I have always believed that there is a God who is the God of the Bible. I understood the gospel: that we’ve sinned; Christ died for our sins and rose again; if we put our faith in Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are saved and can live for Jesus. I even understood that I didn’t have to raise my hand to accept Christ multiple times. The problem was that I was unsure of my salvation – whether or not I had truly placed my trust in Christ. I wanted to be a true Christian and I didn’t want to go to hell.
Finally, around the 4th grade, my Sunday school teachers again asked if any of us wanted to place our faith in Christ, and I told myself this would be the very last time I would raise my hand. And it was.
Despite that lengthy explanation and a nifty conclusion, I don’t really know the exact moment or even what year God rescued me from the bondage of sin. Perhaps it was 4th grade. Maybe God had worked in my heart to take that leap of faith — to have hope in the unseen. Or maybe it was because I didn’t want to keep raising my hand every year because I knew that technically, once was enough. Perhaps it was before that moment: I vaguely remember a little Sophia wanting to read her Bible and even to share the gospel with her friends. Maybe a little Sophia raising her hand time and again was her learning about assurance of salvation, and deepening her trust in her Savior’s work.
Whenever it was, I know that I am redeemed only because of Christ and I praise Him for His grace, mercy, and love. There wasn’t a defining turning point moment, complete with bright lights. But, it nevertheless magnifies how amazing God is. The spiritual change is always dramatic: dead in sin to alive in Christ.
God has been faithful in sanctifying me as I grow in the knowledge and love of the Lord. God has worked through the faithful preaching at my church and through the youth fellowship and the counselors. God has worked in my life as I serve at church or even in another country. God has placed people in my life who have pointed me back to the cross and exemplified Christ. God, in His sovereignty, also used various trials to break me, mold me into Christlikeness, and deepen my trust in Him.