Women of Reverence welcomes guest blogger Abigail Maré. This is her story...
My name is Abigail Maré and I turned 20 this year. I am a pastor’s kid and so proud of it! My passion, for discipling and equipping teenagers and young adults with things I learnt over the years, came from one simple revelation: We are chosen. We are the next Mary, David, Daniel, Esther and Samuel! We are the church; we are the ones going out and changing the world.
We have a mission and we need to know that we are not running this race alone.
I just came from doing a Christian gap year in Pietermaritzburg called: Destiny Leadership academy. Now, I am a Drama student at Stellenbosch University where I live in residence and attend Shofar church.
My dream is to go into full time ministry as a Drama Therapist. I want to go out and share what Jesus did for me, as well as watch young adults grow in their God-given identity. Other than blogging, I love anything to do with music: I dance, sing, play the violin, ukulele and keyboard. I am a mission addict and love people. I read, I write, I perform and I dance. (anything to explore my desire to be creative for Jesus)
My quote for life is from the book Voice in the wind, by Francine Rivers:
“I gave up what I can’t keep for something I can never lose.”
Here is my salvation story:
Why do I want to share it? I want young adults to know that their story matters, that Jesus is faithful and that, no matter what we’ve done or do, He will always remain true. I want to start off with a few of my favourite verses in Corinthians.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NKJV)
It describes the meaning of the word LOVE and... GOD IS LOVE. Therefore I know, that LOVE is the reason for everything and it was this LOVE God has for the world (for you and me) that made Him send Jesus to die, so that we may be forgiven and restore our relationship with our FATHER.
Where to begin:
I guess the best place to start is at the very beginning. The day that I gave my life to Jesus.
I sat under the shade of our colourful umbrella on the beach with my mother. We were watching a whole crowd of people dare to embrace the frigid water of the Western Cape. But my mind was not centred on their, quite hilarious, display.
I was about four or five when we had the conversation. Young (you might think) but, coming from a girl who watched 3 siblings grow up, nevertheless an age where you start to feed yourself: Spiritually and Physically.
The topic was the Thailand tsunami of 2004. I don't remember how we got to the subject, but God works in mysterious ways: For it was THAT event that brought me to Jesus.
It wasn't the first time I acknowledged His existence: Coming from a family who attended church every Sunday and actively involve at almost every church event. My parents served as missionaries in Rwanda just before I was born and planted a church a year after I gave my life to Jesus.
But... whenever my mother asked me if I would like to ask Jesus into my heart, I would say no. I didn't want to. Reason? I can't remember, but I didn't relent until we started talking about the tsunami.
I asked my mom whether all the people that died went to heaven. Her answer: The simple truth. That only if they had given their hearts to Jesus and accepted His sacrifice could they be saved.
Then I started thinking. I've always considered my salvation (or the beginning there of) as a method of escaping fear…
All pretence aside: I didn't want to go to hell.
And with the sudden deaths of so many people in Thailand I realised the unpredictability of my life and not just mine: Everyone I faced every day of my life. Those thoughts I can’t remember but I know myself and I knew what happened then.
I was probably ‘evaluating’ my emotions. At about 5… I guess my thoughts were most likely things like:
It is so sad that so many people died. What if they didn't accept Jesus? What if no-one told them about Him? Could I have told them? But did I accept Him?
And the biggest:
Am I going to heaven?
And that was the question I asked my mother. She answered me by saying that it depended on whether I've given my heart to Jesus.
So that made me think... I hadn't done that yet...I couldn’t deny that God existed: There was too much evidence! I grew up seeing miracles, having dreams and seeing the power in prayer. But… I didn’t accept Jesus personally or wanted to make Him Lord of My life. That meant I was going to hell, right?
And short story summary: I decided then and there to give my life to Jesus, not knowing at that time, that the commitment at such a young age was probably the reason I am still alive today.
~ even though I was young I had to acknowledge the difference between knowing that Jesus exists (and that God is real) and, actually, seeking a relationship with Him~
We are not born saved! The Bible says that if we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised Him from the dead we shall be saved. Romans 10:9
Jesus brought hope, good news! This was not the end, however. As I committed my life to know Jesus, all I wanted to do was make Him known! I wanted people to know what I now knew without a trace of doubt: That Jesus saves; that death loses its sting the moment you embrace real LIFE. The freedom I tasted, the peace and trust in God, Who IS LOVE: Who promises not only eternal life, but a LIFE worth living.