At the end of this post, I’ll tell you how someone will receive a birthday gift in a drawing. It’s my spiritual birthday! (Tweet that!)
As a child, I believed I needed to perform perfectly in order to earn God’s love and approval, along with the approval of other people in my life. Because I was born in a “Christian” nation and attended church faithfully, I believed I was a Christian. Yet, I still felt uneasy because I never fully sensed that God loved me. I envisioned Him standing up in heaven, His arms crossed at His chest, tapping His toe and muttering, “Kathy, when are you going to become perfect so I can love you?”
I read the Bible and in it God said, “Become perfect as I am perfect.” The burden of becoming perfect was so heavy that, at the age of thirteen on New Year’s Eve, I took a symbolic bubble bath at the stroke of midnight. As I enjoyed the warm, cleansing water, I prayed, “God, please forgive me for everything I’ve done wrong and I vow to You to never do anything wrong for the rest of my life.” I figured a sinless performance would be sufficient to guarantee my entrance into heaven when I died (tweet that!) and give me the ability to sense God’s approval while living on earth.
When I couldn’t become perfect because–horrors!–I did something wrong the very next day, I still felt compelled to add something to God’s grace. I began to keep track of my deeds on an imaginary scale. On one side of the scale, I stacked my good deeds, and on the other, my bad deeds. I concluded, “Certainly I’ll have more good deeds than bad deeds by the time I die. Then God will have to approve of me and let me into heaven because I’ve been such a good girl.”
But because I couldn’t place anything on the good side of the scale unless it was done perfectly, I constantly felt burdened by the weighted-down bad side of the scale. When am I going to become good enough? I constantly wondered.
It wasn’t until several years later, at the age of eighteen, that the truth of God’s wonderful grace broke through my earthly perspective. I began dating Larry in our senior year of high school.
Several months later, I attended his church, where I heard clearly for the first time bout God’s unconditional love and grace–a grace that offered salvation as a free gift, nothing additional needed, not even my good works. With relief and joy, I asked Jesus to come into my life, forgive my sins, and become my Lord and Savior on that Sunday morning, October 1, 1967.
I’m praising God for this day–the 48th anniversary of my spiritual birth. (Tweet that!)
To celebrate my spiritual birthday, I’ll give away a copy of our latest book Never Ever Be the Same to the winner of a drawing. To enter, put a comment here of any sort or email me (KathyCollardMiller @ gmail . com –omit spaces). I’ll draw the winner Oct. 8, 2015.