Okay, I don't really know the EXACT date that I accepted Christ. I do know it was in April of 1994. Today is the day that I celebrate my salvation birthday. I have since my first year.
I must say, 20 years is a long time to know the Lord. Yet it seems as if it is such a short time. I want to share some of my lessons of knowing Jesus Christ for 20 long/short years!
First, He is faithful, even when I am not. There have been times when I just didn't think that serving Him was worth it. I was tempted to walk away. One time, I nearly did. These times of wanting to quit Christianity come when I am at my weakest and my most painful days. It's hard to keep going when you're in so much pain.
His faithfulness is one of the things I love about Him. Growing up, I was abused, neglected, and abandoned. My mom would leave me and my sister and head off to who knows where. We were left with our aunt. My family is not the best role models. I became the black sheep of the family, not because of anything I had done, but because of the family's rejection of me. My family favors one sibling over the other. The favored one becomes the one that is set up on a pedestal. The rejected one becomes the scapegoat for anything the favored one does. Thankfully, Jesus favors me. He doesn't set me up on a pedestal. Nor does He refrain from disciplining me. No, His favoritism is just what I have needed throughout my life. Just because He favors me doesn't mean that He rejects someone else. His favor surrounds me, just like it surrounds every one who belongs to Him.
Which leads me to the second thing I love about Jesus. He accepts me for who I am. I don't have to pretend to be someone else that I'm not. I don't have to pretend that I have no feelings, that I am immune to people's insults and rejection. I can run to Him for comfort, just like I have always wanted to do with my own father. He doesn't try to sugarcoat or explain my hurt. He wraps His arms around me and holds me close. When I try to hide my true feelings from Him, He gently reminds me that He is the One who created me. He knows me, so why try to hide from Him? So, I let Him have it all. My fears, my excitement, my anger, my disappointments, my pain, my joys, and my doubts. I confide in Him every feeling that comes my way. Prayer has become one way of my emotional release. Jesus doesn't rebuke me for having these feelings. When I am in His presence, He doesn't rebuke me for things I cannot control (like my memory, losing things, and getting my hopes up only to have them crushed). His acceptance draws me ever nearer to Him.
The third thing that I love about Jesus is His unlimited love. I don't have to do anything. I don't have to say anything. He loves me. I can hurt Him, if I really wanted to. I can slander Him and reject Him. He will still love me. His love is limitless and complete. That means that I cannot earn His love. I cannot make Him stop loving me. I haven't met anyone with so much love. He loves me unconditionally. His love draws me closer to Him.
With everything I have been through these past 20 years, I can say with conviction that Jesus is who He says He is. My heart is ever entwined with His, and I am eternally His. My faith has grown to the point where nothing can separate me from Him. I know His presence, I have felt His love, and I have seen Him work in my life. I am strictly His, and there will be no other to replace Him. He owns my life, my heart, my soul, and my mind. I am deeply in love with Him, and it continues to grow.