Ashes-to-Beauty-Logo2I still remember this Sunday when I was in form 2. It was the second Sunday of the term in the month of January. So this preacher had come to the christian union and I can’t even remember what he preached about. All I remember is that he invited people for an altar call after the preaching. Not only those who wanted to get saved, but also those who wanted to renew their salvation. I was in the second category. So after a very strong conviction I lifted my hand and allowed Jesus into my life again.

Previously I had gotten saved in class 4. The Gideon’s bible distributors came to our school and after giving us the small Gideon’s bibles they invited anyone who needed salvation to say a confession prayer. I did! But somewhere along the way I lost it. These were probably the darkest days of my life. I still remember how i was irritable, angry and proud. I cant explain how I would manage to throw tantrums at my parents and keep quiet at them for a whole week, and still live in their house without an inch of guilt. It’s a mystery that a kept a grudge towards a friend or two years. I didn’t speak to her for two years! It’s unspeakable just how I wanted to have my way in everything.

Flash forward 2015. I look at myself today and marvel. Just how Jesus has molded me into shape. My pride has been cut into shape. I don’t remember at what point I lost my anger. Neither do I remember the day I started being nice to people, and even considering them better than myself. The work of the cross is purely a mystery!

One thing I remember is that when I said yes to Christ I decided there’s no turning back. I don’t remember a day I contemplated backsliding! Christ did tremendous work in me. I was changed from the inside out. I experienced a new joy. My world view, belief system and attitude was completely changed. You know that Saul to Paul moment! 🙂

It wasn’t easy, though. The pain of being rebuked by God and being challenged from my old ways was quite something. But it was assuring. I felt like how a child feels when the dad spanks it, then holds it on his laps and whispers, “I was punishing sin, not you”. I still remember what one of my partners in crime told me when i expressed to her my desire to overcome the temptation to indulge in secular music. “Tunakuona sana. Ni leo tu.” (We are keeping an eye on you. We know it’s only for today.) That very statement was the source of my inspiration to move on.

In form one I was a celebrated girl in my class. I was this bright chic who is not a snitch. (Many bright students are termed as snitches by the rest) I would manage to hang out with my classmates in the entertainment hall on Saturdays, support them in their crime and gang up with them against the class snitches. I remember hiding a phone for one of the senior girls in form 4. If I was caught, that would be the end of me in that school! Somehow, i still managed to preserve my academic position.

Getting born again changed things. They turned against me. Literally! I remember a weekend I had to spend out of class because of how they would hurl insults at me. No one wanted to see me! The price I had to pay for choosing Jesus! The biggest mistake I had probably done was hanging out with christian union girls! But all these strengthened me. It’s the nature of our faith. It strengthens trials, pain and distress!

It’s been five complete years now. The journey still continues. Turning back is not a word that exists in my dictionary. I have to meet my maker! I look at myself with a smile. Am a perfect mess. Perfect because Christ has beautified me. Am a work in progress. Not yet achieved it all. I still know I have a long way to go. But my confidence lies in this- He who began the good work in me will see it to completion. I owe it all to Christ who has been my rock.

One thing I know- Christianity is real. And even if it was not, I still do not lose anything. As a matter of fact, I’ve gained. But am so convinced it’s real, because it has worked out for me! I sum up my confession with this:

“I am a part of the fellowship of the Unashamed. I have the Holy Spirit Power. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, back away, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I am finished and done with low living, sight walking, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tame visions, mundane talking, chintzy giving, and dwarfed goals.

“I no longer need preeminence, prosperity, position, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, tops, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by presence, learn by faith, love by patience, lift by prayer, and labor by power.

“My pace is set, my gait is fast, my goal is Heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions few, my Guide is reliable, my mission is clear.

I cannot be bought, compromised, deterred, lured away, turned back, diluted, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

“I won’t give up, back up, let up, or shut up until I’ve preached up, prayed up, paid up, stored up, and stayed up for the cause of Christ. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I must go until He returns, give until I drop, preach until all know, and work until He comes.

And yeah, it’s possible to walk with Christ. Very possible! Even for a young person. So what’s your story? What are those things that Christ has changed in your life? How has your walk been?