by Audrey Saldivar
I grew up in a family that valued God and His Word, so that from a young age, I was acutely aware of right and wrong and what the Bible had to say about such matters. However, even though I knew what was wrong, I still willingly chose to do wrong things. I was selfish, proud, and disobedient. I am thankful though that my surroundings were influenced by the things of God, because it allowed God to work in me even as a child.
Because I was familiar with the Bible, I knew that God, being totally perfect (righteous), did not like the wrong things I was choosing to do. Furthermore, I knew that I could not go to heaven if I continued choosing wrong. This often bothered me. But it would take more than just being familiar with the Bible for me to begin to choose right. I needed God to personally present Himself to me, talk to me, and show me that what I was doing was not acceptable. So, because God loved me, He did present Himself to me one night in October of 1987.
I remember becoming very aware of His presence near me. Furthermore, I began to understand for the first time His infinite love for me. I realized the great sacrifice of God to come down out of His majesty, humbling Himself, in order to die the worst death that will ever be experienced. All of this He did so that if I chose, my imperfections could be gone from my soul forever with God’s righteousness in its place. I knew that night without a doubt that God was giving me a choice-either to continue in my wrong, thus remaining separated from Him and His love; or to ask God to take away my sins and make me righteous on the inside, thus letting God control my life and all the decisions and choices that I would ever make. I could not hesitate. Once God had come to me, I knew I had to accept Him, ask for His forgiveness, and trust that He would keep His promise to be with me always.
Since that night, I have never doubted my relationship with God. Now, eleven years later, I am still confident of His love for me, for He continues to show Himself, helping me to learn about Him. It is not easy to be immersed in a world that thinks and acts on the exact opposite philosophies that I do. It is a constant struggle that takes courage, determination, and a close friendship with God. But I am promised victory over these hardships with God, the Creator of the universe, at my side. No matter what the circumstance, I know that “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).