I don’t have a flashy testimony. Although I don’t remember the exact date, I still recall with clarity the place where my heart was changed forever.
My memory is of a crisp autumn afternoon blowing a breeze through our dining room windows. After clearing the table, we sat down in our living room with the visiting pastor and his wife. In his message that morning at church, he had reminded us that each person is a sinner and needs forgiveness. I had heard the story many times before. Our home was loving and warm, and I had few problems in my life. Yet somehow inside I knew that his words were true—I was a sinner. I had done things wrong. I did need Jesus. We returned to church that evening and when the pastor gave the invitation for anyone to come, I grabbed my Daddy’s hand and asked if he would walk up to the altar in front of the church with me. After explaining to the pastor my desire to accept Christ, I prayed and asked Jesus to come into my heart.
Except for the nervousness of walking in front of a crowd of people, I felt no rush of emotion. Yet even at the young age of six, I sensed that something significant had happened. As I grew, I continued to learn more about how God wanted me to live. When I read the Bible, it seemed as if He was speaking personally to me. My heart’s desire was to follow Him.
Looking back over my life, I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t had Jesus to turn to with my questions, fears and doubts. He has always been so faithful and patient with me. He is truly a Friend that never fails us. I find comfort in the fact that He loves my family more than I do and knows what is best. That promise has kept me going through some tough times.
It was a special day for me last November when I met up with the pastor who had visited our house so many years before. As I stood there talking with him, I gave thanks to God for an invitation I had responded to almost 40 years earlier. It had been an ordinary Sunday afternoon. But at that ordinary moment, God’s Spirit had breathed new life into my heart.
Karen Blankenship is a speaker and author. She has been involved in education both nationally and internationally for over 30 years. As an advocate for citizen involvement in government, she has served the community both as a volunteer and an elected city official.
Karen and her husband, Dan, have been married since 1979 and have 3 wonderful kids, a daughter-in-law and a son-in-law. She has four perfect grandchildren, Lincoln, Aly, Noah and Jackson. Karen and Dan co-founded a ministry called Philemon International that provides hospitality for missionaries in their 117-year old Victorian home.
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