I met my husband Charles in 1971 and we were married in 1973. We had a four year old daughter and 17-month-old twin daughters by 1977. It was at that time that I felt even stronger the need to be in church but again, only went on special occasions and sporadically.
I developed what doctors called a ganglion cyst on my right wrist and sometimes they go away. Mine did not but I persevered with it until I couldn’t stand the pain anymore. One day while cleaning the bathroom tub, I put the cleaning rag down and decided that very moment I needed to go see the doctor. I would later find out that at the very same time, a woman by the name of Charlotte Pharoah was working in her garden, not very far from where I lived, who had decided to go see the same doctor about her weight!
We met each other in the waiting room of the doctor’s office that day. As we began to talk to each other, I shared with her how I felt the need for my family to be in church. She asked me if I had a stable and went into it everyday would I become a horse? That was somewhat strange to me but I kept listening to her. She then shared that it was a personal relationship with Jesus Christ that I was seeking and she gave me a pocket testament of the book of John.
Charlotte’s words caused me to want to seek peace and security that when I died, I would live with the Lord in the next life! That led me to visit Charlotte’s church with my sister and our children. When the invitation was given to receive Jesus as my Savior, I went forward to pray that my sins would be forgiven. Such peace and joy filled my heart! However, because I always wanted to measure up to people’s expectations and I wasn’t confident of my earthly father’s love, I struggled with doubts about my salvation for two years!
Pregnant with our fourth child in 1981, we were in a different church where a message was given about Salvation and I cried and said, “Lord, I’m not leaving this place until I know without a shadow of a doubt that I belong to you!” The pastor there went over the plan of salvation with me and asked me if I believed it? I said, “ yes!” Then he handed me a pen saying, “If I want to give you this pen as a gift, when does it become yours?” I said, “When I take it!” Then he said, “If you believe in Christ and you received His gift but you still have doubts, then there must be some sin in your life keeping you from having peace.” I thought about it and realized the sin was not trusting Jesus to do what He said He would do. His Word says, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and not of yourselves: it is the gift of God; not of works lest any man should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9). I realized that what I was trying to do was still earn God’s favor when I already had it. I didn’t earn it; He freely gave it to me. That was the day my heart found complete assurance that I WAS a child of God and nobody could take it away from me, not even myself! :o)
You may be serving the Lord faithfully and doing everything you believe you should and yet have doubts about your own salvation. Or you may not know the Lord and you want to. Here are Scriptures that were helpful to me and gave me assurance to never doubt again.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (I John 1:9)
“These things have been written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that you may KNOW that you HAVE eternal life, and that you may believe on the name of the Son of God.” (I John 5:13)
“To as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them who believe on His name.” (John 1:12)