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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"My Story" Tuesday - Anne Campbell - "Twice"

Can a person be born again twice? I suppose it all comes in defining the term "born again." Jesus talked about the terminology in John 3:1-8. Our first birth is involuntary: we're shoved out of a nice warm comfy womb into a not-always-comfy world.

The second birth Jesus talked about was the one that is voluntary--where we ask the Lord to come into our hearts and be the king of our lives. To sit on the throne of our every action. It's all entirely voluntary. And it's an every day, every hour, every minute yielding, not a one-time forever thing that you do and then forget about it.

I offered my ugly life to Jesus in 1971. I invited Him in to be my sovereign, and I let him sit on the throne for over a decade.

But I took my promise back. His word is sure. Mine? Not so much. I went back to the partying scene. I divorced a good man. My life became just as ugly as before.

Oh, I kept going to church. I sang in the choir. I became a Sunday Christian. I even took my several boyfriends to church. And I spouted of all kinds of good and logical reasons why it was all okay. But inside, I knew it wasn't. Inside, I knew I had wallowed in just as much dirt as before.

But God didn't give up on me. He lovingly and gently pursued me, calling me to His side.

God used three events to turn me back around.

The first was "The Walk to Emmaus." It's a retreat sponsored by the Methodist Church, but open to and participated in by most Christian faiths. It was the beginning of my walk back.

The second was a Sunday school class, studying "The Promises of God." In it, God tried to tell me that I no longer trusted Him. When I finally agreed He was right and that I needed follow His lead, I took a few more steps in the right direction.

The third was a move from a city to small town. It was here God showed me that He didn't want me to walk beside Him but to follow Him. Sometimes that meant beside Him, yes, but mostly behind Him, in His footsteps. He cleared the way for me, confronted monsters so I didn't need to, and led me on the right path.

It feels so good to be back. I'm much humbler, less sure of myself than the first time. But more sure of Him. More blessed. I'm happy to kneel at His feet for the rest of my life and forever after that.

Was it a second born again experience? Well, no, not exactly. But yeah, sorta.

Thank You, Lord, for not giving up on me.

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