Part 6:  The Awakening

Part 6: The Awakening

On August 7, 2005, at approximately 10:30 am, with myself and our four children standing in witness close by, Allen Tappe baptized Robin in front of the congregation at Richland Hills Church of Christ.  I knew this was a great victory for Robin over her own fears.  I knew that my own pride and arrogance had kept her from achieving this victory much sooner than she did.  I also knew, even then, that my new journey would soon result in my own final submission.  We were on this journey together.

In Seattle, when I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior on July 18, I knew my life was broken and was desperately in need of fixing.  The problem is that my invitation to God was totally one-way.  I’m broke…please come into my life and fix me.  The problem is that I did not truly understand how my sin had offended God and how my sin had separated me from God.  Sure, I knew that I was a sinner and that my sin was wrong but I mostly just hurt myself, right?  I was too focused on me and how I felt and what I needed.  If I did not truly understand and acknowledge the depth of my offense against God then how could I possibly feel remorseful?  If I did not feel remorseful then how could I accept His forgiveness?  I really did not think I needed it, right?  I was still in denial.  The problem is that self-pride was keeping me from confronting the arrogance and shameless cruelty that I had afflicted on a compassionate and loving God throughout my lifetime of sin.

The even more difficult question is this:  If I did not truly feel remorseful, then how could God forgive me, much less love me?  I certainly did not deserve His forgiveness or His love.  But in His merciful way He did forgive me the very moment I prayed to Him and asked Him to forgive me…Just like Jesus promised.  I know this.  I know that God has been chasing me for a long time.  I had always denied this but now I look back and I see this very clearly.  There are just too many connected events that span over 40 years.  Nothing happens by accident.  I have evaded God in this chase with my pride and my arrogance and all of their associated baggage.  He now had His arms around me and He was taking me down.  God would soon use an apology to help me understand and feel something very new to me.

For over two months following my invitation to Jesus my heart was not opened to baptism.  I knew that baptism was necessary because Jesus said it should be done.  But my heart was too hard.  I wondered and worried why this was and what it meant.  As I worried about this I think I knew why.  There was a growing sense in me that all was not well in my life.  Actually, this sense began to emerge about a year earlier as I began to openly search for the truth.  I had a growing awareness that something in my life was very wrong.  This something has existed for most of my life and I had come to accept it as normal and I didn’t really think about it.

As I began to seriously question my faith gap was I really questioning my separation from God?  Was this alleged faith gap really a cover?  Was it a rationalization of denial that kept God tucked away so that I would not have to acknowledge the causes of my separation from Him?  Was God opening the eyes of my heart so that I might know fully the depth of my former separation from Him so that I might know the depth of His forgiveness?

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1John 1:9)