from Rachel: Spiritual Birthday

“I did so (eleven) years before my biggest sin. I know He forgave my past, present and future sins when I asked Jesus to come into me heart April 22, 1984.”

“Thank You God for loving me. Thank You for always making me feel like the apple of Your eye – special and precious. Thank You for always making me feel safe and protected and loved. You’re awesome!”

Happy Spiritual Birthday, honey. I’m sorry I can’t be there with you as you celebrate it for the first time directly in His presence, but I’m looking forward to being there with you some day. Of course, I imagine time doesn’t pass the way it does here, so maybe annual celebrations are somewhat meaningless up there, but what do I know?

I confess that I’m curious about your reference to your ‘biggest sin.’ I don’t know what happened in 1995 that you’re referring to here, but clearly, it stuck in your mind. I have a guess as to what it might be, but I thought that incident happened earlier than that. For your sake (and since it’s only conjecture), I will say no more. You took this to your grave, and since it has been forgiven just as everything else, I will do likewise.

For now, I will include the first fragment of your notes we discovered, tucked inside your Bible, and written with intent to let your Mom and Dad know that you knew where you were going, in hopes that they could confirm that they would be joining you there someday.

“I grew up in a church with an altar call, and with Sunday School classes after church. So on any normal week, a soul-stirring Sunday School message would have a week to cool and be forgotten (and I never paid as much attention to the church service as to Sunday School).

“In 1983, when I was 13 on Easter, there was a sunrise service, a breakfast, an early Sunday School, and then the regular service. My teacher, Teri, ended up going off on a tangent from what she had planned to talk about and telling us her testimony. She talked about feeling a sort of tug at her heart during the altar call each week, and how she asked her husband about it, and he explained that was the Holy Spirit calling her to give her heart to Jesus and accept His forgiveness for her sins.

“I realized that I had been feeling that call for a while, and fearing the commitment (and the awkwardness of being in front of everybody). I pondered about it all through the service, and at the end, to the tune of “He Lives,” I went to the front of the church, and my pastor helped me to pray and ask Jesus to come into my heart, and take away all my sins – past, present and future, and be the Lord of my life.

“Confirmation: A few years later, when I was about 17, my Sunday School class watched “A Thief in the Night.” I felt afraid that maybe I wasn’t really saved and might be left behind in the event of the Rapture, so I did a lot of praying and soul-searching until I felt confident that I really had been saved back in 1983.”

Thank you, Teri, whoever and wherever you are. Thanks to you going off-script, I know I will see my darling girl again someday.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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