If you've spent any amount of time reading my posts, it'll become quite obvious that I keep things pretty light and airy around here. I don't take anything too seriously because our life here on Earth is only temporary. What truly matters is living in such a way that brings glory to God; that the world can look at Christians and truly see Christ in us. We are terribly flawed and we often get it wrong, but by publishing my testimony for the world to read, it is my hope to point people to Christ in everything I think and say and do.
What was my life like before accepting Jesus Christ as my Savior? Honestly, I don’t remember much. But I have a terrible memory. I can park my car, go into a store, come out of it 10 minutes later and walk in the complete opposite direction of where my car was parked. I am what you would call ‘anti-directional.’ The best word to describe my life before Christ would be: “blank.” It was as if I lived in a silent black and white movie where I wasn’t even the main character. And after Christ? Full-blown Technicolor.
After years of being bounced around the world as an Air Force brat, we moved to Montgomery, Alabama, right next door to a youth pastor. He invited us to his church and we soon became members of one of the biggest Methodist churches in the South. I became active in the church, singing in the youth choir and going to almost all of the youth events. I was baptized shortly after, but my naïve, yet sincere 17-year-old self didn’t really grasp the concept of salvation. I asked Jesus into my heart because those were the words the minister had me repeat as he sprinkled some water on my head.
Then off to college I went (art school, no less), leaving Jesus tucked safely away, conveniently forgotten among the brief, shallow memories of my high school years. I began searching. Searching for answers, searching for meaning… I thought the searching made me intelligent; to want to dig deeper, to resist conformity, to question everything. I explored other religions, everything other than Christianity that is, in my “Unrelenting Search For the Truth.” I became disdainful towards hypocritical Christians and based my spiritual path on their bad behavior. I called myself “spiritual, not religious” and wore the title like a badge of honor. I made over-arching, dismissive claims like, “the Bible is full of loop holes; it’s self-contradictory.” All the while, never bothering myself with actually reading the Bible. For someone who never read the Bible, I sure knew a lot about it. It was sheer laziness disguised as rumination.
“Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools” (Romans 1:22)
How do you rescue someone who doesn’t realize they’re drowning? How can you shed light to someone who doesn’t know they’re sitting in the dark? I didn’t truly understand sin. I didn’t realize that being a good person just wasn’t enough to save my soul. Being a skeptic didn’t make me smart, it made me arrogant and blind to the fact that I was condemned to eternal separation from God, whether I believed He existed or not. A dangerous ignorance. A tragic charade. Condemned, and I didn’t even know it.
My husband, Adam, was raised in church and knows the Bible well. It was through him that I first realized that a person could be intelligent, thoughtful, and wise and also be a “Bible-beater.” It was because of him that I finally decided to give this Jesus thing a real go. At the time, I was inconsistently practicing Buddhism. I’d read a few books and chanted “Nam-myoho-renge-kyo” every now and then. See, even my seemingly spiritual commitment was non-committal.
“They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.” (Romans 1:25)
My husband started dragging me to church We started going to church but most of the time, I felt like I was just going through the motions. I’d look at the people around me, with their palms up in the air, just “filled with the spirit” and I felt like an impostor. I worried that I didn’t believe deep enough– that somehow, I wasn’t “doing it right,” that my salvation could be taken away because of my constant questions and doubt. Little did I realize that it’s not about what I do, but about what HE has done. And thank God for that.
It wasn’t until our daughter was born that the God I know now was finally made tangible and consummately real to me. FINALLY! For someone so smart, I was perfectly stupid. If it was Adam who opened the door, it was my daughter, Evie, who shoved me through it. When I first laid eyes on her, it was then that I truly realized, in the depths of my heart and soul, that God exists, that I matter to Him, all good things come from Him, and His love for us, His creation, is immeasurable. From each tiny fingernail to every perfectly curved eyelash, Evie’s beauty was absolute and pure and only one God could create.
It was in that moment that I first caught a tiny glimpse of God’s incomprehensible love. He had entrusted this unbelievable blessing to me, in spite of my sin, in spite of the sin I refused to acknowledge. How could I ever be worthy of such a gift? It was in that moment that I promised to love her with every fiber of my being, though I know it would be so imperfectly. In that moment, I promised to point her to the One she belongs to, to the One who loves her the way she was created to be loved. I’d work diligently to give her the direction I never had.
Even after spending my life wandering around, thoroughly convinced that I didn’t need to stop and ask for directions, the Creator of the Universe still chased after me, and He did so relentlessly. He removed the veil from my eyes and showed me the Truth – the truth that I, for so many years, only pretended to search for – and with that truth came the jarring revelation of my complete and utter depravity. It leveled me. He leveled me. I recognized my sin as SIN and it brought me to my knees, sobbing uncontrollably at the foot of the cross, begging for forgiveness, and vowing to live in total repentance.
“Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you.” (James 4:8-10)
To be saved, I had to first realize I was in need of saving. My ignorant bliss had to turn to mourning and gloom before I could truly realize the joy and hope that is in Christ. But this mourning was a good thing. I was finally turning the corner, slammed by the realization of my sin and complete need for a Savior.
So, what is my life like after Christ? Humbled. An absolute revelation. The veil has been lifted; I finally understand and wholly believe that it is only through Jesus’ sacrifice that I am able to truly live. Even more, I know that “it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). I am no longer just a sinner saved by the limitless grace of God, but a daughter of the King.
I am no longer searching, no longer just ‘going through the motions.’ I have an authentic relationship with the one true God, a relationship that grows each and every day and I try (and fail) to follow Him and walk in obedience to Him. I (actually!) read and study the Bible, memorize Scripture and keep it hidden in my heart, so that whenever I find myself wandering, or doubting, or simply living everyday life, I can rest on his trustworthy Word, be reminded its truth, and He will guide my path because I never could’ve found my way on my own.
This world is a broken one; so many people are desperately searching for the truth. Are you searching? Are you in need of some hope? The only One who can fill that emptiness is Jesus. What do you believe in? Is your faith oppressive or is it liberating? Is it exclusive or inclusive? Well I have good news for you, dear friend. God did not send His son into the world to condemn it, but to save it. We live in a fallen world, but there is hope. His name is Jesus.
“For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:17)
I love sharing my faith and the good news of Jesus Christ. If you ever want to talk about faith or if you have questions or just want to chat, send me a note anytime.
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” (Ephesians 1:18-19)