I don't have a flashy testimony or a dramatic conversion experience. For as long as I can remember I have always known the Lord. My mom and dad faithfully took me to church and lived for Jesus. I have had the privalege, thanks to Godly parents, of growing up in the faith. The first time I really remember calling out to God on my own and beginning to develop a personal relationship with Him was when I was a kid and I was in trouble.
We had a big ugly grey navy bus that my Dad bought. As kids we were facinated by "the bus" and loved to play in it..swinging from the grab bars, playing games in it and just using it for a big fort. For reasons I couldn't understand, my dad decided to forbid us from playing in that bus. Well one day as I was playing in the bus and having a great time, I looked out the window and saw my dad coming down the driveway towards me. Fear and panic flashed through me and I quickly ducked down below the windows and hoped that he hadn't seen me. There was to be no escape. My dad came straight to the bus and found me.
Now we had something in our family called the "board of education". It was a benign looking bread board. You would think it was there to chop things on or slice bread...but nooooo.....this was used to paddle behinds (for educational purposes of course). Now as I was walking up the driveway with my dad, I was trying to hold back the tears because I knew that the board of education was waiting for me. My dad was not one to forget something or to be talked out of something. I was scared to death. I knew I walked to my doom.
Just then, one of my dad's business assoicates showed up. Oh joy....a short reprieve from certain doom. He went to talk with his associate leaving me with the assurance that we would finish this later. My doom was just postponed. I sat and cried and cried and then I prayed. "God, please save me. I promised I will never ever go in that bus again without permission. Please make my dad forget! This was a very sincere pray from a scared child. No this wasn't a grand confession of sin and redemption. But it was a heartfelt pray to the Lord. It was a personal interaction with God.
Finally the business associate left and I waited with trembling for what was sure to come. Could I trust God? Would he save me? I knew I didn't deserve to be saved. I had thrown myself on God's mercey. I stayed away from the house for as long as I could but eventually I had to make an appearence. Nothing was said about the board of education or about my terrible disobedience. I made it to bedtime and nothing happened. Did my dad forget? Did he just choose to let it go? I still don't really know....but I did begin to understand that I could have faith in my God. He answered my prayer even though it was self serving and childish. And I kept my end of the bargon with the Lord. I never went in that bus again without permission.
This small grain of faith that was planted has grown over the years. I have seen that when I trust God he is faithful. God used something small to begin my personal relationship with Him. My faith became my own that day. It wasn't just something my parents taught me. It came from my own personal experiencs with a God who answers prayer. He has always been worthy of my trust and faith. He has prepared me in advance with signs and assurances of His goodness and faithfulness for the difficult times that I would endure of losing a son and a husband. My faith has been tested and survived some very difficult times. Romans 8:28 says "All things work together for the good of those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose." I trust my Lord and believe that no matter what happens it will be for His glory and my eternal good.