How I was First Introduced to Jesus (Not Quite the Proper Introduction)

My earliest memories of childhood are happy carefree ones. I was immensely loved, and disciplined with fairness. I honestly don’t ever remember being yelled at.

One of my first memories, is that of my mom warming a baby bottle on the stove, and then giving it to me with a smile. Another memory I have is of my brother and sister playing finger plays with me. (They were quite a bit older than I was) One was of me watching out of the window waiting for my brother and sister to come home from school. Another one is my mom caring for me when I was sick. These are all before the age of three.

 From the age of three, I can remember MANY things that even my mother and father don’t remember.

 I thank the Lord for these happy memories, because they were in my mind when I was going through my depression. I knew what it was to be happy, secure in love, and carefree. I had a good childhood.

  When I reached the age of five, I was invited to a Vacation Bible School that was hosted in our next door neighbor’s backyard. I remember learning Bible verses, one of which, of course was “John 3:16”. Memories of singing the song to the Wordless Book, and making a little bookmark in the shape of a worm, with the same colors as the wordless book. I remember listening to a sensational missionary story being told to us kids on the front porch, in the Georgia summer heat.

  The last day of VBS came about, and as it was nearing lunch time, and kids started to be picked up by their parents or started to walk home; I noticed a little boy carrying a cute little New Testament with a picture of Jesus surrounded by little children. I coveted admired his New Testament and asked him where he got it. He told me the teacher gave it to him because he got saved.

Well. I wanted a Bible like that too. And if the teacher gave it to him, maybe she would give me one too. Normally, I am/was a shy person. Not one prone to boldness. I must have really wanted this N.T, to be bold enough to go ask the teacher for one, before she offered it to me. I thought she must have forgotten to give me one… or something.

 When I reached her, and asked her for it, she gave me a disappointed look and said, “I am sorry Sweetie. Only those that “get saved”, get one.”

Not having one clue what she meant by “getting saved”. I said, “Well, I want to get saved!”. A look of sheer joy spread across her face and she said, “Really?!” 

In my child like mind, I didn’t know what the big deal was. I must have given her a positive answer, because she led me to the porch steps and sat me down. She prayed a prayer with me. I can’t remember if I repeated what she said, or if I just listened. But I do remember thinking that I wish she would hurry up and get it over with so I could get that cute little Bible, and go home and eat my lunch. I was starving!

 When she said, “Amen”  I looked up to see tears in her eyes and she was smiling broadly. She got up to leave and I think she said something about being glad that I had stopped her, so she could help me ask Jesus in my heart or something. She picked up her purse and started off the steps. I then said, “Do I still get the Bible?” She stopped, and laughed and said, “Oh yeah! I almost forgot”

  Funny thing is, my best friend at the time witnessed all of this. She too wanted the N.T and prayed the prayer after I did. That poor teacher. She must have thought she was reaping a golden harvest at that small neighborhood VBS I am sure.

  I believe she had a sincere heart, and truly wanted to see children come to know the Lord. But that children’s Bible was a sale’s tactic if I ever did see one. My opinion is she should of just given me the Bible, and not said anything to me about needing to be saved to get one.

 To this day, it bother’s me that churches lure children with candy to memorize Bible verses. Or use Bubble gum to get them to come to church, with a promise of more candy on the ride home.

   For YEARS I banked my assurance of being saved on that moment. I thought that since I asked Jesus in my heart I was saved. Even though I had no clue as to why I would need Jesus in my heart anyway. Afterall, Mom told me every night that Jesus was watching over me, and caring for me when I slept.

  But I had no concept of what sin was. I had no concept of even needing Jesus to save me from Hell. Even after that week of Vacation Bible School. I don’t remember learning much about my personal sin. Of course, I remember the “black page” of the wordless book. But me, at five years old, grasping that concept without much teaching about it before hand? No, I didn’t make the connection, they were hoping to make I suppose.

Even though mom and dad were Christians. (Born again by Grace through faith), I don’t remember them talking to me about the need of salvation before that point. And honestly, I don’t think I was ready to be saved at that age. I think I was still in the age of innocence.

But that whole New Testament experience would lead me to YEARS of confusion later on down the road.

  And it didn’t start until after I immersed myself into the Blue Denim lifestyle.

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8 Responses to How I was First Introduced to Jesus (Not Quite the Proper Introduction)

  1. First, I wanted to thank you for visiting my new blog and leaving a comment to one of my blog posts. That was very kind of you, and I hope that you will visit my blog again in the near future. 🙂

    Now to your blog post. As I was reading your story, and you mentioned that your VBS teacher refused to give you a bible unless you were saved, I thought this was quite sad. I think children as well as adults should be given a bible when they ask for one. Getting a bible should not be dependant upon the state of their salvation. I know that she probably meant well, but at the same time, I couldn’t help but think that she was a bit “cruel” to a child by telling her she couldn’t have a bible unless she did something to earn it.

    I also agree with you that children should not be given treats and trinkets in order to get them to learn about the Lord or learn new bible verses. I think that this gives children the wrong impression about the importance of learning about having a true relationship with the Lord. I also fear that they may not even take learning about the bible seriously, or even undertand what they are learning, especially if they are simply doing something only to get a treat.

    Anyway, thanks for sharing. You seem to have a nice blog. I think I’ll be coming here more often. 🙂

    • Thank you for visiting! 🙂 That teacher was really a nice sweet woman. I really believe her intentions were not to be cruel. They probably only had a few bibles, and were not able to hand out one to every child at the VBS. Still, maybe she could of said that she didn’t have enough Bibles to me or something like that.

  2. Melissa says:

    I was refused a baptism at a young age because I wasn’t repentant enough.

    I know church people are *human* too, but they really need some training in sensitivity and love. Children remember far more than we give them credit for, and the bed memories stick around for decades. I’m glad you got the Bible. Do you still have it?

    • Oh boy Melissa! I will be writing a lot about “repentance” in coming posts. I think I still have that Bible, but not sure where I put it at the moment. I have a “hopechest” 😉 that it maybe in.

  3. Rachel says:

    I was *saved* at a five day club too! Weird. And in HS I taught them. 😛 Looking back at what I said to kids – oh boy. But for real – I was 14 and 15.

  4. Grace says:

    Wow…what a great warning to all of us.

  5. Esther says:

    I am learning so many new things about you through these posts Heather! You’d think I’d have already heard this specific story.

    I agree with what you wrote. Good point that the teacher should have just given you the Bible…reading that could have led you to truly becoming saved.

  6. Mary says:

    Oh, that’s just awful! I can’t believe the teacher didn’t see through that. So sad that people need notches on their belt to believe in what they are doing (teaching the Bible). Yes, she should have given all the children a N.T. I don’t agree with bribing anybody like that, and then, too many people like that are told they are saved and presented to the church as saved and told they can’t lose it, and we wonder why we see so-called Christians living like the world (not meaning you).

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