Sometimes pride is what keeps us from talking to the "dork" sitting across the aisle on the bus. Sometimes it's a lack of pride in your life that might save somebody else. Save has many meanings. You can save a penny, you can save a Word Pad Document, you can save somebody's life, but can you help to save somebody's soul?
It was April 11th 1997. It was a nice day in Connecticut, and I met someone that day. That person changed my life. Starting that day, all I ever wanted to do was be a better person for him. Make myself nicer for him. Swear less for him. Lie less for him. I didn't have it all wrong.
It was God that brought us together.
It was also God who allowed us to become the closest of friends. I've always trusted him. He just always seemed right, even when you could prove him wrong, he still seemed right.
I started to notice that you could joke around with this boy. You could joke around about anything but God and His word. I wondered why he took his "religion" so seriously. Maybe there was something more to life than what I saw. After all, he saw something else, he believed in it, and he was always right.
One night in July of 1998, that boy and I were in the shed behind my house. It was dark outside. I decided to ask him a question. "Do you believe in Angels?"
He said, "I believe there is an Angel with me right now."
I smiled as he continued explaining that he believed there was an Angel "watching over me.."
I didn't have an Angel then though, did I? I never asked him that..
Later we were in the car and he told me he didn't really think I was saved. I didn't know what he meant by it, and he told me he'd explain another time, and he also told me that he really cared about me, and that I was his friend. Those words said more to me that night than anything had ever said to me before.
We had talked about Armageddon once.. I remember asking him "Do you think there ever will be an Armageddon?" and he said, "I don't think.. I know."
There was another time when I remember asking Ryan what he thought happened after one dies.. and he said, "All I know is, I'm going to Heaven." And I said, "Yup.. You're a good kid." He asked me to repeat myself before he told me that being a good kid does not matter....
In December of 1998, around the time that Sadam Hussaine was making threats, bombs, etc.. and I called Ryan, crying that we were all going to die. He was brave.. strong. He didn't falter. He helped me through that night, and he told me to read Revelation.. I asked him what that was, and he was surprised that I didn't know where to find it. He told me he'd have to get me the version of the Bible that he has.. And I kept asking him for a few days, "When can you give me your... version?" Before I knew it, that boy gave me his brother's Bible to use until he got me one of my own. It was a green Bible, King James Version.. I read it every now and then. He told me to read Revelation, and that is how I found my favorite verse. He also told me not to worry about the end of the world, God's word explains all of that. I read, barely understanding a word.
(Some people wonder what a Christian is like. Well, something happened that Christmas that made me realize what a true Christian was truly like. It was Christmas Eve, and my family was at work. Everyone. That boy however was spending time with his family, but we talked and he said, "I think nobody should be alone for Christmas." He came over. We spent the day together. Just me and him. And it was the best Christmas of my life. I had the best Christmas present that day: the gift of true friendship.)
It was February 3rd. My friend's birthday. The day after that, I talked with him. It was February 4th 1999. I asked him what I could possibly do to be a better person. He told me he didn't know-- and then he stopped himself and said something that saved my soul. "Accept Jesus as your Savior."
That was the night that I accepted the Lord. I love Jesus. I love God. Of course, I had to grow in Christ, and I am still growing, with my dear friend by my side, willing to help at any moment, always.. That is the best thing in the world.. Being saved, and so blessed by God.
Since I got saved, I have had my ups and downs. There have been times where I turned away from Christ, only to realize how grave my mistake was. On July 23rd of 1999, I was at Bible camp, and for hours I cried and I cried. That night was however the first time I shared my testimony. I cried through it, but afterward I felt like God was REALLY looking down on me, holding me in His love. It was the first time I ever felt such emense happiness and security. On February 17th, Ryan's mom and I talked, and she guided me into more of Jesus' Truth; that you can't make yourself be closer to Him.. It just happens as you grow in His word and love Him more. One of my favorite teachers, also Born Again, helped me by telling me to keep my focus on Jesus, not something or someone else.. Pastor helped me a number of times, and my Sunday School teacher.. So many people have been there for me, through God's grace. I thank them all right here, right now. I love you all, God Bless You.... And I thank God for you.
God saved me from more than just a "bad life." My past was polluted with swears, alcohol, suicide attempts, and unfortunately even witchcraft. Oh sure, the "spells worked.." But it almost killed me. Sometimes it comes back to "haunt" me. It seems as though Satan won't leave me alone. But I know I have Jesus. And that's all that matters. As long as I'm with Him, I will always be safe from the horrible past of being unsaved.
When people ask me what Jesus means to me, I want to cry, laugh, forget, remember; I want to talk forever. Because that's how long it would take for me to truly say what He means to me. He's saved me from a life that came a millimeter away from killing me. Not even my parents know, but He does.. Nothing could change the past, but Jesus has turned my life around so that the past is no longer important. I am saved. I am loved. I am blessed with more than I ever thought possible.. More than I ever imagined could exist.