He Keeps Saving Me
My name is Ivan Velasquez. I was born in Argentina. I am the oldest of four siblings. Because of a rather shy personality, I was not able to make many close friends as a child. I learned to be by myself and to trust in my instincts. I evaluated situations, and if the rewards outweighed the risks, I went for them. I thought I was smart, and although I believed in God, I relied on my abilities to reach my goals. With this mentality, I wandered off farther and further from God pleasing behavior in my teenage years. Outward appearance mattered more than inner integrity.
When I started attending a Salvation Army after many years of no church attendance, I felt out of place. I was overcritical. I pointed out every flaw I could spot. In a very subtle and gradual way God began to work in my heart, so that when I attended a spiritual retreat for youth, I could not resist the prompting of the Holy Spirit and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
Although the way I lived did not change instantaneously, I was convicted by Holy Spirit whenever I made mistakes; I repented and started over. Sometimes I felt frustrated thinking I was not making enough progress on my spiritual journey. It felt as though I was in a cycle I could not step out of. But I learned that while we are on earth, we are going to make mistakes. The difference is that with God’s help mistakes are not the rule but the exception, and what motivates our actions is love and thanksgiving instead of ambition or pride. I thank God for where He has brought me and where He will take me. One promise from God I hold onto, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in [me] will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 1:6 (NIV)