A woman came to speak to my basketball team after practice one night in December. She talked about us being physical, mental, emotional and spiritual, and that the best athletes are growing in all those areas.
My family went to church every week, but I wasn’t doing much about that side of my life. When I sat down with her later, she asked me what I thought would happen if I crossed the street and got hit by a car and died. I said I’d go to heaven because that’s what I’d heard in church. But that night, alone in my room, I wondered how can you know? What if, despite my best efforts, I wasn’t good enough?
I started to hang out with some Christians who seemed like they really knew God, like it made a difference in their day-to-day life. I learned that I could be sure about things like heaven and my purpose in life by having a one-to-one relationship with God.
I’d always thought it was like a giant scale, if I did enough good things to outweigh the bad, I was “in” with Him. But they explained that no one is good enough, we’re all separated from a relationship with God.
The great news is that He didn’t leave us there; He loved me so much He sent Jesus as a GIFT to connect me back to God. “So that’s it!” I’d never really understood my need for Jesus (other than the occasional “Help me!”) or why people said they were saved—saved from what?! Suddenly I understood that I was saved from that separation and always trying to be good enough.
What a phenomenal Christmas present I received that year, when Jesus’ GIFT of forgiveness and new life became mine.
Wendy is on staff with Destino in Indiana.
Photo credit: kris_mouser-brown.