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The Day that Changed my Life Forever

 

Todd and Shari Snyder 1996

Yes, my wedding day certainly changed my life forever, but it’s not the day I am referring to.  I remember that day so clearly, as if it was yesterday.  It was a day that humbled me, scared me and brought me to my knees.   I’ve never been the same.  Truth be told, over 20 years have passed since that life-changing day.  Please allow me to start at the beginning:  I was “saved” when I was 3 ½ years old.  At least I prayed a prayer and my mom said it took.  I repeated this prayer whenever a preacher came through

Pastor Bob and Darlene Prange

town and scared me with word pictures of Hell, Fire and Brimstone; you know the “fire insurance” prayer.  No one would dispute that I was a good “Christian”.   I grew up in a Christian home, attended a Christian school all 13 years; we were in church at least 3 times a week.  Gosh, I was practically born in church:  Pastor Bob Prange introduced and then married my parents. 24 years later, he performed my own wedding ceremony My freshman year at Bible College, someone  I greatly respected

Larry and Teresa Freed 1971

made me question my salvation and challenged me to read the book of I John, write out the characteristics of a Christian and ask myself if I demonstrated those qualities more often than not.  This person was not insinuating that Christian’s are perfect, rather, that fruit is proof of a tree that had been planted.  Everyone knows that’s what trees do, they bear fruit.  “You shall know them by their fruit”.

I’ll never forget I was all alone in a classroom on a Friday night completing this voluntary homework assignment I’d been given.  As I answered 15 questions I came up with from the reading, I had to reply “no” to 14 of them.   I subconsciously believed that of course God would let me into Heaven after all the good things I had done for Him.  With my head, I knew this truth:  “for by grace ye are saved through faith, not of good works, lest any man should boast.”

When the truth pierced my heart that all my good works were not good enough and that I was actually heading to Hell at that very moment, I about wet myself in that classroom chair.  I was filled with a fear that paled compared to the fear any preacher’s words had ever made me feel.  I feared a righteous holy God.

In that moment, God gave me a vision; I’ll do my best to describe the movie I saw playing in my mind’s eye.  I saw myself dangling over the pit of Hell, the flames ready to engulf me at any moment, I was being held back by a thread like a piece of dental floss.  I realized I was completely powerless to save myself and the only thing I could do was look up.  I saw Who was holding the other end of the dental floss.  I immediately thought of the verse, “Look unto me and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth”.  I was powerless to save myself, He was my only hope.

I looked up into those kind loving eyes and watched as He gently reached down, scooped me up, placed me in His hand and I heard the words of Jesus:  “No man can pluck you out of my Father’s hand”.  I never doubted from that day forward whether I was safe, Who I belong to or where I am going when I die.  I was humbled of all my self-righteousness, I was brought to my knees in that moment when  Love conquered fear, it was the power of the Cross, the blood of Jesus that cleansed me from my sin.  I can’t tell you how good it felt to have those religious chains of bondage broken off my hands and feet.  It is a weighty thing to try to be good all the time, feeling guilty because you secretly know you don’t measure up and never can.  I constantly beat myself up condemning myself with words I hoped would produce change, but it just produced more of what I didn’t want, creating more bondage and self-hate.

But now I felt peaceful, safe and secure in my Father’s hands, so loved and free, free to be myself and free to love others.  It was the day that changed my life forever.  Have you met Jesus as your Lord and Savior?  Have you bowed your knee, believed in your heart and confessed Him with your mouth?  He loves you and He’s waiting for you to turn to Him as the only answer, your only hope of salvation.  He longs to have a personal relationship with you freeing  you from guilt and fear replacing it with Love, Peace and the security of a home in Heaven with Him for all eternity.

I would love to help you find Him or encourage you in your own journey or welcome you to the Family of God.  I welcome any feedback, positive or negative.  Just tell the truth and tell it like it is.

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