By:  Shenelle Wallace

Everybody loves a good story; one that takes us through a whirlwind of emotion and keeps us on the edge of our seat. As humans, we enjoy being entertained whether it’s real life or not. The more emotions felt throughout the story, the more real it becomes. After a particular experience I wondered, is it fair to say that someone’s life story, whatever it may be, is of less importance if it’s not as complex as the next guy’s? (Follow me)

I remember having a conversation with a gentleman that I met at a church conference a little over a year ago. We were sharing experiences in the faith and then I asked him a question that I tend to ask a lot of Christians out of curiosity. “Why did you decide to get saved?” He told me his story of having a rough childhood, being abused, the feeling of not being loved, being on drugs, getting high and so on. Then one day he was introduced to Christ and experienced a greater high, realizing that Jesus was the real thing. I was deeply moved by his road to redemption and I felt sincere joy on his behalf. And then he returned the question. “Why did you decide to become saved?” And so I told him my story; which is quite simple. I was brought up in the church my whole life. My father was a deacon, and my mother sang on the choir. I gave my life to Christ at a young age, and haven’t looked back since. His reply? “Oh, well then I guess your conviction wasn’t real.” I paused, followed by a blank stare, and then a look of confusion shortly after. Excuse me? Why would he say something like that? I understand that our stories are completely different, but is it fair to say that my conviction wasn’t real? Perhaps because I wasn’t down and out and at my lowest of lows when God stretched out his hand dug deep and saved me, is the reason why that particular comment was made.

I remember the day I gave my heart to the Lord as if it were yesterday; and my experience was as “real” as anyone else’s. Bottom line, I know who I am, and God knows my heart. While everyone’s experience is different, I don’t believe that you have to be in the pits to decide to follow Jesus. Do you?