I feel as thought I don’t even know where to start with this one. I will most likely revise it multiple times to try and get the most accurate picture conveyed to you of what actually took place.
Salvation is a phenomenal thing that is nearly impossible to explain unless you experience it. Once you do, you’ll know EXACTLY what I am talking about.
Now, lets go way back to who I was before this event took place.
Actually, I feel as though I still have some growing to do in this area before I can share what I have truly gone through. It is such a strange thing when you have had a less than perfect up bringing. I was not abused by any means, sexually or physically, ever. With that being said, it is hard for me because I feel like what I have been through is trivial comparatively. I know that it is MY story and it was still relevant but how can I share this as something that shaped me into someone who throughout their maturing as an adult was broken. It just doesn’t do justice to what some have encountered.
Maybe in the future I will feel differently. I would tell someone else that everything in their past is relevant. It shapes us into who we are as humans. What we do in our life, what we bring to the table. However, that is a topic for another post.
Lets skip ahead to right before conversion. This is going to be raw so judge me if you must but that is also a topic for another discussion.
I was 19 years old. I had just failed out of college. I had just gone through a traumatic experience involving terminating a pregnancy. I had not an ounce of self esteem. I had survived drug addiction, with multiple overdoses. I lived with my mother who was in a very abusive relationship. We both participated in crazy practices outside of Christianity. I was lonely, depressed, suicidal and completely lost. Also, I thought that Jesus was a joke. I thought that Christianity was corny. I am not sure why I thought all of this. I think that it is because there were people in my upbringing that told me about God but it never helped me in my life so to me, it was all just a story.
There were experiences that I had in high school involving Christianity that were a nice thought. Something that I now believe was a stepping stone to my salvation. I watched the movie The Passion of Christ and I cried like a baby. Why did it bother me so much if Jesus wasn’t real?
I also had a friend from high school who brought me to her church. It was the first “cool” church experience that I had. We listened to a rock band! I was so impressed by the whole thing! But, not enough to stay. I had walls that were 15 feet high.
I used to like it when people would say that I was hard like I had been to prison. People explained that I had walls up and it made me feel good to know that I was protected. I cared for very little in those days. I truly had a heart of stone.
One day, I went to visit a church with my brother. I still to this day do not even know why I went. I never liked going to church. I remember my mother always getting mad at me when we would go because I never received communion. My reasoning was that some people believed in this religion thing so much and I just didn’t. So, there was no way that I was going to just go through the motions!
I went to this church in Keene, New Hampshire where I had grown up. I have a love/hate relationship with the City of Keene. I will never forget the church and I will never forget that day. I knew exactly where I was sitting. I know that I went into the church with a heart of stone. Every single person in the place loved my brother and my family. They were the most warm and welcoming people in the world. I was miserable.
The Pastor began preaching and I rolled my eyes.
After a few moments of him speaking he began to talk about Jesus in a way as if he were a real man. The story that I had heard so many times finally began to jump of the page and take root in my heart. I felt as if the stone in my chest was cracked open and a spiritual heart was awoken. This Jesus was a real man, he actually went through everything in that movie I watched?! I felt as though all of my scabs had been ripped off and I was just bleeding everywhere. The Pastor called each person up to receive communion and I ran up there to take it first. This was the only way I could think to scream out to God that I believed. I believe that Jesus is real and that He died and He rose again!!
A new spirit was awakened within me. Jesus was all I could think about. I could not shake this crazy feeling that my entire life was going to change.
So there I was, a young adult on the verge of committing suicide and here is this glorious God who reach down from heaven and speaks right to my heart and steals the stone to replace it with flesh. I had always said that if God was real he would come find me. In my complete ignorance and arrogance and rebelliousness HE FOUND ME!!! He did not have to but he did. I will overcome with this testimony and by HIS BLOOD. I am eternally grateful for what my Lord has done for me.
I feel like I need to calm down. My heart is just jumping out of my chest. I wish that I could do justice to what took place. I was so broken. I should have been a teen suicide. I should have died of an overdose. God is so merciful. He was there through all of my hurt and all of my pain, feeling everything right along with me. I just didn’t even know it.
I am going to write this story in two (possibly three) separate parts. There is way too much to fit into one little shell of a post.
I want to end this one by saying that Jesus completely changed the entire trajectory of my life. I was headed down a horrible path of self hatred, addiction and anger until he came and renewed my soul. I had no clue that Jesus was the answer to every question that I didn’t even know I had. I know that if he can change my life completely from anger and hatred to love, compassion and forgiveness, he can do it for your life too!
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” Matthew 7:7-8