A Christian Home – What a Privilege!
I was born into a very privileged, and loving, Christian home. I heard the good news about Jesus Christ from the very start. I always believed there was a God and never doubted that being saved was right.
When I was just six years old, I tried inserting my name into the well-known Bible verse:
‘For God so loved the world
that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever (Dawn Wall)
believeth in Him,
should not perish but have everlasting life.”
But mechanically putting your name in a verse is not salvation. I soon found out there was more to it than that.
Spiritual Struggles of a Young Person
At age eleven I had another personal experience. Was this salvation? I thought so. I hoped so. I was pretty sure it was but I struggled with doubts and insecurities. In my early teens, depression struck and if that wasn’t bad enough I went through a really difficult time with bullying. So at 14, I had to drop out of school and then repeat the year. It wasn’t easy.
Baptism and Church Attendance
Spiritually, I progressed to baptism which I knew was supposed to follow a person’s salvation. And then I joined the fellowship of Christians in the local church I was brought up in. But I was miserable. I felt like I didn’t fit in. Was it me or the people at the church? So I left and tried other churches. What could they offer me? I went to several different churches and met a lot of wonderful people and some who really knew Jesus Christ as their Saviour. But I still felt like I didn’t belong. I was miserable.
Leaving Home – Spreading My Wings
A friend and I moved into an apartment in Charlottetown (Prince Edward Island). No longer at home, we were going to discover what independence was all about. But soon after depression struck again and with suicidal thoughts it forced me to return to my family and home for safety.
Bubbles That Always Burst
Would a new job bring me the satisfaction and fulfillment that was eluding me? With my new employment, a whole new window of opportunity opened up to me. I would finally discover what the world had to offer me. I began drinking, partying, and thought, now this is it; this is fun! I began dating and enjoying the lusts of this world. I’m not proud of these things and only make mention of them to show you how the devil tempts and tries to destroy us, and how God works through each and every experience.
In my desperation to end all the frustrations of life, I was hospitalized at 21 after attempting suicide. Was that one of those life-changing experiences that causes a person to turn their back on their sinful and selfish pursuits to see the Lord? You would think it would be. You would think such a close call would wake me up. But no – I decided I needed a change.
Running Farther Away
I moved to another province – New Brunswick. Relationships can be dangerous. I found myself in a verbally and physically abusive relationship with an individual who was wrapped up in the world of drug dealing.
How could a girl from a Christian home become so mixed up? The stark reality was: I was blind and lost. I was searching for something more. There had to be something that would bring me happiness. I blamed God for all my problems. I thought: how could God love me and let this happen to me?
My sins bothered me. I knew I was not doing the right thing. Knowing that I was upsetting my family and friends just tore me apart. I wasn’t just hurting myself; I was hurting everyone who ever cared about me. I moved back home again and figured this time, I’d get it right. I’d start living for God and get my life back on track.
Scheming and Conniving Hoping to Find My Own Way
I called an old acquaintance who was also from a Christian home but caught up in a world of sin. I foolishly thought: if I could get this guy to become a Christian, things will work out and everyone will forgive me for being so stupid and for making such a mess of my life. But I couldn’t ‘make’ anyone become a Christian. Only God can save, but I was willing to try anything to end the burden I was carrying.
God was working in my life. He was trying to wake me up from the sleep of sin I was in. But still my stubborn pride and the devil’s taunting kept me moving in the wrong direction – away from God. I tried presenting myself as a ‘Christian’ again hoping to become an active member of a Christian fellowship. But they must have had doubts about my qualifications and perhaps questioned whether I was truly a believer because of my lifestyle. So it didn’t happen and I am glad it didn’t. Had it happened, I might have coasted along thinking that I was okay and that I was a Christian. Wouldn’t it be a tragedy to drift through life hoping you are saved and trying to convince yourself that you are okay and then to suddenly die. Can you imagine how awful it would be to miss Heaven?
You Can’t Please God if You Don’t Belong To Him
The reality is: you can’t live for God if you don’t belong to God. I would soon find out what my real spiritual need was.
I began a relationship with someone I worked with and thought life was finally turning around for me. This time, I had a great job, good friends, a great guy, and a party to go to every weekend. I tried drugs and began to drink a lot more which helped to really numb the guilt and pain (until the next morning). From one weekend to the next, I would work two jobs to get the money to pay my bills and pay for my weekend of partying.
Was I having fun? No! I was simply throwing myself into a world where I didn’t have to deal with the reality that there is a God. I knew my parents had reality. Christ was real to them but I was running in the opposite direction – much to their disappointment.
A Sin I Couldn’t Hide. “I’m pregnant.”
Almost a year into my relationship I discovered I was pregnant. There was no hiding this one! Other sins I may have been able to hide from my family, but not this time. Besides, all of my sins were known to God. My boyfriend begged for an abortion and decided he could not deal with being a father. Back home I came! I was broken hearted, felt rejected, used, and felt like a complete idiot. I won’t go into depth about the situation but just know that I was in misery and once again blaming God for allowing this to happen.
I Love My Son and Would Give Him Up for No One
Soon my son, Logan, was born and there was no way anyone could possibly doubt the existence of God after such a miraculous journey as birth. I wanted to be a good mother and knew I had to start facing God for my sins. I was depressed, hurt, scared, bitter, and angry, but the love I had for my son was like nothing I had ever known before.
I wanted to make things right for my son and knew I would have to make things right with God before I could ever be the mother my son needed. I went to a gospel service one evening and I recall the speaker saying: “If you are not sure you are saved, then chances are you’re not!” That was an arrow straight to my heart.
Listening to Logan Breathing
My sins were bothering me more than ever before and I would spend hours just crying. One night, I lay listening to the sound of Logan breathing in his crib. I knew if he died in his sleep he would wake-up in Heaven. He was only an infant. But if the same thing happened to me, I wouldn’t. And I would never see my little son again.
Facing the Facts: I Am Not a Christian
It was the first time that I really admitted to myself that I was not saved. I was lost in my sins and helpless to save myself. You might think I would have discovered that a long time ago, but there was always that inner voice saying, “Ah, you’re just struggling and away from God. You’ll get it all figured out, just have some fun while you’re trying.” This night there were no arguments inside, I knew I wasn’t saved. I went through every verse I could think of and finally in exhaustion went to sleep.
Life went on and I could not bring myself to say anything to my parents. I had already disappointed them enough. I was trying to get saved but just couldn’t figure it out. One Sunday night I agreed to go to a Gospel service with my parents. To be honest, I don’t know if I heard anything the first speaker said. I was too caught up in my own miserable self-pity. Why didn’t God love me? How could God allow my son to be abandoned by his father? Why? Why did I have to feel like a door mat that was used to wipe your feet on? I was a miserable wreck.
Thinking About Jesus
The second speaker began talking about how Jesus must have felt on the cross. How he cried, “My God, My God why hast Thou forsaken me?” He mentioned that Jesus could look at the very men who mocked him and could ask his Father to forgive them.
It might seem like a jumble to you but this is how my simple little mind worked that night:
I was thinking God gave up His son, just like Logan’s father; and …. but wait. God didn’t just coldly give up His son; He willingly allowed His Son to die for me. I had been rejecting God’s love all this time. I thought: I wouldn’t give up my son for anybody, but God gave up His Son for me. All this time God was trying to show me that He loved me and that His Son took my place in death on the Cross and my sins were forgiven through the blood of His Son.
God, the Father didn’t abandon His Son like Logan’s dad did – He watched over Him and raised Him up from the dead.
God understood all of my feelings and emotions because I caused those same emotions in God. I had rejected Him. I had turned away from Him. Christ took upon Himself all the sins that so burdened me, and yet it was my own footprints that trampled on His precious shed blood as I took my own rebellious way.
“Wow! All this time God, you have just been trying to show me that you loved me enough to die for me.” Here I was blaming God for all of my troubles because I didn’t think He cared. He cared and He cared enough to stop me on my path of self destruction and awaken me to my need.
I was so lost and blinded by this world, my sins were bringing me to Hell and I came close to being there too many times. But God is a loving, patient and kind Father!
“In Him (Christ Jesus) we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 1:7-8.
Every Christian Going to Heaven as a Specific Moment of Salvation
That night, November 21, 2004, I went home and held my little boy in my arms. With tears of joy I remember telling Logan, “I know you don’t understand it now but tonight your Mommy became a new born and you have a new Mommy now. It’s going to get so much better.” After 26 years I could finally thank God for everything in my life, the good and the bad because it all ultimately led me to the glory of the Cross.
My Appeal to You
Friend, if you are searching for something more, then let me assure you: there is something more. Christ’s love and forgiveness is what you need and then you will never need anything more from this life. This world is full of delusions. The friends I had when I was “out there” having a “good” time weren’t there for me when things got rough. I know why: I wasn’t fun to be around then. God is the one who stays true no matter what. He’s always there. And thank God for parents who pray for and love their children unconditionally.
My past may not be pretty, and often I’d rather forget it but I thank God for all that it took to awaken my blinded eyes. Now I have a reason to live!
“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14.
I don’t have a mere profession. I have an eternal possession. I have eternal life and I have Christ. I am satisfied and resting in the finished work of Christ at Calvary.