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Wednesday, 8 April 2009

memory lane: the God who hears


Today's memory is a simple one of when I was in my mid to late teens. I'd been hearing lots of stories about how people had become Christians. I have always loved hearing such testimonies, but I was struggling at that time as I longed to remember my first profession of faith. many of us 'grow' into faith by stages, and it is hard to catalogue the 'moment' - especially as in my case, where I could not remember a time when I had not accepted, and indeed loved, God.

I knew that when I was 7 I had echoed a prayer led from the front at a church camp we had attended. Today I would see this as one of many steps of faith, but it was very important to me then that I could remember what was my first real declaration and invitation - my first commitment. But try as I might, I could remember nothing of how I felt. And as a teenager, this troubled me.

One day I knelt down in my room and asked God to help me remember, so desperate that I was literally crying. After a while, I felt the burden lift, and I let it go.

A few days later I was on a blank tape search. This happened often at this time as I had started writing songs, and not being able to write music adequately, I would record them onto tape. (Some of them are predictably cringe-some. Others could be worse.) Anyway, my mum was trying to hunt some out and came across some tape recordings of the church camp we had been on all those years ago. Sidetracked from my original intent, I was fascinated. One of them was the same service which afterwards, I had made my first commitment to following Jesus.

I often listened to talks on tape at this time, so I put it on while I pottered around doing other things. The talk was actually very appropriate for me at the time, and I appreciated it. What I did not expect was the recording to go on running after the talk had finished. Frozen to the spot, I listened to the minister of our then church talk about following Jesus for ourselves, and then leading a prayer which people could join in with if they so desired.

There were tears pouring down my cheeks as I listened to the words that I had whispered on my mother's lap as a shy 7 year old, as the feeling of the moment overwhelmed me. It was wonderful hearing the words, and knowing their significance over time. And underlying all of this, was a huge surge of gratitude that God had heard me and answered my prayer, in such a down-to-earth way. Gratitude that he was concerned with me - me - so tiny in this world. He hears the concerns of our hearts - and he heard mine.

As I said, today I would see my faith as a journey of many significant moments, but then, it mattered to me particularly that I should remember this first declaration of faith. I am still very grateful for this moment. It was such a simple thing, yet it meant so much to me.


Today: 3-4/10, medium

12 comments:

Tanya said...

That is beautiful!

sarah in the woods said...

That is a wonderful story of our gracious God. I also grew up in a Christian home and grew into faith. I do remember walking outside alone when i was very young and kneeling down to pray a confession of faith. For a long time I wondered if that was a "real" moment or if that was something I did from time to time. One day my dad was talking to me and mentioned that time and I was really surprised to hear him say it, because it was something I did when I was alone and very young (my dad says 5). But he said I ran home and told him and my mom about it. It's so nice to have that memory of when I was so young and it's significant to me that I do remember it. Thanks for sharing your story.

Tricia said...

Great memory. I'm glad that God granted it to you. :-)

Lynnette Kraft said...

What a loving God who hears us and answers us. This post is just beautiful and touched my heart so deeply. There's just no doubt - God did that because he loves you and wanted you to know that he listens and he cares for you deeply.

Thank you for sharing of this precious time in your life and in your walk with Jesus.

Sally-Ann said...

Beautiful, thank you for sharing. I always gain so much from Wednesday's Walk

Rachel said...

Hi Lucy - thank you for sharing that. I was about 7 when I made my first declaration of belief. The time I actually told God quite openly that I believed in Him, and I was sorry was when I was about 7 years old. My friend across the road, older than me and proud owner of a Binatone computer game, with big trendy sisters to boot, so highly idealised, declared a set of beliefs for joining the gang: favourite football team - Man U, favourite colour - red and belief in God - none! Anyway, as members, we had to keep repeating the formula and it meant that each time I did it, I'd have to sneak away afterwards and speak to God - 'so sorry God, I don't mean it, I do sooo believe in you...' until on about the third or fourth time of having to confess in this way, I suddenly felt a bursting of joy - a kind of gut-churning awareness ' wow - I really believe in you, I mean I really do, I'm speaking to you, Oh my goodness, you're real!' - and it felt fantastic.

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Lora said...

what a beautiful memory!

Patricia said...

It strengthens our faith when we see God answer even what might seem to be a small request, but that means so much to us. Thank for sharing this with us.

Kelly @ The Beauty of Sufficient Grace said...

Oh, Lucy...this story so touched my heart. Thank you for blessing us with this post...for sharing this beautiful memory of our amazing God's grace and love. He cares about the little things. About us...little, tiny us. About every little tiny whisper of our heart...every nuance of our tiny selves. His love is unfathomable and so humbling.

Many Blessings to you this Easter Season...

Aspiemom said...

Such a great story...Is this one of your favorite memories? I'm thinking it may be!

Linda said...

"Blessed Assurance,...Jesus is mine! Oh what a foretaste of glory divine!"

I love how God gave you this little assurance that you belong to Him,...and have since you were a child.

Yes, this is a similar story to mine. I loved Him as a child and remember as an 8 year old I gave myself to Him by praying a prayer,...but it was a series of things and a long process that really brought the assurance that I was truly a Christian.

Now I KNOW that I am His and He is Mine! And I have had that assurance for over 30 years now.

God is so loving and so good,...and so longsuffering and patient with us. But He knoweth them that are His own,...that's for sure.

Thanks for your story today.
Linda @ Truthful Tidbits

"The desperate need today is not for a greater number of intelligent people, or gifted people, but for deep people."- Richard Foster