Nyla’s Story….. I was brought up in a Christian home and taught about salvation and its importance. Most of the message was, to fear the consequences. I don’t remember ever hearing that God wanted a “relationship” with me. It was more a message of “there is a line down the middle and you need to cross the line and don’t go back across or the devil will get you.” This message made me fearful of God and felt he was probably keeping “score” of all the times I failed or disappointed him. As you can imagine, I spent a lot of time at the altar. There was always this sense of failure. I can recall big discussions, in our home, on grace. It was like a bad word. It was years later that I came to understand what grace was and how and why it was given, freely, to me.
After I married and left home, my decision was not to follow Christ, but, to make my freedom of choice, one based on what was exciting and now under my control. As our children came along, my parents continued to express the need for us to bring them to church. It never was a priority for Dick, and it was more “peaceful” to not cause waves by insisting on regular church attendance. So I have to take the blame for that. Throughout my life I knew that the Lord continued to call me. I also knew that he had supplied me with some gifts and talents that he would use, if I would give them over to Him. So when people talked about being a Christian, I would have to say, “No, I’m not”. That confused some because they knew my upbringing. But, I would carefully explain that as long as I would not live with Him at the center of my life, and submit those gifts, I could not call myself a Christian.
I made my move back to the Lord after hearing a message that convicted me by asking, “How good of a parent are you really? Would you take your children, by the hand, and walk them to the gates of hell and tell them to go in?’ The speaker then explained that that was what I was doing when I never showed them Jesus and allowed them to make their choice to serve Him. I could not let that happen.