My Faith Journey

       I was the quintessential "good girl" in the family.  I grew up in a religious home, went to church every Sunday and  attended private school all the way through high school.  I learned  from my older brothers’ mistakes what not to do and, as a people pleaser, I did everything I could to receive praise from my parents.  I was baptized as an infant, I believed in God, I believed in Jesus, so I figured I was a shoo-in for heaven; after all, I had never done anything “really bad.”  But when I was 14years old, one of my brothers decided he couldn’t believe the things we were being taught and he began searching out a faith of his own.  I won’t go into the details of his experience, but let’s just say, God made good his promise that “those who seek me find me” (Proverbs 8:17 NIV).  My brother began attending a new church and decided he wanted to be baptized again to express his own desire to follow Christ.  We attended the baptism, and as you can imagine, my young mind began to wonder and to question what I myself truly believed.  What was the difference between that little church down the hill and the church I had known all my life?  I would soon find out. 

      Less than a year later, my brother’s pastor and my parents agreed to do a Bible study.  What harm could there be in that?  Two different denominations, the same God, the same Scriptures… why not?  The first time the pastor came to our home I hung around the kitchen “cleaning up” until the pastor detected my curiosity and invited me to join them.  He then pointed out to me a scripture passage that I will never forget.  I remember being shocked that it was in our own Bible and I had never heard about it.  It was Ephesians 2:8-9 “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”  The pastor then asked me to read Romans 3:23 and 6:23 which explained that “all have sinned,” myself included, and have “fallen short” of God’s mark.  That is why Christ had to die.  The Scripture also said that the penalty for us all is death, “but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ.”  There was that word again, “gift”.  The pastor asked me if someone offered me a gift, was it automatically mine?  The answer, obviously, is NO.  I would need to accept it.  That night no fireworks went off, no great tears were shed, but I finally understood my part in putting Christ on the cross and I asked God to forgive me and accept me based on what Jesus had done for me.  It was April 15, 1987 when God adopted me into His family.  Since then, my life has not been perfect, but I am so grateful  that He continues to forgive me and work in me to reflect more of Himself. 
      Some of you may have doubts -I did too.  Satan loves to make us question our faith.  A few years after I came to know Christ personally I began to doubt if I was really “saved.”  Satan used my lack of tears and my simple understanding to make me question my standing with God.  Today I understand that it was the childlike faith that God accepted.  So if you are questioning where you stand, I urge you to put your doubts and fears to rest.  My solution  was to pray and tell God about my doubts.  He  already knew, but I asked Him to save me if I had not already been saved.  From that day forward, all doubts were put to rest.  If you are reading this and relating, don’t let your doubts or fears cripple you.  God wants you to have “complete joy” (John 17:13), peace “which passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:7), and life “to the full” (John 10:10).  This is my prayer for anyone who God directs to this website.  I'm praying that you will find real joy in your Savior.  He loves you so much that He died for you, just like He died for me!  (John 3:16)

 "I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I  have already reached perfection!  But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be."               Philippians 3:12 

God draws us to Him for a reason.  He has purpose for each one of us, and true satisfaction comes when you know you are fulfilling that purpose.  You may not know what will happen tomorrow, but if you are willing to walk each day with Him, He will guide you all the way.  The experience may feel like a roller coaster, but it is well worth the ride!