Before I received Jesus I lived and thought as though I could do and achieve whatever I set my mind to, if I was sincere enough and really put my heart to it. This was especially true in relationships.
I wanted so badly to make up for the family I felt I didn't have when I was growing up. I grew up in a broken home and my father was absent for most of my childhood.
As I entered adulthood I thought that if a relationship didn't work out as perfectly as I imagined in my mind it was always the fault of the other party; I knew I had done my very best, and when all else failed, I had the ability to remove myself with no guilt.
This attitude continued through several disastrous relationships and eventually lead to a suicide attempt which, in hindsight, seemed to highlight my desperate attempt to win approval, acceptance and love at any cost.
As a young child our family went to church sporadically and I don't recall ever hearing anything of the gospel and of how much God loved us.
I received Jesus into my life during a time when I thought I was feeling pretty secure, at least from a worldly point of view.
I remember sitting at home one day reviewing my life up to that point. Basically I had attained what most people are striving for, a stable home, a good job, financial security, health, two beautiful children and a loving relationship in which I desperately hoped would end in marriage.
Upon reflection of all this I felt an emptiness, like I was still missing something.
I remembered hearing the gospel as a teenager and all about Jesus. At that moment, I knew, more clearly than ever before, that He was the missing part of me and that if I were ever going to be truly happy and content, it would only be in a life totally surrendered to the savior who loved me enough to die for my sins.
At that moment, I called on Jesus to forgive me of all my sins, believing that He is the Son of God and that He paid for all my sins with His blood on the cross.
After I received Jesus I've come to know God's love for me in a more personally fulfilling way than I've ever imagined possible. Best of all, it's free and I didn't and do not have to do anything to earn it.
I feel like I have a purpose in life and desire to share this kind of love at every opportunity. I feel like I'm looking at the world through totally new eyes. Freely I have received so great a love and now I want to freely give it to everyone I encounter. We truly love because He first loved us.