After facing so much illness and death, Fanny became increasingly considered over the state of her own soul. She had been so busy learning, teaching, lobbying, and nursing that she had forgotten something very important: Fanny realized that she did not have a true love for God in her heart.
She began to attend numerous churches of varying denominations in her quest to find what she needed from the Lord. Fanny attended Pilgrim, Congregationalist, Episcopalian, Dutch Reformed, Methodist Episcopalian churches, as well as attending Wesleyan camp meetings.
Fanny's concerns intensified after an interesting dream. She had become acquainted with a man named Camp who had been attending some of the same meetings she did. She dreamed one night that he was on his deathbed, and he asked her quite pointedly (in the dream) if she would meet him in heaven. She responded yes in the dream, but when she awoke the next morning she felt uneasy about the state of her soul. It would be five years from this dream until she was saved.
Three times she went to the altar before she received a personal assurance of her salvation, and she was 30 years old at the time. The song that was playing as she went forward included the line “Here, Lord – I give myself away! ‘Tis all that I can do." This line took hold in her heart, and she began to shout. She had been born again, and finally had the personal assurance she had been seeking for. This, needless to say, led to one of her most famous songs: Blessed Assurance.
After this experience, she found herself publicly testifying, and never shied away from praying in public. In fact, the next week she started attending Methodist class meetings at the Institute and testified to students and staff of the assurance she had received.
I think it is so fascinating to know Fanny's experience. She was determined to have a personal experience with the Lord, a personal assurance that she had been born again. She didn't care how many times people saw her go to the altar, and she refused to take comfort in the fact that she had memorized so much scripture and knew so much about God -- she wanted to know God for herself.
If there is anyone reading this post who doesn't have the kind of assurance that Fanny describes -- that "blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!" -- then I encourage you to seek God until you do receive that assurance. He wants you to have it even more than you want. Please hang in there until you know for yourself that Jesus is yours!
Wikipedia, Fanny Crosby
Cyberhymnal, Fanny Crosby
Blumhofer, Edith, Her Heart Can See: The Life and Hymns of Fanny Crosby
Ruffin, Bernard, Fanny Crosby: The Hymn Writer
Sara McCaslin is an engineer, a computer scientist, and a freelance writer.