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“Hey, I know that man. He saved me.”

Hi there, my name is Shannon. I am the girl for God, and I started this page to share what God has done for me and is doing in the world.

I became a Christian in the winter of 2015. When I was a child my family went to church almost every week. Often the pastor would ask if we knew where we’d spend eternity. I never felt good about the answer, so sitting in the back of our Toyota Tercel on the way home I would ask Jesus into my heart. I didn’t feel like I was bad enough to deserve hell, but just in case, I would ask.

Fast forward to my teen years. I had some opportunities to do some “real” sinning. I figured since I’d said a prayer and didn’t feel anything anyway, I’d do my own thing. For years I would call myself a Christian yet live completely for myself. Over time my conscience dulled. As we read in James 1:14, I was tempted by many things and my desires gave birth to sin. I didn’t feel like I needed God, and did whatever seemed right in my own mind. Sure, I would pray for safety and health for my family, but I barely even felt a pang when I sinned.

Sixteen or so years later, things were going fine. I was married to a nice man, and we had two beautiful healthy kids. I had just enough religion to give me a sense of peace, like fire insurance. I never went to church. I was raising my kids that they just needed to be “good enough” and occasionally read a bible story just in case. Then one winter day, when I was 32, I started to have the strangest thought. “Read your bible”, I would hear in the quiet of my mind. “What??” I thought, “why in the world would I read that?” The thought persisted, and was promptly squashed.

A couple weeks later I came down with a nasty cold. One night I sat in bed, coughing and coughing, with no books left to read. “Read your bible”, I thought again. Finally I gave up and went downstairs to try and find it. It was buried under a stack of things in the basement and completely covered in dust. I grudgingly brought it upstairs and started to read it on my own for the first time.

The old English was rough (King James) but I couldn’t put it down. I saw on facebook from a friend who had recently become a Christian that there were different translations, so I bought one that was easier to read. Oh, it was incredible in those days to read my Bible. I couldn’t put it down. I would read for hours a night, trying to find out what came next. My husband must have thought I had lost my mind. I was so disappointed when I finished the book of Matthew and then realized that Mark, Luke, and John all had the same information (or so I thought at first).  I was thrilled that there were still red letters in Acts, and when I found them again in Revelation.

It was so exciting to read the secrets of the universe. What, humans DON’T become angels? Heaven isn’t our final home, no way! There is no marriage in Heaven? Who is this Holy Spirit and why hadn’t I heard much about him before? And then reading through Genesis, God says “let US…”. Us? God is one but says us? The idea of the Trinity is actually in the bible? We’re saved by faith and not by works, but faith without works is dead, huh?

All of the secrets weren’t so exciting to learn though. I remember reading through Hebrews chapter 10, and coming to verse 26,”For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” I read and reread that passage. Was this me? I had been to church, I had heard the truth, and I had deliberately decided not to choose Christ. Was there really no sacrifice left that could  save me? My heart completely sank and I spent that morning in tears, worrying that I’d come to the truth too late. I came to the decision I would still share Jesus with others; that even if it was no hope for me there was still a chance for others. Thankfully I realized rather quickly that this wasn’t speaking to my situation, but rather to apostates who walked away and never returned to the faith.

A couple years prior I remember going to my parent’s house. Somehow we got into a discussion on religion. I felt wise and kept asking them questions like, “You really believe that a big fish swallowed Jonah? Why does the church use words like sin and repentance, they should use more modern words. Are Christians really the only ones going to Heaven, that doesn’t seem likely. Do they really have to talk about Jesus’s blood, yuck.” I went home and completely forgot about the conversation until years later. Suddenly those words didn’t seem archaic; they were more relevant to me than any other words I’d ever heard. I was a sinner, I needed to repent. Like Peter wanted Jesus to wash all of him when he found out he must be washed to belong, I wanted to be covered head to toe in Jesus’s blood if that’s what it took. The thought of his blood was no longer disgusting; it was liquid gold.

Looking back, I don’t remember when Jesus saved me. One day I was reading my bible with curiosity about who God was, and the next day I was so in love with Him that I practically wanted to die and go to Heaven. Life suddenly seemed too long. Before, I had heard about Jesus going to the cross and dying for my sins. He sounded like a real nice guy. But now, I read the accounts of his crucifixion and tears would just stream down my cheeks. He died  for ME. Seriously. It was my sin that nailed him to that cross. Tens and dozens and hundreds of sinful things I’d done in my life were flooding my mind in those weeks. “Can you really forgive this sin, God? Can you really forgive THAT one?”

As I closed the bible, having read through it for the first time (okay I admit there were a few parts I skimmed!), I wondered if I should ask Jesus into my heart. After all, that’s what we were always told to do. But in that moment, I realized I didn’t need to ask. Jesus Christ was already there, and to ask him again would be to not trust him. I was saved.

The girl who had asked Jesus into her heart every Sunday for years because she didn’t want to go to hell was saved. I knew that I deserved hell, for the first time, and I am incredibly thankful that Jesus saved me from it. But hell was far from my mind during this whole season of coming to Christ. I came to Jesus, not to escape hell, but rather because I didn’t want a life without him in it ever again. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, yes. But it’s love for the Lord that keeps us persevering to the end.

Just as our historical calendar has a “B.C”, before Christ, so does my life. I used to be a girl for myself, and now I am a girl for God. I don’t deserve it; heck, He doesn’t even need me to be for Him. But here I am. This life will be hard. This life will even feel like I’m swimming up a waterfall at times as we stand against a changing culture becoming increasingly hostile to God. But like Peter, I read the hard teachings of Christ and can only say, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life….” (John 6:68)

This blog will be about Him. I have a little sewing business and work out of my garage while my kids are at school. I am blessed with time to listen to sermons as I work, and God gave me a real passion for His word. I want to share this passion with others by sharing the gems I find in sermons, books, and most of all, scripture. I sincerely hope that someone out there is blessed by what I share and draws closer to God. When we realize who He is, and what He has done for us, we can’t help but worship and adore Him. To be a Christian is to make much of God. May He increase, and I decrease.

*The title, “Hey, I know that man, he saved me,” was inspired from a phrase in a sermon my pastor Matt Furr preached a month or so ago. Giving credit where credit is due. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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