My name is Alee Farris. My story of salvation is probably much like many people who grew up in the ‘Cultural Christian’ south. I grew up in church and had a moral, well-intentioned family. I attended a Christian school, was baptized when I was 13 (more on this later). I even attended a discipleship training program after high school and spent a few months serving as a missionary in Southeast Asia. I believed that I was a Christian because of the faith of my family and my Christian upbringing. I never doubted that God was real or that Jesus was his Son. I thought this was all that was needed to make a profession of faith and be saved. So, that’s what I did at a WinterJam youth conference when I was 13. I said the ‘sinner’s prayer’, declared I believed that Jesus died on the cross for my sins, and that was it. I thought I was a Christian!

What I failed to realize at that time was that there is a difference between believing in Jesus and making him Lord over my life. I definitely hadn’t surrendered my life to Christ. I was still living only for myself and my own pleasure, and I had no remorse or conviction over my sin. I thought I was a pretty good person. I kept the Ten Commandments mostly. I don’t think I even realized that there were other things that were sinful. I didn’t murder anyone today? Check, I’m good!

Things began to change a few years after Davis and I got married and we got involved in a good local church. Through faithful teaching of Scripture, I began to understand more and more that I was living a lie and that I was lying mostly to myself. I was a sinner, bound for hell, and nothing the world offered could save me, least of all my Christian ‘resume’. In 2017, the Lord used one particular sermon to lead me into great discomfort over the state of my salvation. I can’t even remember what the message was about, I only remember sitting in the congregation feeling like if I didn’t get up and do something immediately I was going to explode. There was a call to baptism that Sunday and I rededicated my life to Christ and was re-baptized on the spot. I finally realized my sinful arrogance in trying to be lord over my own life and gave all control over my life to King Jesus. I understood then that my salvation was not in my good morals or my service to the church. I was saved through faith alone in Christ alone.

I see now how the Lord in his mercy used so many things in my life to ‘hem me in’ during those years that I was wandering. I know without a doubt that he was gently guiding me back to himself. I am constantly amazed that God would choose to save a sinner like me, and I pray that he would continue to sanctify me and use me mightily for his kingdom and for his glory!