It's complicated with Jesus

I love the relationship status line on Facebook.

I've seen people announce to the world that they're engaged via status. I've seen someone break off an engagement via status. Even though Derek and Sue Mondeau have been married for over a decade and have a baby on the way, their status lines still say "It's complicated."

One of the reasons I struggle to share my testimony is that I'm not really sure, beyond the shadow of a doubt when I really became a Christian.

Was it when I was in 6th grade and heard that sermon in chapel? I had gotten into a big fight in the neighborhood the day before, beat a kid up, and was feeling guilty about it. In the sermon at chapel, the preacher talked about God's wrath against sin and how the angry and violent and those who commit other sins will experience God's wrath and suffer eternally in hell. Jesus was the solution, the answer. His sacrifice would save me from hell, if I would pray the prayer and come forward.

Was that when I really became a Christian? It's complicated.

Was it in 9th grade at Van Dyke's Higher Dimensions worship service? Sherrie Leatherwood had made a huge investment in my life, encouraging me and talking to me about Jesus. Eventually, she invited me to Higher D and I heard that God saved me because he loved me. Even though my sins provoked his wrath, he pursued me with love. I didn't need to fear him or perform for him. I could just be with him.

Was that when I really became a Christian? It's complicated.

Was it before I was even born? The Bible says in Ephesians that God predestined us.

Was it after I experienced the Eucharist for the first time or when I was baptized (the first or second time)? The Bible says in Acts to believe and be baptized and in John that Jesus is the living bread that came down from heaven and if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.

Friends, it's complicated. But we tell the story of our encounter with God anways. We have to tell the story the best we can in the moment we're telling it. Stories morph in the retelling. They always do. The point isn't to tell it perfectly or even consistently. We want to share our witness authentically and honestly.

So, let it be complicated and let it be told.

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