I’ve come a long way as a Christian since I first became a believer. I’m not sure exactly when I was saved, but I think it was sometime about fifteen years ago, not long after I met my husband. When I was younger, I went to church every week with my mom and sister, and then went about my life during the rest of the week without giving much thought to Jesus, other than making sure I was being a “good” person. I thought that being good was what it was all about. I didn’t own a Bible until my husband bought me one after we started dating, but even then, I didn’t open it for a long time. Once I left the church that I had gone to throughout childhood (and even got married in) and started attending Christ the Word, I really started to grow in my relationship with Christ. I never knew that I should pursue Jesus; I just thought I had to believe. Since Jesus isn’t Santa Claus, it seems obvious to me now that I need to experience spiritual growth, or I’ll never really have a relationship with my heavenly Father. Romans 6:22 says: But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. What a great promise! God is continually molding me and shaping me. I am not the same person today that I was twelve years ago, and for that, I am eternally grateful.
The process of being sanctified is not always fun, and I know I have suffered in order to grow spiritually. I struggle with anxiety, and when I am in an anxious state, it’s very hard for me to see past myself. I can be extremely selfish. However, I now handle my anxiety differently than I did before I was a Christian, and even over the years as I’ve grown, I can look back and see God’s hand throughout my trials and can see how He has shown me His goodness and mercy. Remembering His work in my life has been such a wonderful way to pull me out of anxiety and to focus on truth. Knowing my Bible (by reading daily, or as often as I can), praying, and meditating on the Word have also been instrumental in my growing up in Jesus. Psalm 119:2 says: Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart.