[Guest Post] Amazing Grace by Serah Ngugi

My life was going great – I was happy, had amazing friends, always a party to look forward to, and always a good time. Long, hard six-day work weeks, and partying like a rockstar. On days off (Sunday), I rested and completed chores. 

One morning in early 2009, on my way to work by bus, I heard a calm, loud voice ask me where I’d go if I were to die right now. What? I look around to see whose speaking to me, or loudly amongst themselves – but its all in my head. I dismissed the thought. About a month later, on the bus and on my way home, and in the same manner, I heard the same question: “If you died now, where would you go?” This time around, I contemplated the question. Where would I end up if I died right now? 

You see, I was born into a godly Christian family, grew up on the knowledge of God and His ways, attended church – I grew up loving and fearing God. As a teenager, things changed and I lost the connection. Alcohol, boys, parties and parentless freedom took over. I first drank and smoked at age 16. I was a cool kid. This disconnect increased during and after the completion of school. Even if I had no money, I always found a way to drink. When I started earning, well…I stayed out late, only came home between work and parties, and my friends became my family. Church now was a formality.

As I sat on the bus contemplating on the kind of life I was leading, I felt convicted – I was exposed much as Adam and Eve discovered their nakedness after eating the forbidden fruit. I was aware of my sinful ways and knew that upon death, I would go to hell – I did not have Christ in me. The way I was living was in stark contrast to God’s ways.

I was shaken but kept these thoughts to myself. Something strange happened – things changed. What brought me pleasure ceased; I was bored and miserable at parties and so I quit drinking. My friends didn’t understand me. I was haunted about my soul’s destination. I knew I had to change my ways but did not want to begin the process, let alone think about it. Nonetheless, I drew away from my friends, unable to enjoy what they did – I did not fit anymore.  

Easter was approaching, and I had a strong desire to attend the Good Friday service. This was new to me – to look forward to attending church service.  I hadn’t attended service before because I was simply never home. The Thursday night before, I got home late – having left work very late, and stopping by at a local I used to frequent. This particular night, I did not feel the need to “stay and drink”. I was excited for Friday’s service. 

I woke up early and got ready. I remember my mother remarked on this. The service covered Jesus dying for our sins so we may have life. One of the verse readings was from Matthew 26:69-75, in which Peter the disciple denies Jesus three times before the cock crowed. For some reason, this passage stuck out to me.

As is customary, the pastor invited members of the congregation to step up and receive Jesus as Lord and Saviour before the closing prayer. Just as the voice spoke to me a couple of months earlier on the bus, I felt that the pastor was speaking specifically to me. It couldn’t be me though, and so I ignored it. The preacher kept calling out and each time I knew he was calling for me, but I muted against this knowledge. I just wasn’t ready. I wouldn’t be cool anymore. What would my friends say about me? They’d probably diss me. I also couldn’t picture living a forgiven life. I couldn’t see it. 

The pastor was relentless, and I started to sing out loud in my head, I can’t hear you! I ducked my head so I could not be seen. I fought the notion in my heart that I was being called, and I fought it hard. A lady seated a few pews ahead of me stood up and went to the alter to accept the call. I was relieved. I felt like I had escaped. As the pastor prayed over her, I felt the urge to read the passage previously mentioned. In doing so, I realized that I had just done the same thing – I had denied Jesus – several times. I was mortified. I also had an opposing voice that let me know my decision was a victory. 

As the congregation milled around the lady at the front, welcoming her into the community of believers, I teared up. I was happy for her, yet I was also sad. I asked myself why I was crying when all the angels and God Himself were happy for and with the lady, yet I had refused to make God happy. It was a tough battle for a few moments – I decided to stand my ground on my decision to stay put. Before long, the lady was seated, and the pastor prepared to give the closing prayer.

I don’t know how this happened – one moment I was seated, and the next, I was before the pastor. It was as though someone or something carried me to the alter. The pastor was startled, his eyes must have been closed. He asked what he could do for me, and in tears, I told him that I wanted to receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour. 

I was shaking and crying, remorseful and happy. I repented of my sins and accepted Christ, and the feelings are unexplainable. Nothing can explain the overwhelming joy, relief and peace I felt at that moment. Among the congregation that surrounded me to welcome me into the community was my mother – who has never ceased to pray for me. 

There was a reason I was excited for the Good Friday service… my blessing was waiting for me.
Serah Ngugi – London, Canada. 
[Guest Post] Amazing Grace by Serah Ngugi

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