My story, the story of how I came to know Christ, can be broken down into three parts. While there are many details in-between which play a role in me coming to know Jesus and meeting Him face to face, the average reader doesn’t want to know everything that has happened to me from birth to today’s lunch, so we will skip those. That said, this is my testimony
PART ONE: The 90’s:
For the most part, I was raised in a Christian home (and in this case, Christian means “religious“). Being a good Christian meant showing up on Sunday (albeit late because as a kid, I hated the “boring slow music” and I did everything in my power to make my parents late to skip it). It also meant going to church picnics, praying before you eat and sleep, and asking God every day to forgive you for all the sins you committed (because if you didn’t, you’d go to hell). The goal was to avoid hell.
It was this very legalism that would cause me to become a human pendulum when it came to religion. At times in my life, I was very religious. I attended church, read my Bible, prayed, etc.
Then other times, I was an undercover atheist, not praying and not really caring. If you asked me about it, I would answer “of course I believe in Jesus”, but my actions told a different story (and we all know actions speak louder than words).
Then THEY happened…
PART TWO: 2008-2010:
I became very close with a particular Christian family (a real Christian family). If you had asked me then if I believed in Jesus, I would have said I had been a Christian all my life, but as I got to know this family, I realized something was different about them.
There was something missing in me that they seemed to possess.
2009 wasn’t an easy year. My great-grandmother (who was basically another mother to me) had passed away, my father’s business wasn’t doing well and was headed for bankruptcy, and I knew that, sooner or later, I was going to lose a lot.
And that ended up happening early 2010…except I lost more than I had anticipated.
They say we all worship something. If it’s not God, we’re worshipping something else. I was doing just that. I decided to worship a relationship. When that eventually let me down (as everything that isn’t God will, ultimately, let you down at some point), I didn’t take it well. My temporary “god”, the dream of having my fairy tale romance, had let me down.
Anyone who knows me knows I am ruled by logic. If I find something to be illogical, I am quick to point it out and dismiss it. Everything that happened early 2010 had led me to believe that, logically, a God who said He loved me couldn’t exist. Everything that had happened to me could not have been allowed in love.
But something in me knew I was wrong. After a conversation I had with a brother in the faith, I prayed to God, begging Him to prove to me He was real. (The fact that I was even IN the car with this person was an act of predestination, but that’s a story for a different day).
Nonetheless, God answered my prayer. He met me face-to-face in a sunset.
PART THREE – The Present:
Okay, so God didn’t literally meet me face-to-face (I might not be alive today if that were the case), but five years have passed from that day and I still follow him. I’ve stumbled. I fell a couple times. I got sidetracked. I realized I still have dark parts of me. That’s all okay; It’s part of the process.
BUT I know that once you are God’s, you are forever God’s. (AKA: Perseverance of the Saints). The power that was in that cross stands ETERNALLY. There is nothing you can do that would make Him stop loving you. Nothing.
That said, there is freedom in His grace. It fills us with gratitude. What He went through to bring salvation to us, nothing can compare to it. We are grateful. And we serve Him and want to be more like Him each and every day because of it.
I believe theology is important (because you should know why you believe what you believe and you should also know (what can be known) about God. I also believe it doesn’t end with theology. The goal isn’t to soak up as much knowledge as possible. It’s to spread His message. It’s to use our knowledge to better be able to love God and love our neighbors.
My ultimate goal in all that I do is to have people meet Jesus. Were it not for that one family introducing me to the very real love of Jesus Christ, I may not know Him today. My prayer is to be used by God to be that for someone else. I may not have a “crazy” testimony (and maybe you don’t either), but we were given this life to make much of Jesus.
May we not waste our lives.