My Life Before Christ
I grew up in a western suburb of Chicago. Growing up, I do not recollect ever hearing about God or Jesus, or even ever thinking about God. I thought I was fine; I didn’t know that I was “dead in [my] trespasses and sins,” as Ephesians 2:1 tells me. Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” That was me—walking along the wrong path and I didn’t know it.
How Christ Saved Me
When I was 32 years old, in God’s sovereignty, He placed me in an office with a young man who was a brand new Christian. He began to share with me each day what he and his wife had read the night before in the book of John. He continued to plant the seeds of Scripture in me for almost three months. Romans 10:17 tells me, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.” This is what was going on during those months. In addition, though I didn’t know it, several Christians at my workplace were praying for my salvation.
On Sunday, April 27, 1980, my husband Tom and I took a friend whose life was a mess to Metrocenter to see an art display. We wanted to help our friend, but we didn’t know how. We ran into an artist we had bought a painting from a couple of years before, and he had since become a Christian. While my husband stayed to talk to him, my friend and I kept walking. Tom came and got us and, within minutes, I sat, holding my friend’s hand, while an older Christian man began to ask her spiritual questions. As I listened to him giving her the Gospel, I suddenly was aware that there was something going on here and I wasn’t a part of it—and I wanted to be. Now, no one knew what was going on inside of me except God and me. But at that moment, Keith (the artist) squatted down in front of us and put his hand on my knee. He asked me if I had received Christ. I began to cry from what John 16:8 says is the conviction of “sin and righteousness and judgment” from the Holy Spirit. Keith said we needed to stop and pray the sinner’s prayer.
As I confessed my sin to God and asked Him to forgive me, come into my life, and take control, Romans 10:9-10 became true in my life: “…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Then, amazingly, Keith’s friend Don went upstairs where Tom was watching his art display, and shared the Gospel with him—and he, too, received Christ. So we walked out of Metrocenter born again!
His Life in Me Since
When I told my boss the next day that we had prayed to receive Christ the day before, he invited us to church the next Sunday. As I began to soak up the truth of God’s Word, my blindness to the glory of Christ was gone. Second Corinthians 4:6 told me God had “…shone in [my heart] to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” Gone was what Ephesians 4:18 says is “being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.” The Holy Spirit opened the Scriptures for me in the Bible—a book I had never even held before, let alone read. I had a new love in my life—the love of Christ. I thank God for the Holy Spirit, who not only opens the Word for me, but also quickly brings conviction when I sin.
God has brought me through some deep valleys since my day of salvation 34 years ago: the sudden death of my husband of 32 years, the death of my mom, and the suicide of my dad. Yet through it all He has remained faithful and has held me steadfast in my faith. And He blessed me with a godly man, Gene Miller, who became my husband over 12 years ago.
God has given me a new life; one I never expected. I know who I am: 1 Peter 2:9 tells me I am part of “…a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a person for God’s own possession, so that [I can] proclaim the excellencies of Him who has brought [me] out of darkness into His marvelous light.” I know why I am here: 2 Corinthians 5:20 tells me I am one of God’s “…ambassadors for Christ; as though God were pleading through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.” And I know where I am going: Romans 6:23 tells me that “…the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Thank God that He loved me enough to send His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for my sins; to save me, a 32 year old woman who had never given Him a thought. He rescued me when I didn’t know I needed to be rescued.