The Story of My Salvation
An aunt, a mom, a Savior, a prayer
I like to tell the story of my salvation in Jesus by starting with the story of my mom, a Christian ministry, and the United States Postal Service.
My mom wasn’t a church kid. She never darkened the door of a religious building, never attended a vacation Bible school or a youth group event.
She was raised in rural homes of the 1940s and 50s Midwest: surrounded by fields and gravel roads that carried her and her four siblings on long bus rides to school. Her childhood came with neglect and abuse and poverty. Her dad had trouble holding down a job. Her mom (sometimes barely) fed and raised five children on very little money.
I’m not sure what circumstances were known to members of their extended family, but there was an aunt who, frustrated that the children weren’t getting Biblical education, arranged to have a subscription mailed to their house. My mom remembered it as a publication put out by Intervarsity Press.
One day, an issue arrived in the mailbox with a Bible verse on the cover.
Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
My mom knew she’d done things she shouldn’t have. She knew right then she was a sinner.
Inside, she found the story of Jesus, the savior whose crucifixion was the redemption for humankind to be in favor with a holy and perfect God.
Do you know the visual of a Venn diagram when the circles overlap? That’s what comes to my mind: her head wholly unfamiliar with the Bible + a heart inclined to receive + the timely arrival of that publication.
She readily acknowledged this was simply the work of the Holy Spirit, whose timing, of course, is impeccable.
Indeed, the scripture that day did not return void. My mom believed in Christ as her Lord and at that moment, she was saved.
A longer story rather short: my mom married my dad. She learned to forgive those in her past and love well the people in her present.
I am a fortunate recipient of that love. My parents raised me in the busy streets of the Midwest; sans the abuse, neglect, and poverty. I walked to school and my first job. Through my parents and my church, I had a basic knowledge of the Bible and Jesus and salvation. Which of course isn’t what saved me. I knew faith in Jesus, faith in what He did on the cross, was salvation.
Ephesians 2:8–9 “For it is by grace you are saved, through faith — not from yourselves; it is the gift of God — so that no one can boast.”
One day, my mom came into my room, inclined to initiate a particular discussion about it. We laid on my bed together, and she showed me the gospel message and scriptures that talked about salvation being not one bit about our works, but all about faith in Jesus and his work.
Then she left me to myself.
I’d known about the verses for a while, indeed had been learning them since Sunday morning nursery. But on this day, the heart was ready. The circles overlapped. A Venn diagram formed. In other words, the Holy Spirit showed up.
I stayed on the bed for a while, processing. After a few minutes, I got down on the floor in front of my mirror and prayed, placing my faith at that moment in Jesus. At that moment, I was saved.