My Spiritual Birthday

I have a stack of Bibles in my bookcase. Each one belonged to me in different seasons of my life.  

The smallest one is cute, its binding held together by blue tape, its cover has an unrealistic painting of Jesus sitting on a rock under a large shade tree surrounded by children. 

It was my first Bible.

On the flyleaf, in my own hand-printing, are these words:  

Sarah Horner


Feb. 1, 1959

Age 7

= = = = = = = = = =

I read recently that our memory isn’t actually as accurate as we’d like to think. 

It seems that many of us are unreliable narrators of our own life story, guilty of changing facts and adding false details to our memories without even realizing it. 

We might remember bits of truth, or piles of truth, but without external verification, the experts say, we cannot trust our memories. 

So I am grateful for this clear documentation of my spiritual birth and what I think I remember about that day is this:  

I remember it was a Sunday. (and it was!  I googled it.)

I remember feeling bad. Afraid of God.

I remember being with my mom, praying on our knees by the couch in the living room. (Back then we had a family room called a ‘den’ where all our living was done, while ‘The Living Room’ was a solemn, formal sort of room by the front door.)  

I’d been taught God’s plan of salvation and it must have made sense to me. I knew I was a sinner, I needed God’s forgiveness and cleansing, and I wanted to follow Jesus.  

In that moment my relationship with God began, I imagine I felt a settledness in my young soul, and I’m sure Mom told me to write it down in my Bible. 

= = = = = = = = = =

Last week my brother sent me my grandmother’s Bible. Unlike my collection, this Bible was her lifelong only Bible and of course it is totally tattered and falling apart. 

 On its flyleaf, along with the date of her marriage in 1897 and a list children’s birthdates, are these words:  Sarah Smyth, born 28 June 1880. Born again on ___ February 1904. 

I can’t decipher the actual day because it runs off the page, but I love the fact that it is the same month as my spiritual birthday. 

I never knew my Irish grandmother but I know that she learned about Jesus through some neighbors in Belfast.

This Bible is the only physical object of hers that we have. 

It is symbolic of the Spiritual Legacy I inherited:  Her love for God and His Word.

= = = = = = = = = =

In that same box last week was a second dilapidated, torn up Bible.

It had belonged to my dad.

Here’s what I found on its first page, written by Grandmother Sarah:  Andrew Horner Saved January 6, 1935. This book will keep you from sin.  Or sin will keep you from the book.

= = = = = = = = = =

Maybe I’ve gotten some of the details in my memories and in these blog stories wrong, but these facts I know: On a certain day in February, 1904, my grandmother’s life was changed by Jesus. 

She taught my father to fear God, and he was saved in January, 1935.

Then me, I prayed to God and became His child on February 1, 1959.

Next month I will celebrate my 69th birthday.

It makes me a little sad that I have never commemorated my spiritual birthday. 

But that can change, right? 

I wonder what kind of party Jesus and I will have next February 1.

7 thoughts on “My Spiritual Birthday

  1. Hi Sarah! Thank you for sharing! What a rich inheritance you have! I use a Bible that Mom got new when she moved to Sebring, every day! She has so much written in it that I often think of her and feel like I am experiencing some of her thoughts and journey as I read. You have also left a legacy in my life. Last night in D. por Gracia we made a diagram of our spiritual growth, chapter 7, and I mentioned how much God has used this discipleship study and you and now Rever in making my path steady. Thank you! Love you heaps!


    How God leads His dear children along!
    Yes.. celebrate your spiritual birthday!! It’s glorious!!
    Bless you Sarah!!


  3. Your memories make me smile! I love the photo of the 3 Bibles. What a rich heritage you have! A gift from God.


  4. Oh Sarah…..this brings tears to my eyes. Beautiful….precious…..richly blessed…..Godly Heritage…..what a treasure those Bibles are and the story that each represents is so very deep. I love this blog. I love to “hear” you share your heart. Happy Birthday next February 1st!

    Much love to you, dear friend….


    Sent from my iPad


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