(As given on the date of my baptism at Grace Bible Church)
I was baptized as an infant, went to church and Sunday school, participated in choir, youth group, and was confirmed. I went on a Vida Nueva weekend in my senior year in high school, and I had read a goodish chunk of the Bible. By all accounts, I was a Christian, but I wasn’t and I didn’t get it.
Around my 30th birthday (June 2003), I came to a realization that about a third to a half of my life was over, and that at some point, I was going to die. Worse yet, I also realized that it could happen at any moment. Not only that, there wasn’t a thing I do about it, and I was Scared. To. Death. I spent more than a few nights not getting a whole lot of sleep dwelling on this.
Sometime after this had started, I was on the way home from work, I was getting off the Route 52 exit of the Taconic heading toward Pawling, where I lived at the time, and I was listening to the radio and a talk show host, Sean Hannity, was talking with some lady who had called in, debating creationism vs. the big bang with her. His argument in favor of creation was very simple and it made a whole lot of sense to me and I thought hmmm, I need to look into this.
After that, I went on, what I only realized later was a quest to prove to myself that if creation was true, and then was the Bible true. I found both to be true. During this time or shortly thereafter, I started attending church and a small group.
It was around November or December 2003 (probably December as there was snow on the ground) and I had been reading Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis and I had a brief glimpse of my true wretchedness before God, outside of Christ, and it was absolutely awful. I did something that I almost never do to books, and I turned down the corner of the page. In the book, he talks about the moral law of God, how everybody agrees to it — proved by the fact that when we offend it, we attempt to justify ourselves, not just say “your rules are stupid” — but nobody keeps it. The moral law is embodied in the Ten Commandments, and I had transgressed all of them in spirit if not in letter. This affected me in such a way that I remember telling one of my friends from my small group about it rather emphatically. It was around this time that I repented of my sins and began to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, as I otherwise had no hope to stand on the day of judgment in my own righteousness as the law of God shows me I didn’t have any.
From that time, I started to, and continue to, with God’s help, do my best to repent from my sins and ask forgiveness for them, to keep myself from sin, and to recognize and remove myself from situations where I tend to fall into sin. I have gained a thirst for the Word and a desire to obey what I discover from reading His Word. More recently, I have had a growing desire to reach the lost, so that they may not suffer God’s wrath on the day of judgment because of their sin, but obtain salvation through Jesus Christ.
Not too long after I was saved, I had been reading something online that said something like “If you’re not sure you are saved, you probably aren’t” and I was a bit afraid. After a while, I came to the realization, that if I wasn’t saved, then I had managed to bring forth the changes in myself all by myself, and I realized how absurd (and insulting to God) it would be to think that way. I realized that I must have had God’s help, because I definitely did not have the ability to change myself in that way. More recently I realized that not only would I not have had the ability to do it on my own, but without God, I wouldn’t have had the desire or will to either, for as the Scripture says: “there is none that seeks after God”.
One last thing. It’s kind of weird when you’re experiencing some form of trouble, and it goes away, but you don’t notice it immediately. It had been a little while after this that I noticed I had been sleeping much better, and I realized it was because I hadn’t been staying up late at night worrying about my death. It was because I wasn’t worrying about it anymore, because I knew if I died, I know I would go to Heaven.