A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to discuss with Erin Olson. Getting to know her salvation story and sharing in the blessings of what God did for her personally and is doing through her ministry means a lot to our community.
Erin Olson is the founder of Sandalfeet Ministries, a ministry with a vision to equip believers to live lives fully surrendered to Jesus, the infallible word of God, and the Holy Spirit. Her salvation story is truly amazing and a must-read for all believers. As you go through this story, we believe you will understand the grace and peace God gives to whoever comes to Him in repentance.
My Salvation Story: An Interview with Erin Olson
Erin’s honest/real encounter with Jesus Christ was in 2008. Although she grew up going to church, she had never had a real encounter with the Lord Jesus until she was about 34 years old. For as long as she can remember, she was always in the church but had never heard about the good news of Jesus (the Gospel). Though she had gone through confirmation classes (Biblical classes aimed at qualifying someone to become a full member of a church/denomination), she never understood who God is. During her confirmation classes, she spent two years learning about Church history (specifically the history of her denomination).
Erin attests that even though she did not have a personal relationship with Jesus during her confirmation classes, she felt connected to the Lord or “Something” as they studied the bible (she knew the Lord was there and needed to know about him). Since confirmation classes had a formal structure of teaching the participants and introducing them to the whole church after graduation, there was no personal encounter with the Lord or a deliberate declaration of Jesus as Lord of her life before she was absorbed into the main church.
As a teenager, Erin said she really would have loved to know who Jesus was and what he could do for her as her teenage and high school and college years were completely a “train wreck” because she had no foundation upon which to base anything.
“Remember the bible speaks about the foundation of a thing? We thank Jesus, he is always able to rebuild any faulty foundation. It is never too late for you to start with him“
Searching through her belongings, she found a little journal she had during the confirmation classes years and realized God had been talking to her. She initially thought that God only spoke to pastors or “High spiritual heads” and that they had a special place with God. She never understood that each one of us is the body of Christ, and the Holy Spirit indwells in each of us.
Erin never realized God was speaking or could speak to her until she encountered Jesus personally. She needed to set a relationship with the Lord; she needed a foundation!
“We hear the voice of God when we become his sheep. My sheep hear my voice and obey me.”
A foundation is the lowest load-bearing part of a building; it is synonymous with what an anchor is for a ship on stormy waters. We asked Erin what her foundation in believing in Jesus is? And she said, “The foundation that he loves me!”. This is based on the promise in John 3:16. Even though she grew up going to church, she had never read John 3:16, nor did she know it existed. She continued by saying that the fact that Jesus died for her means a lot to her personally. She encouraged us to think personally about what Jesus did.
“Take a moment to think about this: Jesus died for you, yes! You!” Erin personally claims the death of Jesus for herself and encourages us to do the same. She calls it a big miracle and calls us to think of how big that miracle is! Jesus did not die for a group or a community, but he died for every single person makes it a great miracle. (“His death is personal to you”).
Erin says that her life is now built on this foundational love and his love in us patients through us and out into the world if we are affected by his love. She says that Jesus’s love is filtered throughout in His word, and firmly being rooted in him means being rooted in his love and what he wishes to do for us and through us.
Was there any noticeable change when you accepted Jesus?
God delivers peace and satisfaction to Erin.
Yes, for sure, the way God got hold of me was very real, Erin said. The summer she was 34, she was having some horrific nightmares, to the point her husband thought someone was trying to kill her. It was a very fearful season for her; she tried to figure out what was causing those nightmares but could not. It was a rough time for her as a young mom, and she was filled with so much fear. One day Erin met some Christians who were having a meeting in Florida. During the meeting, she came in contact with a man called Albie. She remembered him walking up to her, greeting her, and telling her how Jesus loved her. This was weird to her as she did not grow up around evangelicals who talked about Jesus’ love.
As the day went on, he told her, “Jesus loves you.” Later that night, Albie just looked straight across to her and dropped a word of knowledge that changed her life. “Erin, what happened to you when you were three years old?” Albie asked. This got her attention as she had never met him before, “How did he know this is the conversation that was going on in my head for about three months now?” Erin asked. Even though she never had full details of what happened when she was three years old, searching for the answers never mattered again as she got convinced Jesus loved her.
The words “Jesus loves me” were a solution to my thirsty soul. Albie shared the Gospel with her, and she received the peace Jesus gave. She gave her life to God and all changed. After a few minutes, she was feeling antsy, and Albie’s wife looked at her and asked, “What is the matter with you?” Erin replied, “All of a sudden, I just felt overwhelmed with these words in my head, I could hear the words grace and faith over and over again.” Albie’s wife exclaimed, “That is the scripture; you are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8).” She had never read the bible, but she could hear the scriptures in her.
Glory to God! Remember Jesus promises his Holy Spirit once we give our life to him. The Holy Spirit has indeed taken hold of Erin and has started being her guide.
As she lay on her bed that night, she had conversations with the Lord. She laid everything down at his feet. Erin said she could feel the presence of the Holy Spirit take over her from that night like an electric pulse in her body. “The Lord delivered me from fear unto peace, and it all manifested on the 8th of August 2008 (8/8/08), which was my daughter’s third birthday. My daughter’s name is Grace and my name Erin means peace. On that day, God established his grace in my life and gave me peace,” Erin testified.
Erin admonishes the church to encourage the gift of the word of knowledge as she is a witness to how God used it to change her life.
How challenging is it to live daily for Christ?
“It is challenging. Though our challenges might differ, we all have challenges as we constantly deal with people”. Erin advises that challenges are common to man and must be fought spiritually. We do not expect people who do not know Christ to act like Christ. Erin is convinced that the problems we have now are because the hearts of men and women are broken. So, we have to remember that when we look at people making bad choices, the reason could be because they do not have the foundation of Christ. Living in this world can be hard because people tend to get cynical, sad, or fearful. We can worry about our lives, our children, etc., but we have to trust that God has a plan, and the problem with the world does not ever change God’s plan for us and what he asks us to do. It is easy to stay in tune with Him when we focus on God. She advises us to know that God sees it all, and his plan for us might be different from our plan for ourselves.
What keeps you going in faith?
We asked what keeps Erin going, and she answered, “The ability to share my testimony helps; re-living what I survived as a young adult and why God allowed it also helps me. You have to continually remember how good God is and how he rescued you. You have to keep preaching to yourself how good God is”.
Come to think of it? Make a list for yourself of what keeps you going in Christ. We believe you will have a testimony to share, and your testimony will be a source of strength when you think about this. Remember the Bible says in Revelation 12:11, “And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.”
Why Jesus? Why do you think he is the way, the only way?
Erin responds that people of a different faith, like the Muslims, know Jesus; they know him as a good prophet. However, the difference is the gods of these people are not like Jesus. For example, Jesus is a giver, and Allah is a receiver. Jesus gave His life and established a personal love relationship with us. With Jesus, there is a relationship, whereas, with these other gods, there is no relationship.
We are very grateful to have the opportunity of interviewing Erin Olson. We were blessed by her testimony of Christ and did believe you have been blessed. You can contact Erin directly on her website: https://www.sandalfeet.org/. You can also listen to her weekly podcast, The Depot Podcast with Erin Olson, wherever you listen to podcasts.
We will be glad also to share your salvation story. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share your salvation story.