I don’t remember praying the salvation prayer.
You know, the one you pray when you want to repent from your sins and finally surrender your life to the Lord.
It goes a little bit like this - “Dear God, I thank you for saving me. I believe that you died and rose after three days. I confess that I am a sinner and I repent for my sins. I accept you as my Lord & personal savior. I love you Lord”
I don’t recall ever initially uttering that prayer
But there was a change - a heart change. Something inside of me was different and it guided everything I did or did not do.
There was a sudden heightened awareness of everything wrong that I was engaging in and all the wrong perspectives I had held of God and people that I had carried on for years.
Feelings of confusion and conviction flooded me at the same time. Why was I feeling this way? Why was I all of a sudden, having second thoughts or feeling shame about things I once did, said, and believed with much confidence?
Now, it reminds me of the scripture that says: “And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom” [Romans 6:21]. There indeed was no life or lasting satisfaction in the way I was living my life. I had formed my identity around the fact that I was a child with divorced parents and financial hardships. I was always struggling. Nothing ever seems to go as planned. I disliked everything and everybody. I always wanted to be alone, and rarely did I smile. My personality only seemed to emerge when I was at school or around friends. I buried memories and pain because I did not want to deal with it. I always felt silenced or ignored.
Consequently, I grew resentful, vindictive, and unforgiving. I had very low self-esteem and honestly did not even know the difference between my left and right. I was so shallow. Everything was always on the surface for me, and I put on a mean girl facade to scare people away because somehow, that was the only way people were going to respect me. I was Miss independent. Miss, “I can do bad all by myself.” I thought I knew it all and had my life planned out. I tried to mask my sadness and pain by forming my identity with anything or anyone that I felt “loved” me. Whether that was boys or friends, whatever they said and did, Sandra said and did. Thank God for his grace and for lovingly picking me up when I had gotten to the end of myself.
After a visit to Nigeria (Summer 2013), the Lord began to convict me of my sins. There indeed was no life or lasting satisfaction in the way I was living my life. I remember seeing tweets by someone I started following on twitter. She tweeted about Jesus in such a tangible form like he was a friend, a very close friend. Her in-depth understanding of something or rather someone that I had considered “far away” in the sky or unattainable was undeniable. I was amazed. I wanted that understanding and proximity. I reached out to her and asked soo many questions. She basically discipled me through the internet. We became good friends - me and her, Me and Jesus. Her life drew me to His presence. After a short while, I surrendered my life to Christ.
It was February 2014. I could never recall the exact date, but I know for sure that this was when my heart was changed. God had been tugging on my heart in subtle ways. From the decisions and choices I was making, to my then relationship of almost three years (yikes!), to the things and people I had placed my trust in, even to my character (which was the first thing the Holy Spirit worked on because...a girl had issues lolol).
That summer 0f year 2014, while working on campus, I bought a new bible and journal and began my faith journey with Christ. The Holy Spirit opened my eyes and taught me so much. I was enlightened.
Six years later, and here I am. Still maturing, still failing, always learning and unlearning still standing all by the grace and to the glory of God. I can do nothing on my own. I did not save myself, but Jesus saved and preserved me. My life is a testament to the goodness of God. A total turnaround to what anybody or even I thought it would be. There is so much change that I can write about. My perspective is different, and so is my life.
If you have yet to surrender your heart to Christ today or you are probably scared and pondering if this decision is the right one for you, let me be the one to tell you that it is. Right not because your problems will disappear all of a sudden, but right because with Jesus, your life is sure and even your troubles have meaning. In Him is your life, and in Him shall your life be revealed. In Jesus, there is fullness of Joy and the indescribable pleasure of basking in the presence of God. In Him, there is no more guilt for sin, but a conviction of who you are in Christ Jesus - a new creation, holy & righteous.
Only Jesus truly satisfies.
Sandra Adeyemi xo