When Jesus first made me aware that He wanted my life, I was about 15 years old. I had a part time job that I worked at two afternoons a week, and all day Saturday. This was at a Dog Breeding and Boarding Kennel not far from my parents home.
On this particular Saturday, I was walking to the kitchen from the “puppy room” when I knew the Spirit of God wanted me to stop all that I was doing and find a quiet place to commune with Him. So I did. I returned to the Whelping Room, which was quiet and with soft lighting. I was aware in my heart that God was asking me what was preventing me from living for, and serving Him. Mentally, I ran through all of my priorities. I literally sat and made a mental list of all of the things that I thought I could not do in life, and still serve Him. He must have laughed. But, instead of laughing to me, in my heart or mind, He simply began the process of elimination.
One prerequisite, was to live in California. Exactly 7 years later, all other prerequisites now satisfied, I was living in California, and was completely aware of the fact, that I was there, by God’s choosing and design. And it was here, that I started going and sitting in my car, in church parking lots every Sunday morning, and Wednesday evening, hoping that someone would come forward and invite me in.
After a few months of this regular routine, the week prior to Easter, my work sent me to the University of California, Davis for a week long seminar on my employment aversion of “Marketing”. There, a woman sat beside me who was so “alive” and “full of life” and had such a “zest for living”. Throughout the week we were all given assignments, some to work on individually, some to work on in groups, and some in pairs. On the Wednesday, we were assigned to work in pairs on the types of business that would be greatly enhanced by our host business. We were told to go and spend the day at the UC, Davis library.
This aforementioned gal paired up with me. She announced she wanted to leave early as she had “church” that night. I asked if I could accompany her. She said yes and gave me the directions. When I walked into the church that evening it was like the physical sensation of coming home after a long and difficult time away from home (the Prodigal Son perhaps felt this way returning to his father’s farm?). A time where duty calls you away, and every day away, your heart pines for home and the loving and familiar people and arrangements that make you so accepted and loved and welcomed.
Before the service ended, and before the Pastor closed the service, I simply went forward, sat on the steps of the alter and waited for him to finish so I could ask him to pray with me to receive Jesus’ forgiveness and salvation by my own request and choosing; not that of my parents, or grandparents or otherwise.
And after he prayed with me, it was as though the weight of the world was lifted off of my shoulders and I was free, truly free indeed. God gave me but one command at that moment, that I go forth from this moment, and worship and serve and obey Him! Because up until that moment in time, I had been a people pleaser. A needy and manipulating people pleaser.