10.29.2012

My Story

PhotobucketThree years old. What do you remember from your third year of life? Perhaps you learned how to ride a tricycle or swim in a pool. Maybe a new sibling arrived and took over your spot as the "baby" of the family. When I was three years old, I made a life-changing decision. Something that would affect me the rest of my life, influence the paths that I would take, my choice of a spouse, even influence where I would live and how I viewed everyone around me.

What was this decision? When I was three years old, I asked Jesus Christ to be my Savior. Not in a Sunday school class, not kneeling before an altar, not even at the knee of my mother. All by myself, alone in my bedroom. While I was happily playing away with my Fischer Price dollhouse, the Lord chose to tug on the heart of a 3 year old child. I remember kneeling by my bed, asking the Lord to come into my heart, a request made using the simple vocabulary of a toddler. Nothing fancy, nothing rehearsed, not repeating the prayer of an adult. I remember feeling like my heart would pound out of my chest. Did I know what I was doing? You bet I did!

My parents had laid the groundwork for this tenderness of heart. From the day they found out I would be arriving as a late surprise to their family of 6, they started praying for me to come to know my Heavenly Father at a young age. They even prayed for my future spouse - if there were to be one - and that he (or, if I had been a boy, she) would also come to know the Lord early in their life. By the time I was born, Peter had already been a Christian for three years. The heritage of Godly parents cannot be overstated.

I still remember the Sunday, a few weeks prior to my prayer, that both of my parents were occupied with the church service. When communion came around, I took it. Everyone else was, so I supposed that I should as well. Afterwards, I casually mentioned it to Mom, who then took the time to explain why I couldn't do that, and what would have to change in order for me to join in. I remember being mortified, feeling as if I had done something wrong. That perhaps God was angry with me. Of course, my mother never implied any such thing, but she did use it as a teaching opportunity, one which built upon previous instruction and sunk deep into my memory.

PhotobucketMy siblings used to say that I was born old. I know that growing up in a family of adults impacted me in a variety of ways - all good - and that included watching them in their growth as Believers. In fact, I believe that part of the reason I came to know Christ at such a young age was because I wanted to be like my much older brothers and sisters in every way. If that included asking Jesus into my heart so we could spend eternity in the same place, then that's what I would do.

After praying in my bedroom, I marched into the living room, interrupting my mom and sister to inform them that I had "done something". Assuming it was something naughty, my mother asked what it was that I had done. It was at that moment I felt the embarrassment creep in, I wanted to shrink into my tiny sweater and disappear from their view. I couldn't imagine what I was thinking, running in to tell my mom in front of my sister, but at that point, there was no going back. "I asked Jesus into my heart", I whispered. My poor mother. I'm quite certain that was the last thing that she expected to come out of her 3 year old daughter's mouth.

Mom's response to my announcement is one that she has since apologized for - disbelief. She asked me what I did, then she asked me to pray with her again...just to make sure. I don't blame her for wondering if a 3 year old knew what she was doing, but I'm also equally as sure that the first time, by myself, "took". I don't remember praying with her at all, but I do remember praying in my bedroom. However, the long and short of it is, on December 8, 1985 (two days before my 4th birthday), Jesus Christ heard the sinners prayer of a little girl in the mountains of East Tennessee, and He has been Lord of my life ever since. The best decision I ever made.

What's YOUR story?

I'm linking up with DogFur and Dandelion today. 
Click through to read more testimonies.

DogFur and Dandelions

5 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post. I loved it. And I love the fact that you were only three and you sharing how your parents' Godly influence was such a big part of that. This is something I want so badly for my son. This has been our prayer since we found out about our little guy being on the way. I love that your mom used a teachable moment like she did. I feel like trying to share Christ with my son is something that needs to be continually happening from early on. But then somedays, I feel silly praying in front of him or reading him Bible stories or taking him to worship services at church since he obviously doesn't grasp it quite yet. However, the fact that you were three shows that it is never too early :)

    And my story? My mom said that I was little too. But I honestly had no memory of it. This fact really bothered me... since I couldn't remember, I didn't think it had meant anything to me. I wanted to be able to recall making such a life-changing choice. Who knows... maybe it wasn't really the first time, but I accepted Christ at summer camp (the circus year!) in Greenville (isn't that where the 4H one was?).

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    Replies
    1. Erika - I think I remember you being a clown that year! :) Julie B. and I had an elephant costume. Good memories from the 4-H camp. :) I didn't include this in my story, but when I was about 8, I freaked out because I thought my prayer at 3 wasn't fancy enough for God, so I "did it again" in our back yard, using all the big words I could think of. When I told mom, she took the time to explain that once was enough.

      No, it is NEVER too early or too soon to teach your children about the Lord. I am living proof of that. Keep up the good work - it all sinks in, even when you think it's a waste of time! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. "The heritage of Godly parents cannot be overstated." Amen!! And I hope anyone else reading this will realize that, even if their child is older when they realize their need for salvation, a godly heritage is rarely ineffective. It makes a tremendous difference both in salvation and in walking the Christian life.

    Thanks so much for sharing your story! I enjoyed reading how God worked in your life even at such a young age. Praying you have a blessed Monday, friend!

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  3. Such a lovely story Carrie. I was the same as you, although it was at four and Mum asked me if I wanted to. I said yes and then promptly forced my two year old brother to do the same!

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  4. I really enjoyed reading your testimony. Thank you sharing, Carrie!

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There are more than 400,000 words in the English language. My only request of you is this: Use them wisely.

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