Not long ago, I heard someone say, “Would you forget the day you were born? Then why don’t you remember the day you were reborn?” At that time I really didn’t know the exact date that I was saved. I knew that I encountered God many times before I knew him…. before I was truly a Christian. This conversation really lingered for a while. It made me contemplate whether or not I was truly saved. I was a new creation, but why couldn’t I remember the exact moment that it happened?
Maybe because it wasn’t in a moment for me. It was a process.
I want to celebrate the day that Jesus pulled me out of my horrible circumstance and saved me. It’s worth celebrating! Probably even more than the day I was born, but just as a mom carries a baby for 9 months for them to grow before they are born, I went through a transition before it clicked for me. I needed so much healing, and God knew that. It took a defining moment for me to really understand God’s love.
When I was pregnant with Carter, I “decided” to change my life… to live for Christ. I declared my love for Jesus… at least with my mouth. The pregnancy was such a difficult time in my life. I was a child myself, really. At only 18, I was an unwed, unemployed, unprepared pregnant teenager. I knew that I couldn’t do it on my own. I knew that I needed more help than any family member or friend could offer. I knew that I needed Jesus to save me, but I didn’t think that he would.
Saying that now sounds so silly, but at that time my life was so broken. I was so broken. I simply could not understand how God, the creator of the entire universe (including so many people who were so much better than I), could love me. I couldn’t imagine forgiving someone who cursed my name and knew what was right, but chose to run toward wrong. I thought I was hopeless.
I knew that I didn’t have what other Christian’s had. I wanted a relationship deeply. I prayed constantly and consistently for God to forgive me for hurting so many people. I repeated the process of begging for forgiveness daily, because I didn’t believe that God wanted me. I didn’t think I was worthy of his love. I wanted more than the empty faith I had, but I didn’t understand that my lack of confidence in God’s ability to love was really my disbelief in God’s promises and ultimately prolonged the healing necessary to have a real relationship with Christ.
Looking back, I know that there was a specific moment where things changed for me. A moment when I truly believed that God could forgive me and I completely opened my wounded heart and made myself completely vulnerable, but I didn’t realize it at the time. What defined that moment?
My first true, real, unconditional love toward another human being.
When he was born, I stared at his flat chunky face for hours. For the first time in my entire life, I loved someone more than I loved myself. I experienced true love. Unconditional love. Love that would never change with any choice he made. Love that would never decrease. Love that was just so real. So much love. I just wanted to hold him all the time. I wanted to tell him how much I loved him, but I couldn’t make the words come out fast enough to express the overwhelming love.
And that’s when I got it.
If I could love this tiny little human that I created that much in one hour, how much did God love me?
A whole lot.
Through Carter’s birth, I was able to understand God’s love. Though I am still healing, still growing, still learning…. At that moment, the disbelief vanished and something changed in my life. Finally, I not only declared it with my lips, but I fully believed it with my whole heart. I share my spiritual birthday with Carter’s real birthday. God took a poor decision that I made and gave me the most precious gift I’ll ever receive.
God has filled me up so much in four years…. Just when I feel like my heart is full, it grows.
Happy Birthday to my first true love. And Happy Spiritual Birthday to me.
Sweet Carter: One day I hope that you read this. I hope that you always know that you’re loved and that I always make you feel loved. Happy Birthday precious one who changed so many lives when he came into this world! Especially mine.