I Pledged My Belief…And Knew He Accepted Me

When I think of someone who loved God wholly and studied His word faithfully and trusted His leadership always, I think of my grandma.  My grandpa was also a believer, but he was more reserved.  For five years during elementary school, I lived down the street from my grandparents.  I hung out at their house after school and if neighbor kids came over (usually to play with my brother), my grandma would feed them all.  My grandpa often quietly read the Wall Street Journal and monitored the stock market ticker that ran across the bottom of the TV screen. 

As I child, I was extremely shy and was an easy target for kids at school to push around.  They threatened, but never physically injured me.  Their expertise was inflicting emotional pain.  There were times when some would pose as friends, only to turn around and steal my belongings and ridicule me; leaving me alone again to wonder what was wrong with me.  I didn’t tell my parents much of what went on because I didn’t want them involved.  As far as they knew, I was just forgetful and lost a lot of stuff 🙂

My grandma’s love of life seemed to draw people to her, including me.  I found comfort in her laughter.  I spent hours making arts and crafts, and used glitter liberally – glitter was not allowed at home!  When my grandma needed posters for Sunday School class, she would let me help make them.  For many years, she taught Sunday School to junior high school kids, and I often wonder how many lives she changed.

My parents didn’t attend church.  To this day, I still don’t know why not.  But my brother and I went with my grandparents every Sunday.  Every week, I brought a tied-up stomach with me because I didn’t fit in there, either.  The only difference was that they weren’t openly mean; they couldn’t do that at church, you know.

Children’s Church ended each week with the youth pastor instructing anyone who wanted to ask Christ to come into their hearts to walk to the front of the room and kneel down.  Every week, I sat there with my head bowed; waiting for the music to end so I could find my grandparents.  When I was nine, a strange thing happened:  I got out of my seat and walked to the front of the room. 

I remember that I felt at peace during that walk.  I wasn’t nervous.  I wasn’t self-conscious.  It was a totally foreign feeling to me.  The girl who refused to get up in the middle of class to go to the bathroom because people might stare at her had made her way up to the front of the roomful of kids.  I wasn’t embarrassed when the pastor talked to my grandparents about it, either.  But I couldn’t provide any explanation as to why I made the choice other than, “it just felt right.”

Nerves set in on the night of my baptism, but I didn’t back out of it because I just knew that God brought me to him that day.  I knew it wasn’t my choice alone because I would have chosen to remain invisible in my back-row chair, just like every other week. 

I don’t think I realized at the time but looking back, I understand that God used my grandma to bring me to him.  I also believe that he used her again years later to have a conversation with me that changed – if not saved – my life.  But I’ll get into that next time.


26 thoughts on “I Pledged My Belief…And Knew He Accepted Me

  1. dorcas January 23, 2011 / 2:14 AM

    I really praise God for the sunday school teachers. They are the real life changing souls.

    I know the peace you are talking about. Amazing right ? 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 23, 2011 / 2:49 PM

      Yes, it is amazing, dorcas. I’m so glad you know about that peace. I wish I’d let myself enjoy it more, instead of focusing so much energy on keeping control of every aspect of my life 🙂

  2. Aligaeta January 23, 2011 / 7:14 AM

    It is so nice to read of your Grandmother’s special place in your heart and how her guidance brought you to God. I look forward to the continuation of your spiritual journey and how God’s message was brought to you through her.

    • jannatwrites January 23, 2011 / 2:52 PM

      Thanks, Aligaeta! I was on a roll last night, so I wrote a draft of next week’s part. It’s too long, so I’ll need to edit it down. There are things in there I’m not proud of, but I have to write about them so I can free myself to move on. I’m glad you’re following my journey 🙂

  3. nrhatch January 23, 2011 / 8:37 AM

    When we feel our connection to the divine, that invisible cord connecting the spirit within to the higher power, we access a well of inner peace that erases fear and doubt, replacing it with love.

    Thanks, Janna

    • jannatwrites January 23, 2011 / 2:54 PM

      Beautifully worded, Nancy. I want to experience that peace when I write. I think I’m on the right track to getting there, but I’m sure it will be a bumpy road!

  4. duke1959 January 23, 2011 / 11:55 AM

    You are so right about Sunday School. I had a student one day throw a Bible at one of his friends playing. He looked at me and said ” I shouldn’t have done that”!

    • jannatwrites January 23, 2011 / 2:56 PM

      It’s funny how kids know the good behavior is expected in Sunday School, but don’t have the control to carry it over to the rest of their lives. Come to think of it, some adults haven’t mastered it, either. More about that on future posts 🙂

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Duke. It’s good to know there are some who aren’t scared off by the God posts 😉

  5. Carol Ann Hoel January 23, 2011 / 1:59 PM

    What a beautiful testimony, Janna. It made my heart sing to hear it. Blessings to you…

    • jannatwrites January 23, 2011 / 3:02 PM

      Thanks, Carol. Some of it was hard to write, but I have to do it in order to fully examine my path.

  6. duke1959 January 23, 2011 / 8:17 PM

    God stuff doesn’t bother me. Never a problem.

  7. Jguno January 23, 2011 / 11:09 PM

    This is a passenger, accidentally stopped by.
    Very warm post, I like your writing!

    • jannatwrites January 24, 2011 / 6:53 PM

      Thank you for the compliment. I’m glad you stopped by and liked the post 🙂

  8. Hilary Clark January 24, 2011 / 7:07 AM

    Wonderful post! God really does work in mysterious ways. In the last year and a half, when I finally began to pay attention, He showed me the way to the things that “felt right”. Today, I try to always have my eyes and ears alert for His message, transmitted through the people who pass through my life.

    I’ve been questioning a decision I made recently…is it the right thing? Am I in the right place? Reading your post, I remembered that He brought me to that decision, so I want to thank you for being His messenger today.

    • jannatwrites January 24, 2011 / 6:57 PM

      Thank you, Hilary! I’m so happy that you see me as his messenger today. That makes me feel even better about this post, and the Sunday ones that will follow.

  9. Errol January 24, 2011 / 7:32 AM

    Your testimony demonstrates the power of the living God. I can relate to experience. Thanks for having the courage to share it with us.

    • jannatwrites January 24, 2011 / 6:58 PM

      Errol, I’m glad you can relate to the post. I would like to accept that I’m courageous, but that’s simply not the case. I think I just FINALLY listened to God’s plan 😉

  10. 2blu2btru January 24, 2011 / 7:43 AM

    As a former (maybe again in future) Sunday School teacher, I really appreciated this. You forget sometimes how much of an impact you have on the little ones (or big ones) you teach.

    I really enjoyed this piece. It’s also true for me that Christ makes me stronger, more confident, more peaceful. I’m naturally shy by nature, but I’ve blossomed so much since my own conversion. I can’t wait to hear the next piece! 😀

    • jannatwrites January 24, 2011 / 7:00 PM

      You were a Sunday School teacher? That’s so cool! I could tell from your posts that Christ is a big part of your life, so I’m glad you stopped by to read this…and enjoyed it 🙂

  11. Tori Nelson January 24, 2011 / 7:47 AM

    Children can be so cruel. That really breaks my heart that you experienced that ostracism. How lucky to have your Grandma, though, to be a little light and lead you toward the very best kind of acceptance 🙂
    Awesome post!

    • jannatwrites January 24, 2011 / 7:02 PM

      At the time, it was miserable but I wouldn’t change it even if I could. It made me stronger and makes me appreciate how good things are now. If I had not gone through it, I might take life for granted. I’m happy you stopped by and liked the post, Tori!

  12. suzicate January 24, 2011 / 7:09 PM

    A lovely reflection…He knows more than we do what we need and how to get us there.

    • jannatwrites January 24, 2011 / 7:25 PM

      Thank you, Suzicate. I sure wish I could pay more attention to His guidance rather than trying to figure it out on my own!

  13. SAS Fiction Girl January 24, 2011 / 7:57 PM

    Nice story, Janna. I like that you didn’t feel pressured, but that you went up when it felt right for you. 🙂

    • jannatwrites January 24, 2011 / 8:30 PM

      Thanks, Jen. It was a strange calm that I wish I allowed myself to feel more often!

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