When I was 12, I sat in an Easter Sunday service and listened to the pastor explain this Jesus Christ guy in a way I hadn’t understood before. I was overcome with emotion and knew that I had to do something about what I’d heard, so I prayed with a friend and mentor and she helped me accept Christ into my life as my Savior. From then on, when people asked me if I had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, I would refer back to that Easter Sunday and affirm that yes, I did know Jesus. I was confident in my story and my relationship with the Lord.
In the summer of 2015, however, Jesus quickly started working in my heart to repair my false certainties. He revealed to me that I had not been following him wholeheartedly at age 12. He showed me the person I was in middle and high school, and he let me compare that person to who I am now. He gently showed me that I was mistaken.
As it turns out, I was not a follower of Christ until September 18, 2014, when I went to the altar at Asbury University and told Jesus, I surrender all. I’ll do whatever it takes, to which Jesus promptly responded with exactly what it would take: to start, I would have to break up with my boyfriend. I protested, but ultimately I chose to enter into surrender to Jesus. That night I broke up with him. We both cried. It hurt so much. I was depressed for days after, wading through a heavy haze everywhere I went.
The crazy thing about the depression, though, is that Jesus was right there with me. When I felt at my worst, he felt even closer.
This summer, Jesus revealed that that moment is when I entered into relationship with him. I was not a Christian after I went to the altar on Easter Sunday. I was not following Christ when I jumped from relationship to relationship in high school, or when I focused on self-promotion and cancerous comparison. I became a Christ-follower when I surrendered and accepted Jesus not only as Savior, but as Lord of my life. I decided to let him call the shots, and I began intentionally obeying his commands, his call, his desires for my life.
At this groundbreaking realization, I went to a friend in anguish, worried about the ramifications of my whole story to this point being a lie. She listened as I spoke, and when I got to the quintessential question — “What does this mean!?” — she chuckled softly and reassured me, “It literally doesn’t mean anything. It just means, now you know.”
Now I know that being mistaken is not my whole life being a lie. Now I know that Jesus has been eagerly pursuing me since the beginning of time, and he continued even when I thought I was already in a relationship with him. Now I know that September 18 is actually a really big day for me. Now I know that I am a daughter of the King, a follower of Christ, a servant to his Kingdom, and I’m in passionate pursuit of his will for me.
Now I know.