Grace Stories
  • June 17, 2018 Baptism
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  • June 17, 2018 Baptism
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  • June 17, 2018 Baptism
  •        
  • June 17, 2018 Baptism
  •        
June 17, 2018 Baptism

Before the foundation of the world God had a plan, a plan to create. His plan was to create us, men and women in his image and likeness. One of these people that God had in mind was me. I was born into a loving Christian home in sunny South Carolina. At the time, my parents went to a small Evangelical Christian Church and as I grew up I felt very comfortable with the people I saw and the things I heard there. Church was normal part of life for me.  At a young age my parents, Sunday school teachers, and pastors taught me about who my creator was and all the He could do and did for me. I understood the simple principles like God is powerful and He loves you. I also learned that I was sinful and a man named Jesus died for me. Although these were powerful truths, I quickly dismissed there actual meaning.

Around the age of nine I was singing in Church and I felt something. I feeling that is hard to explain, like my heart was trying to jump out of my chest. Since I was in church, I took this feeling to be my salvation. Mistakenly, I told my parents I had been saved. I thought that salvation was contingent on a feeling, something deep down inside. I thought that God gave you a feeling and then you will know you’re saved. I lacked the knowledge about the true sacrifice and what he did for me and I continued to enjoy my sinful life. A time of real spiritual growth for me was around the age of eleven or twelve. God revealed more to me in his word. By sitting under teaching I grew in more knowledge of the Lord. Also at this time I attended summer camp. During my time at camp the Lord opened my eyes to the depth of my sin. My counselors told me that God could not be around sin. This devastated me because I felt rejected by a loving God. I remember sitting and crying over my sin. I thought about the pain it brought others and most importantly God. In these times I confessed my sin over and over again. I knew I was not worthy of God’s love and I asked for the Lord’s forgiveness. My time at summer camp helped me to realize that although my sin was deep, God’s love was greater and that his love was ultimately displayed on the cross.

After all of this I still felt as though God would never accept me into his family. I doubted the Lord’s faithfulness and love. Once again I thought salvation came through a feeling. I still read my bible and attended church, but doubts crept into my heart and resided there. As I continued to grow physically, I watched the scenery in my life change. God faithfully provided for my family through our move. The move grew my dependence on the Lord. Although I might not have directly called on God at this time in my life, I can now clearly see his provision at this point in time. Through his word, the Lord began to show me that salvation was not dependent on how I felt, but on the sacrifice that Christ paid on the cross. I realized that my salvation was not dependent on any feeling I had, but rather on the truth in God’s word. I realized that Jesus actually died so that I might live. God’s plan isn’t just some fairy tale it actually happened in real time and space. By grace He erased my doubts and brought me closer to himself. I was encouraged by verses like these, “And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:6)

Nowadays, I sometimes still have doubts, but I now know that I am anchored in Christ and this was nothing of my own doing but all of his work. Yes, I am still sinful but I rest in the fact that God through his grace has and is still completing the good work he started in me all those years ago. Through the process of sanctification God is molding me into the young women he wants me to become. Daily, the Lord helps me to realize me need for Jesus. Praise God for his everlasting mercy and grace.

Laura Gahagan