy bubbling as I stood up and rushed to my Mama. I did it, and He is in my heart. I cried out in relief.
Two weeks later, I had the surgery. Four months after we moved as a family to another country. Giving my life to Christ is the best decision I made.
At 17 years old, I publicly declared my faith by getting baptised in the school’s swimming pool. If you know my aversion for water, that was a bold statement I made. At 18, I was on my own, attending university in California.
My journey has not been an easy one. But my faith in Christ Jesus is what has kept me grounded till date. The confidence that no matter what happens, God who raised Jesus from death is with me is what keeps me trusting and believing even in scary times like the current one are facing right now.
I don’t have all the answers but this one thing I know, because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Also knowing that absolutely nothing can separate me from his love gives me the courage to live out each day.
Dear friends and family, I don’t know if you know Jesus as your saviour. I hope that you would get to know him. Especially in an insecure world like ours, you will find him to be a solid Rock.