Finding the Lord
Growing up we attended church irregularly. My mother was saved but not living for Christ. My dad never attended church or willingly discussed his relationship with the Lord. When I was about eight years old, my mother decided that it was time for me to hear the plan of salvation. She made an appointment with the pastor and took my sister and me to his office. He sat me on his lap and explained how and why we needed to be saved. I remember looking around the office and thinking how uncomfortable I was sitting on the lap of a man I barely knew. I wanted to get down as quickly as possible, so when he finished explaining the steps I asked, “Do I come down tonight?” He said, “If you feel like it.” Well I felt fine. I wasn’t sick, and I certainly didn’t want to hurt his feelings or want him to think he had wasted his time on me. So I walked the aisle that night. When I got to the front, the pastor said, “I’ve already talked to you so you stand over here.” He spent the rest of the invitation talking to the congregation and trying to position me where he thought I should stand. I don’t remember feeling any conviction about sin or being led through the sinner’s prayer. However, according to the teachings of my church, I was saved because I had made a “public profession of faith.”
At the age of twelve, I went to vacation bible school with a friend. I very much remember being under conviction at that service. The pastor called me into his office and attempted to lead me through the steps of salvation, but I quickly informed him that I was saved. He said, “Well you just need to rededicate your life to Christ.” So I did.
When I was about fourteen years old, my mother rededicated her life to Christ, and we became actively involved in church. I learned and followed all the “rules” of being a Christian. I was a “good girl” and didn’t date boys with a “reputation.” Dates were usually with a group and ended by 10:00 p.m. This was not a curfew my parents had decided; it was just the time I thought I should be home. My friend’s parents liked me because I was responsible. One day my friend Jinnie called to ask if I was attending an event. Her dad had said she could go only if I went because he knew nothing would get out of hand if I was there. Another day I entered math class to hear two boys arguing. “I do too.” “You do not” “I do too. Ask Theresa.” One turned to me as I walked through the door and said, “Theresa, don’t I go to church?” I said he did. The other boy replied, “I don’t believe it.” The first boy said, “Hey, Theresa doesn’t lie.” The second boy said, “You’re right, she doesn’t.” That ended the debate.