At 4 years old, I knelt at my bedside and prayed to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Though I prayed to Jesus at an earlier age, I gradually went my own way. I began to confuse being religious, with a true faith in Jesus. Consequently, my religiosity left me being judgmental, prideful, anxious, and empty. No matter how hard I tried to appease God, it never felt like it was enough.
God graciously made me aware of His love when I was 15 years old. My religiosity was exchanged with a genuine trusting faith in Jesus. I began to understand God’s love, forgiveness, mercy, and truth. I accepted that my good deeds could not achieve or earn God’s approval for me. It was only through my faith in Jesus that made me acceptable before God. His perfect life was exchanged for my imperfect life. As a result, Jesus paid my penalty by dying on the cross for my sins. Only then was I truly free. I was no longer held down by feelings of guilt and anxiety, but was filled with peace, acceptance, forgiveness, and hope.
I am truly grateful for God’s mercy and grace in my life. My friendship with God has grown more deeply every year. He has been my source of strength through difficulties and my sense of peace through the storms. My life has not been perfect, but that is why I am so grateful for Jesus’ forgiveness and acceptance of me.