Making His Joy My Own - Amber Moore’s Story
Amber Moore’s Story
You can't lead people where you're not going. I was a Fuse small group leader who did not have a relationship with Jesus.
As a pastor's daughter, I felt the need to go to church once I went off to college at Anderson University. But I was bitter. My whole life, up through high school, I tried to do what was right because I knew I was supposed to. I knew Christians did “the right thing” and I wanted to be one, so I followed suit. But when my dad resigned from his position in the church, there was a lot of heartache for my family in the aftermath. I wanted nothing to do with the church or church people ever again.
I felt like the more I did, the more secure I would feel about my salvation.
Throughout college I really didn’t care. If you asked me I would tell you I was a Christian, but that’s about it. I never talked to Jesus or read the Bible. I did, however, go to NewSpring occasionally. It was conveniently located on AU's campus and I more or less went so I wouldn’t have to lie to my mom when she called to ask me if I was going to church. With the rest of my time, I drank and went to parties and lived for myself.
My senior year of college, I started feeling guilty. It concerned me that, maybe, if I died I would go to hell, so I thought, “okay, it’s time to be better.” That's when I started going to NewSpring regularly. I heard Pastor Perry talk about how important it was to be a member of a church, so I joined. He said saved people serve people, and I thought I was a saved person, so I started serving. He talked about how you can’t out give God, so I started tithing. I thought the more I did, the more secure I would feel about my salvation. It was exhausting.
The frustration built
Once I graduated college and got a job, a coworker of mine, Kelly, kept asking me to co-lead a Fuse small group with her. She was a NewSpring owner as well, but her walk with the Lord was different than mine. She had so much joy and serving seemed to energize her, when all it did was wear me out. It annoyed me how she seemed to have all this peace I couldn't seem to find.
I finally gave in and started leading the group with her. I knew all the right things to tell the girls, because I grew up in church. But instead of leading them spiritually, I would get frustrated with all the things they were doing wrong and kept trying to manage their behavior. I was mistaking my self righteousness for a relationship with Jesus. Even when one of the girls came to me and told me she realized she hadn't given Jesus her heart, but only her actions, I was annoyed. I thought she had it all together spiritually. It seemed like everyone around me was experiencing this joy and peace I was missing out on. I truly started questioning my salvation.
Stop being afraid
One Sunday night, my husband Bobby and I attended NewSpring's financial coaching class. During the class, another owner shared his testimony. He always tried to do the right thing, and prayed the sinner’s prayer all the time hoping it would cover him. He said he realized he didn’t know Jesus at ownership class and heard God tell him to surrender his life, and then to stand up and let everyone know where he stood with Jesus.
Throughout the rest of the class, I kept hearing God tell me it was time to stop trying to earn my salvation and stop being afraid of what people were going to think. I remember begging God to have them give an invitation or something so I could talk to someone. That didn’t happen.
Surrender to grace
When Bobby and I got in the car to go home I just blurted out, “I don’t know if I’ve ever truly accepted Christ.” He didn’t even seem all that caught off guard and said he wasn’t sure why, but over the last few months during invitations at church, he felt compelled to pray for me. We talked a little more and by the time we made it home I knew I hadn’t ever really trusted Jesus could save me and it had nothing to do with anything I ever did or could do. I realized I had been trying to earn my salvation through works rather than having faith Jesus would save me.
We prayed, and I asked God to save me right then. There is such a difference now! Jesus lives in me and is helping me overcome my self righteousness. I’m no longer afraid of what people will think, just excited to tell people about what Jesus has done.