Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Testimony of Change

After walking an aisle and saying a prayer at twelve years old, I thought I had become a Christian. However, my life did not reflect my decision. After moving away from home to go to college, I joined a sorority and slowly but surely became your stereotypical sorority girl. I drank excessively, partied, exercised promiscuity and lacked in modesty. Hypocritically, I did this all the while claiming to be a Christian and not even attending church.

During the summer of 2003, I was invited to attend a college houseboat retreat sponsored by Highview Baptist Church. Though hesitant, I thought it might “be good for me” so I agreed to go. The first night there, I prayed silently before bed to the Lord. I told Him that I didn’t know why I was there but that I wanted something amazing to happen over that weekend. Little did I know what He had in store. On the last night of the retreat, Bro. Jimmy Scroggins was graphically depicting Christ’s final hours. It was during those moments my sin was made very clear to me. Here I was, claiming to be a Christian and living the life of an unbeliever.

Immediately after the message, I approached Bro. Jimmy. I explained that I knew I needed to change but I didn’t even know where to begin. He suggested that I start by going to church. I asked why I would want to go to church when it was just full of a bunch of hypocrites. He response will never escape me. He looked me dead in the eye and said, “Terra, if there was a perfect church, would they let you in?” And then, “If they did, would it still be perfect?” My own hypocrisy was revealed and I realized we are all sinners in need of a Savior.

I began attending church regularly after this retreat. My entire life was changed. Some of my flesh struggles were outwardly corrected almost immediately. Others were a little slower in coming. I was finally growing in the Lord and at a rapid pace. After graduating from college and still single, I attended Southern Seminary to pursue a career path in the ministry. However, I got married and had a baby soon after. I graduated with my M.A. this past May. My primary ministry is now my home (my husband and child). However, I do look forward to opportunities to serve in women’s ministries within the church.

I believe Jesus Christ came to earth as God in the flesh. He was born of the virgin Mary, was crucified and died for the sins of man, was buried, and rose on the third day. He ascended into heaven where He now sits at the right hand of God, interceding on behalf of His chosen people. It is by grace alone that I am saved and my life should reflect the fruits of the Spirit.

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