Author: Abby Carlin
Topic: Salvation Testimony
I grew up going to a Catholic church, so I knew about Jesus. I experienced both First Communion and First Reconciliation. I even went to Catholic school through sixth grade. I was taught about Jesus and thought that if I did enough good works or good deeds, or that I could earn my way into heaven. When I was a freshman in high school, I remember having questions and asking the Priest some of my questions but did not receive many answers. I then began searching for the answers to the questions that I had and ended up at a Bible study at my school. I remember being quite nervous the first time I went but learned things that I never knew. I made it quite clear from the beginning of that time that I was Catholic, as I took that on as part of my identity.
One morning in Bible study the leader of the group asked if everyone in the Bible study was saved. When it came to my turn to answer that question, I said an honest, “no”. (Not knowing what it meant, it seemed sacrilegious as I thought the only way to get to Heaven was by good deeds/good works). She then asked me if I wanted to be saved. I told her, “No” because I did not understand nor did I want to do something that would lead me astray from doing enough good works to get into Heaven. I am sure that she started praying for me that my heart would change and that I would have an encounter with God.
Through that Bible study though, I met some other people and they invited me to youth group. I remember asking if I could go, and my mom was a bit nervous to let me go as she did not know what it was. She told me that if something seemed wrong that I was to call home and she would come pick me up. I went to a youth group and loved it. I didn’t know what was happening to me at the time, I just knew that I really liked youth group and that it was a lot more fun than going to Catholic church was. The second time I went to youth group, I experienced something that I had never experienced before. At the end of the service, I started bawling (again not knowing then that I was having an encounter with the Holy Spirit), and one of the girls in the youth group came up to me and asked me what was wrong. I told her I did not know and that I did not know what was going on with me. She then brought me to the Youth Pastor who explained to me that what I was feeling and experiencing was the Holy Spirit. That there would never be enough, “good works” to tip the scale and that I could not earn my way into heaven. He then showed me that the Bible talks about being, “born again” and that when we become saved that Jesus’ blood that he shed on the cross would wipe my sins away and that when God would look at me He would see His daughter. He also said that my sins would be wiped away as white as snow (which living in the Midwest I knew what pure white snow looked like). I prayed the prayer after the pastor, and I remember being filled with such peace and excitement that I had not experienced before.
From that moment on, things in my life changed forever. I will not say that everything has been easy, but knowing that Jesus is always with me, walking right beside me, makes the hard days easier. Also knowing that God loves me unconditionally and that nothing that I can do (especially when I mess up, because let’s face it I am human) will change His love towards me has brought me so much comfort, joy, and peace. If you have never experienced that type of peace before, please reach out to a local leader in a local church and talk to them about how you could experience peace that surpasses understanding and a joy that is contagious.