There is no way I could have been cleansed. No one could have paid my debt of sin. As I ran my hell-bound race, indifferent to the cost, you looked upon my helpless state and led me to the cross… now all I know is grace. (All I have is Christ by Jordan Kauflin ).
My testimony is not an attempt to condemn any religion. My story is to share what I believe and why. Prior to receiving Christ as a personal savior, I was a religious person. I had been taught that my doctrine was the only true one. I thought everyone was going to hell except those of my church. Then, I failed the religion, myself and more importantly God.
I was 20 years old when I conceived my firstborn child Jessy out of wedlock. As a result, I automatically became an outcast in the church I had grown in and served. I could not join in Holy Communion, could not sing in the choir or have my child baptized.
According to the doctrine and the teachings I had received, if Christ was to return then, my son and I would go straight to hell. This was scary! I felt hopeless and lost. I needed something, anything that could cleanse me of my sin and get me back to the religion that I had known all my life.
So I would attend mass, sit in the pews follow through the recitations, then go back home, feeling hopeless and condemned. Eventually, I stopped attending church altogether.
I was working as a registry clerk with a broadcasting station when I got a government scholarship to join college. While there, I met young ladies my age. They seemed happy and content. During their lunch-hour break, they would either be going to a prayer meeting, to a bible study or fellowship.
Among these young ladies, there was one who was much older than the others. Her name was Peninah and we had something in common. She had gone through the same challenge of falling pregnant before holy matrimony. However, her case was different. Her church accepted her back, she later got married in church and after that she co ntinued with serving in church as a born-again Christian. When I shared my story therefore, she resonated with what I was going through. She committed to inviting me to the Christian fellowship meetings. Sometimes I would go, sometimes I would not. She remained patient and kept inviting me and did not judge or reject me.
It was one Wednesday afternoon. Peninah and the other girls had left for a lunch-hour fellowship. I pulled out a novel from my bag and began to read. A few minuted later, my deskmate, a man who did not care about God walked in to the class. Muiru was a fun easy going person and in one of his loud jokes said: “Elizabeth, you must be one crazy girl. How dare you sit here when all your friends have gone to church? Get out and go join them.” This may sound weird but I left and I heard him chuckle behind me. I think I just left because he simply annoyed me but later, I understood that the Lord was using him to push me out of the class and the novel reading to Gods calling of salvation.
I joined the fellowship half an hour late, walked through the back door and sat at the back of the room. The speaker stood in front of a full packed classroom. Everyone was attentive. In front of me were young men and women, who sat attentively listening to the word of God. They then arose and raised their hands and voices in worship and prayer.
I do not remember anything about the message of the day but what I remember is that at that moment, I knew I was different from the rest of these young people. They looked happy and seemed to have so much hope and confidence. I was convicted of my sin and I knew needed forgiveness.
After the closing prayer, all the students left quicky to be on time for the afternoon lessons. The speaker remained behind to pack his items. I dashed to the front to catch him before leaving. He quickly introduced himself as John Wesley Nguo and asked me what I wanted to which I responded: “I want to get saved.”
John dashed out and called a few of the students that had not left. I could hear his voice, almost panting with excitement: “Hey ! some of you come back! we have a new soul!”
I was led to say a prayer of repentance. Many years later, I can say this was not my effort, the Lord was pursuing me while I ran my hell-bound race as the bible clearly states: “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him…” (John 6:44-45).
That Wednesday afternoon, Christ embraced and healed me of sin, rejection and shame. He taught me that there is nothing I could do to earn His love except to accept His saving grace. He gave me peace a new name, the forgiven, the accepted of Christ. No one could have paid my debt of sin. Not religion, not good works, but Jesus with His Precious Blood.
The bible in the book of Isaiah 1:18 says: “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool.” Right there, a burden rolled and my sins were forgiven – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God. (Ephesians 2:8).
My soul became alive that day. I had a friend and a father His name is Jesus. He has never left me, He has never forsaken me. He has remained closer to me than a brother.
I can only share what I know and who He is. He is real. He is true. He is alive. “He made [me] alive, who was dead in trespasses and sins. (Ephesians 2:1).
Song: Jesus paid it all/Fernando Ortega