As I’ve been working through the Arminian upbringing of my childhood and the Calvinist beliefs of my current church (and I think mine now as well), I have been confused, fearful, heartsick, and starting to question my mental state. Some days I think I’m fine…I can live with the uncertainty…and then there are days, such as I’ve had in the past week that I would like to hide under my bedcovers and cry myself to sleep, so that I can turn my brain off for a while. To make the thoughts stop. The endless cycling of the what if’s and the how can I know’s and the this says this thing’s, but the that says that thing’s, and I can’t see how they both can be true’s. I can feel them traveling over the same grooves in my brain, wearing down the matter and imprinting themselves in my soul.
Was I saved as a teen? Was I apostate for the last 20 years? Was I never a “true” believer before? If I wasn’t, how can I know whether I am now? How can I take comfort in the assurance of my salvation if there’s even the slightest chance I was not ever really saved before or am not really saved now? How do I know whether I’ve had or have now, the fruits of the Spirit? Where is the yardstick, that I might measure myself against it?
I’m not going to go into all the evidences for or against me in the last 20 years, or in the last few months. I was a sinner and continue to be one. But for Christ crucified, I believe I was saved then and I believe I am saved now. The Spirit never left me. I believe I didn’t always (even often) listen to the Spirit when I should have, but I knew who it was. I believe the Spirit wooed me back home, a prodigal daughter. I believe Jesus never did and never will let me go.
I do not simply profess, but I believe.
All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. [John 6:37]