My earliest memories of understanding "salvation" are right after my mom died and I was only 9 years old. At that point and for the next 5-6 years, the promise of heaven and getting to see my mom again was "the joy of my salvation". My understanding of who God was hinged on the hope that I would be reunited with those who had gone before me.
From there, I was a pretty insecure little kid who had lost what was most valuable to me and then tried to replace that connection through other relationships. When those relationships ended, I was crushed and insecure again. Then I met someone who told me that people will come and go from my life but Jesus will never leave. I was hooked! At that point the security of relationship and consistency that Christ brought became "the joy of my salvation".
Later I was part of a high school youth group and then went to a Christian college. Both environments presented a place where it was cool to be Christian. During that stage I believe the "joy of my salvation" was the sense of belonging that I had. I could go on and on about this because it is so common in that setting and contributes to why so many high schoolers fall out of the Christian race when they get to college. It is not enough to have your Christian identity in your community but it has to be rooted in the person of Christ.
After that stage, I can say that the "joy of my salvation" was rooted in my husband. Here I had this loving, minister husband who also loved Jesus and desired to serve Him. I found my Christian identity in that relationship and our calling as a couple. It wasn't until I lived in Waco and worked at Baylor that my relationship really became my own. That was rocketed last spring while we waited for Ruthie and I really had to cry out to God and trust him for peace and direction.
I share all this with you because I think most of you have a similar story personally or you see it in your kids. It reminds me that Christian growth is a process and that you are not wrong to be anywhere along it. I often think of my Christian experience like my marriage experience. Infatuation has turned to trust and that trust has brought us into a deeper relationship that we couldn't have possibly had in those early days when we were primarily looking to get our own needs met. I am most encouraged by the fact that since I have reached the point of finding my joy truly in Christ that my passion for ministry has grown and my motivations are purer than ever.
You know what else excites me? I can't wait to see what is next. Why do the pillars of the faith have such peace about them? What is the source of wisdom and what does it feel like to be truly wise? I know I have so much to learn, but today I am resting in the reflection that Christ truly is now the joy of my salvation and not because of anything I have done, but because of what He has done in me.
Lunch break over- Gotta go back to class to listen to research presentations. WooHoo
The girls at the Shabby Shop make a monthly desktop for your computer with a calender and pictures. I think this month's is so cute. Oh and it is FREE! You can get it at http://www.theshabbyshoppe.com/blog/
For those friends of mine who don't have clue how to do this, email me 4 pics of your kids and I will make it into a jpeg for you and send it back. It is super easy.
Here is mine with the kiddos