This is hard to explain, precisely, as I am not really sure exactly what has happened, but I want to try to chronicle for you the change in my life over the last few years. I was asked this question yesterday by a friend.
For 45 years, or so, I have been going on with my life as I have wanted; more often than not having no regard for what God wanted from me or for me. The selfish life is easy to live, as it is lived out for us by so many others. It is the "going down stream" approach to life. Everyone else is doing it so it makes it easy to jump right in and do the same. See what you can get and get a bunch of it.
The first large step was, of course, Grant's event. Watching God work out all the timing and then bring him back to us, for us to enjoy his smiling face each day, was a real eye opener. To be sure one will never know what is going through the mind of a parent when they are standing by the side of their child who could live or die based on the next few minutes of hours. But that eye opening event made me see the unseen in that God wants us to be willing to turn our kids over to Him. He is in control; NOT me.
The next big step was Sept/Oct. 2008, when the economy tanked and Teresa and I were in Italy. There was absolutely nothing we could do about anything and I was wondering if America would be here went I returned. Sales started to fall off and it began to get pretty scary, but all we could do was trust God to provide as He always has.
Another big step was in Dec./Jan. we had all the snow on the ground, considerably more than we have ever seen here, and there was again nothing I could do except trust that God knew what He was doing and that He would have to provide. It was at that time that I told Teresa, if PG goes down, we will lose everything and then some. That is a hard thing to have to think about and a hard thing to say out loud, but in saying it out loud it forced me to admit that I was not in control of my own life or the lives of those around me.
Was I ok with losing everything? Was it ok for God to take everything away? I wouldn't write it up like that, but I also would not have written up for Grant to go into cardiac arrest. Maybe it was ok. Maybe it was better than ok. Maybe it was best if I could say out loud, and believe in my heart, that if I lost everything and yet still had Jesus it was more than ok. This is not the me I am used to hearing. God is doing something in me that has allowed me to say this kind of thing.
So the next step was connected to the adoption, although not really the "adoption proper". In saying "yes" to adopting that just was showing what God had been doing in my heart. I really didn't have to think too much about it, since I had known what God thinks about adoption. It was just a natural step toward doing what God was telling me to do; obey. BUT, the real next big step was when we went to the seminat in Spokane and we were watching the videos and hearing the stories of what is going on around the world. "What has God gifted Teresa and I to do and what does He have planned for us?"
Itis pretty crazy for me to look back over the past year and a half and see where God has brought me. I am amazed at His care and tenderness as He works with such a stubborn, selfish man and sweetly brings me along. It is His kindness that leads us to repentance.
The reason I am telling ou this is because I often think about salvation as being one precise moment in time where God works in a heart and brings it to repentance, and while that is true it seems there is also the process of sanctification along the way that requires we take steps, ordained by God, to bring us into the conformity of the Image of His Son.
When did I get saved? I thnk when I was 33. When did my life change the most, so far; this past 15 months. How is all this possible. I don't have a clue except that God is good and He wants what is best for me and i just want to follow where HE leads and do what He wants me to do. I don't care what or where it is. He has started the work, He does all the work and He will be faithful to complete the work. How awesome is that. All I have to do is show up and obey.