Bouncing up and down the aisles of the small Baptist church, Laura was anxious for the service to start. With crooked bangs and a crippled spirit, she wasn’t sure if the wide grins aimed toward her were because she smiled at them first or because they felt sorry for her. As she took her seat in the pew next to her dad, she thought she heard some whispers.
Laura was only a young girl, but she was smart enough to know that she needed someone to help her. Her heart was thumping louder than her dad’s fingers were on the arm of the wooden pew, and she was sure everyone saw it pounding from her chest. She’d been chewing on the words the pastor had said at the end of the service for as long as she could remember. “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ you will be saved.” But today, Laura knew she couldn’t leave the building without responding.
“Do you know how much God loves you?” The pastor asked. He paused, and no one in the room made a sound. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Pastor John, patting one hand down on His Bible while the other wiped his brow, quieted his voice. “Do you know anyone who loves you that much? Enough to die for you… Enough to take nails in His hands for you?” Laura shook her head back and forth, as if the pastor was asking her the question directly. “You don’t, do you? But there’s a problem. We’ve all sinned, and that means we are separated from a holy, perfect, sinless God. Romans 3:23 says, ‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’ And if that wasn’t enough, Romans 6:23 tells us that ‘the wages of sin is death.’ BUT. ‘The gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.’”
Pastor John was smiling now, and to her, he looked like he was telling the truth. He went on to talk about Jesus being the only way to Heaven and that it is by His grace that one could be saved, not because of works. “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
A deep throaty “Amen” bellowed from her mom’s trembling lips. Her big sister nudged her in the arm to meet the pastor at the pulpit* as they had talked about earlier in the week. She looked over at her dad, who had nodded off behind his tinted spectacles. What would Dad think? Would he be mad at me? Shivering, Laura’s heart was beating to the rhythm of fear. But she knew she must have this love she’d never had before, and she wanted her sins forgiven too. Finally, the invitation came. Ignoring the persistent grumblings of her hungry tummy, as well as the nagging doubts in her mind, Laura gave way to her groaning spirit instead.
After that decision to receive Christ’s gift of eternal life, Laura’s life would never be the same, though her circumstances at home would remain the same. She talked to God in bed at night with wondering “whys” and pleading “pleases.” “Why, God, don’t you take this bad stuff away?” and “Please God, keep us safe tonight.” Peace did not rule in her home, but it ruled in her heart. She was glad she had a Savior to hear her silent cries and a Friend in whom to confide.
The same God that had enough power to raise His own Son from the dead raised His hurting young daughter to eternal life. Though Satan fought hard to keep Laura miserable all throughout her younger years, God in her overcame.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
This daughter of the King, ME—Laura Lee Shaw—through the amazing grace of Christ, stands boldly before you SAVED by her one and only Father. And each hour of every day He continues to lead me in His way, His truth, His life, healed and free from a life of brokenness, pain and sin.
It is my passionate desire for everyone to know this love. I don’t want anyone to have to go through this life without the Hope of Heaven and without the help of this strong Savior. You see, the same God who has the power to raise His only Son from dead to life, can bring you new life as well, one defined by Him instead of your circumstances.
“to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them
a crown of beauty instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
A planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor.”
* I want to make clear that my salvation did not come about as a result of walking down an aisle, or in the magic of a certain prayer. It came from a heart that wanted Jesus Christ to be my Lord and Savior. But confession can only come through prayer, and salvation can only come from the One true God. I love the fact now that I walked that aisle, letting everyone in the church know of my decision for Christ. But you can know Jesus as your Lord right now no matter where you are by confessing that you are a sinner, repenting from those sins, and asking Jesus to be Lord and Savior of your life. Check out these links for specific guidance:
Oh, Laura, thank you for sharing this wonderful account of your accepting Christ into your heart at such a young age.
And thank you, too, for giving my article, "One Pork Chop At A Time", a cheer! To God be the glory!
Excellent article. You are so right when you say one can receive Jesus anywhere, anytime, just ask and HE will answer. GOD BLESS YOU
14 Mar 2009
Your very unique way of giving your testimony was touching. Yes, even children understand that they need a Saviour, as you did at a very young age, and as I did at the age of eight...Yes, even children understand that they are born in sin and must accept God's provision for them, the Lord Jesus Christ's death on the cross...Thanks for this good testimony. The Lord bless you...Helen