Shannon GossarI didn’t grow up in a Christian home. Yes I occasionally went to church with my grandma but I really didn’t want to go. I remember going to church when I was about 8 or so and my grandma wanted me to sing in front of the church ALL BY MYSELF!! I went obediently up to the front of the church and FROZE! I couldn’t do it, I didn’t have Jesus in my heart, I didn’t have anything to sing about. I also remember going to a church camp that my dad sent me to, and I apparently made some kind of decision that week, because I was looking through old papers one day and found a letter congratulating me on my decision to follow Christ. I don’t remember doing this. When I was 19 years old I met Seth and he grew up in a very strict Independent Baptist Church and I went to church with him occasionally. Seth & I got married and we moved to North Carolina, because Seth was a Marine, so he was stationed there at Cherry Point North Carolina.

One day I remember finding a bible tract somewhere in the house, so I decided to read it. I recall as I read near the end of the tract it said if you will pray this prayer, get saved and that you will go to heaven when you die. Of course I wanted to go to heaven, I mean who doesn’t?? I prayed that “magical prayer” and believed I was saved that day, so I thought…Seth & I didn’t live a life for Christ after that; we were doing things opposite to what religious people would be expected to do. Never really went to church.

We moved back to Evansville and we attended Mill Road for about a year. We found ourselves church hopping around town. We eventually went back to the church Seth grew up in. Here we were getting involved and getting excited about serving, but I ALWAYS felt that doubt of my salvation. Of course the church we were attending tells you that a woman should wear “this” and not “that,” listen to “this” and not “that,” just A LOT of Thou Shalt Nots . I just figured that is what religious people are supposed to do, but on the inside I had constant doubts. We needed a change, because we knew that something just wasn’t right. Over a period of time we found ourselves back at Mill Road and loving it! It’s a church like non other! Our daughter got saved a week before her birthday, then our son got saved, then Seth’s cousin’s husband got saved, I even got my mom to come visit. Needless to say she got saved shortly after! Then Seth got saved! I still had my doubts about myself.

Our family was over our Pastors house one night and we were talking about salvation, and I finally asked, why do I doubt whether I am saved or not, all the time?? Our Pastor’s wife asked me, if I had ever FULLY put my trust in Jesus, I mean FULLY? Naturally I thought I had. After all I was teaching Sunday school at the other church, singing in the choir, and all that…but the doubts were always there. I finally gave in, and FULLY surrendered my life to Christ that night! I know now its not about what I can do, but what God has already done for me and what He can do through me. It’s not a “magical prayer” that saves us, but rather it is deciding to fully surrender to Christ and what He has done for us on the cross. Now I enjoy singing with our praise team at my Church and I NOW have something to sing about!

Shannon Gossar
Evansville, IN

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