My scream for a Savior was silent to those around me, but not to me. It was all I could hear, bouncing inside my head, "Yes, yes...I love you Jesus."
Frozen stiff, my shyness forced me into a private world, a place where expression was non existent.
Wanting to run down the aisle to the front of the church where the pastor stood, so I could just say yes, to his plea; I told my feet to move, but nothing happened.
My heart pounded inside my chest, the tug on my life at a crucial turning point and yet, my feet were glued to the floor.
Having listened to the message of how much Jesus loved me, somehow I figured he could restore my smile and give me hope.
At nine, living without any close friends, I surrounded myself with my books. Inside those pages, the amazing places and imaginary friends helped me escape.
But, Jesus could be my true friend, someone I could talk to and trust with my life. He was real.
The moment slipped by as the pastor spoke his final amen, and people streamed from their seats headed outside leaving church.
All the way home in the car, I swallowed hard, again and again, wanting to say something to my mom, afraid to admit to her that I had just missed my chance to become a Christian.
She sensed something; maybe it was because I kept kicking at her seat from behind, a nervous tick triggered by a mouth full of words longing to find their way out.
After questions, and dragging it from me; mom assured me that Jesus was waiting for me and he'd be at church that night.
Arriving early we scooted into the very pew, the same seat from the morning service. The pounding inside my chest returned, and tears formed in my eyes.
Mom reached over, slipped her hand into mine, squeezed and whispered, “I’ll go with you. We will walk to Jesus together.” She kissed my cheek.
Blinking, the flood gates opened and I cried, not out of fear but rather because Jesus cared enough about me, he sent someone as an escort, my mom.
Actually earlier in the day she telephoned the pastor and told him of my decision, the first steps in a life filled with praise, power and promise.
For you see, when you’re shy, you spend a little extra time observing the scene before jumping right into it. But just as a carpenter once prepared for his future by accepting his true calling by becoming a Savior; I too accepted my calling by becoming his child.
The carpet beneath my feet, the pastor who prayer with me at the church that night, the stain glassed windows, and the cross at the back of the church; those scenes are engraved into my memory forever.
It was the first day, the anniversary of my new life; some forty years ago when a nine year old grinned on the outside for the first time.
Scripture says, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come!" (2 Corinthians 5:17 NASB)
God loved me so much that He accepted me just the way I was; but He loved me to much to leave me that way. And yes, after a little nudging from my Lord, I even discovered a voice, it was my own.
Even at nine, God took me from shy to outgoing, from lost to saved, from merely surviving to thriving!
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