I have thought about writing on this for such a long time but every time I started out, I couldn’t do it. Maybe I wasn’t ready for it. So if this post is up, then I am ready for it.
The road to salvation aka the road to getting saved
The struggle is so real on that road yo! Hand to heaven I got saved every year like six times! Each of those many times I had no idea what I was doing. Truth be told, I just thought this whole salvation thing is about dos and don’ts hence the countless times I responded to the altar call every Sunday. I got re-saved countless times because I just couldn’t do anything right!
Mystery solved, salvation isn’t about a list of things to do that will get you to heaven on angel wings and it’s not about a list of things not to do that will give you a first class ticket to hell seated next to the person you think isn’t going make it to heaven!
2012: The year things changed
In boarding school when we had preachers come over and rehash the details of the day of their salvation, I always thought it was all made up because it didn’t make sense to me how someone could remember such fine details from the day, the outfit to the people who had been there. I thought it was too rehearsed.
Lo and behold, Saturday, sisterhood conference, O2 Arena! Don’t remember the month. That was my day. The most significant and most important decision I have ever made in my life, and oh how my life changed dramatically!
The dos and the don’ts
So for the longest time I was helping God save me. ‘Here here God, I am so bad so I’m going to help you help me by saving myself…so you can meet me half way. Yeah? I’m going to be so good, so good that when I walk people can smell my goodness from miles away!’ (Like yeah, I did that! I just got me good for God.) See, some people have made it so hard for us to access the Grace of God because they have made us to believe that we have to earn salvation.
Salvation is a FREE gift! It is given to us, we do not do things to get it and certainly we do not do things to lose it. It is a free gift!
Jesus says come as you are. He does not say, ‘come after you have stopped stealing, come after you have stopped using bad language, come after you have stopped doing that and that *insert anything here* He only asks to come as you are…faults and flaws. For the longest time that baffled my mind! I mean I was not a saint! He wanted me, and I was not a saint. He knew what I was capable of and yet He still wanted me. Isn’t that the greatest love story ever?
After failing to help God save me, I decided to pray everyday to be changed. It didn’t happen instantly, and I would go do the same things I did before but the difference is, this time round I actually had convictions.
The way God works, He starts from the inside out. My outside was a total mess, but my inside was changing. I could feel it; eventually it started to show on the outside too. Sometimes I wasn’t even trying to change, I would just lose interest, other times effort was required from me, but most times it was divine intervention. The ‘how and what to do’ that comes to you, where God requires you to put the work, you will know. He will find a way of letting you know, and then He will equip you to do exactly what you are meant to do. He just doesn’t leave us out there in the freezing rain screaming ‘rain harder on them…that outta teach them a lesson.’ He is not cruel.
Most people are so afraid that this whole salvation thing just limits their freedom but that is so far from the truth! There’s nothing more liberating and more freeing than salvation! F’REAL doe!
Oh you’re so boring
I am not ashamed to say that I was honestly afraid of what people would think. They would find me sinfully boring! I mean…I had been called unspontaneous before and my faith was very questionable at the time.
I highly recommend spending time by yourself. You will discover the depth and width of you. I got so used to being by myself, that I had no option but to be friends with me. I got to know me, I liked me and found myself interesting. If God found me interesting, and I found me interesting then I had no fear of being boring to anyone. You will find that when you accept who you are, people will be drawn to you. They will be drawn to you because you’re stable, and you are true to who you have decided to be. Knowing what you don’t like, and what you like does not make you uninteresting, I like tea… I’ll have tea in a disco at any given time, not because I have something against alcohol but it’s just not my cuppa tea! Hashtag THUG LIFE.
I will gladly associate with people who aren’t of my faith and not because I have FOMO. We are called to love all and serve all.
Yes, being saved doesn’t make you dull. We watch TV like normal people, we love to shop, (We actually pray for sales, we love sales), we go out to dinners, we laugh out loud, we are always high on happiness (most times anyway), we wear high heels and dresses, we dance, we pray (yes praying is fun), we even have church jokes like church peeps be like… or single girls be like… or pastors be like… the bible has some pretty hilarious stories. It is also perfectly okay if you don’t understand the book of Leviticus, no one does.
Life in the saved lane
We are humans not Angels and therefore we get tempted daily. Personally am not about condemning people, and making them feel horrible when they do something wrong. I sin, we all sin. There’s no such thing as a perfect human being. It’s only by the grace of God that we are forgiven. That’s why it’s called the scandal of grace because it is unfathomable. Pharisee like people would never understand grace, but that’s not your problem.
If you understand grace, you will know that Grace isn’t a free pass/free license to sin as we desire. We don’t plead the grace of God as an excuse to sin. When we understand Grace, and when we understand how underserving and unworthy we are, we get this divine desire to be like Jesus. What does that mean? That we love people, we forgive quickly, we extend mercy, we are humble, we serve others, we know when we sin, we ask to be forgiven without pride, we seek to understand others, we are not selfish. In short, we love God and we love people and we all know that when we truly love people we think twice before we deliberately hurt them. Grace does that.
Being saved isn’t complicated, of course each one of us will be convicted differently but when you make that decision to be a follower of Jesus, this remains true, ‘nothing can separate you from the Love of God.’
Church and people
I think it is important to find a good church, one that you’re comfortable in because we were created to do this life together. A cord of three stands cannot easily be broken. I love both my churches Watoto and Hillsong NYC and not because they sing nice songs and wear ripped jeans but because both churches have shown me the heart of Jesus. You just need to look around you, and if the people around you are embracing, crying together, praying together, believing in your dreams then you are in the right place.
I remember the first time standing next to my best friend as she put her hand up in worship, I did not understand it! I was actually embarrassed for her. As if that wasn’t enough, she got baptised as an ADULT! Guys I may have actually thought that she had joined some sort of cult! I simply didn’t understand it. I was just thinking to myself, this one is going to go vegan next at this rate! What I loved the most, is she didn’t force me to go be drenched in water, she didn’t force me to put my hand up in worship, she just moved with such grace that I admired so much whatever she had going on.
When I responded to the altar call, for the longest time, I still couldn’t put my hand up. Yes, I still felt embarrassed for everyone who did, it just looked painfully awkward. I was utterly uninterested in hand-raising until that one day my hand went up, and I couldn’t bring it down no matter how much I willed it to come down. That was an act of surrender, total abandonment, that I am totally nothing without Jesus, that He has done more than I could or would ever deserve, that I was worshipping my creator and it didn’t matter who saw me raise my hand. In that moment I understood why my best friend would literally enter church with her hands already raised. Now my hands can’t come down, if we ever find ourselves in a tighter space, let it be known that things will get out of hand, some will be bruised, and others will have dark circles around their eyes. The need for space is mad real.
When I got baptized (yes people as an ADULT) I had finally understood it for myself, it wasn’t a cult. It signified the passing of the old me, and the birth of the new me.
It is so important to surround yourself with people who build you. My best friend did that for me, without pushing me or forcing me to. She just lived it out. Had she been a leader of a small gang of thieves, I would have been the second in command of the gang today. Whoever you CHOOSE to surround yourself with, will most certainly have influence on you. Find awesome people to do life with, you don’t need many. And when you do, live the best life ever!
I know this side of eternity is all shades of confusing, and sometimes you just find yourself living days filled with madness. Sometimes you feel like you can’t catch a break BUT take heart… ‘The fight you’re in has already been won.’