Spiritual Birthday

How fitting that today, my actual birthday, is the day my baptism video became available to share with you and my family, celebrating my spiritual birthday. After 6 months of intensive Bible reading, researching, asking questions, and quieting down enough to hear God more clearly, I knew it was time to declare my faith through baptism. I had been baptized when I was 13 to appease my Mom but now being 31 and finding God for myself, consciously choosing to walk through this life praising the one who created me and the entire universe, is special beyond words. Does becoming Christian mean I accept things blindly, condemn others, fear asking questions, never doubt and turn into a close-minded, hypocritical person seeking perfection? Absolutely not. Yes, some people do turn into that but once you read Jesus’ words for yourself, you’ll understand that he modeled the opposite of that behavior and does not condone it. Try to explore your faith for yourself, and don’t turn away from God because of the careless, detrimental and wicked ways some people portray a religion/God that they have misinterpreted. The heart and intention of God is pure love, a love our human minds can barely fathom, and when we seek to know God personally, blocking out other human’s understanding of God, He will meet you in that place to help you know Him.  To hear about my path to God, check out the video or read it below!

 

April 14th, 2019

     I never doubted the existence of God. Even as a lover of science, I believed that science and faith complemented not contradicted each other. As a teen, my Mom dragged me and my brother to church. The only message my angsty brain was receiving during the sermon was that I was a sinner that needed to repent and follow a bunch of rules. Like any rebellious teen, this offended me as I thought what in the world did I need to repent for? I’m only 14! The pastor talked about having a personal relationship with Jesus but I didn’t know how that was possible so I turned away from church completely. I always felt a gnawing void in my soul which initially I tried to soothe by chasing relationships, followed by pursuing knowledge of self through psychology classes and countless self-improvement books. When that didn’t work, I got pulled into new age spirituality. The basis of new age is that you pick and choose which beliefs suit you. Don’t like the concept of sin? Ignore it. Want to be the creator of your own life? Use the law of attraction to get what you want. This all sounded fantastic to me. I wanted to be in control of my life, not some unknowable God. The new age movement acknowledges Jesus, not as the Savior, but instead as a good guy on the same level as other religious figures like buddha, krishna, etc. I didn’t see anything wrong with these beliefs that I accepted so blindly as all paths to God were considered valid.

     As I was getting deeper into new age practices, many of which disobey God, the void kept growing bigger. During this time, my Mom died. And not a sudden, quick death but an agonizingly slow, painful death from cancer at the young age of 51. I was angry at God for letting someone I loved, and someone who loved God so fiercely, suffer the way she did. What kind of God who loved her would allow that? When she died, God felt more distant than ever. I spiraled into a dark place and if it weren’t for the angel named Deborah that God sent, I don’t think I’d be here today. I was getting frustrated with the empty new age promises of fulfillment and started looking into the roots of it. Through this research, I found out how cleverly I had been deceived by this grand trick to pull me off the path to eternal life by watering down the true Jesus. The timing of the recent series on what the devil wants is perfect as it was through realizing the devil’s very real presence in my life that I knew that there must be something to this Jesus guy.

     Seeing as doing things my way all these years wasn’t working, I decided to give Jesus a chance and read the Bible for myself. I found renaissance church and the first time I attended, it was communion. Christian asked if we would surrender and let Jesus into our hearts and I was overwhelmed as I silently screamed Yes. I was tired of trying to be my own god and carrying the weight of my sins. I was tired of the emptiness. I was tired of not having a purpose. As I started reading the Bible, it completely filled up that gaping void and I felt peace. The seeking was finally over. I felt total joy that Jesus never stopped pursuing me even when I turned away from Him. The devil had me on his long black train to the middle of nowhere. I thought I was on the path to heaven and yet I was so close to never seeing my Mom again if I hadn’t been saved from that train. When I saw others praising Jesus, I thought they were faking it but now that I’m building my relationship with Him, I get it. He has given me a new heart and it’s had a tangible effect already in my life such as forgiving those who’ve hurt me, repenting for my sins and relying on God’s strength to overcome them. After many years of stormy weather, I am so blessed that I have this calmer time in my life to get to know Jesus so that when the next storm hits, I won’t turn away but instead turn towards Him. My Mom not only gave me the gift of human life but her love and trust in Jesus watered the seeds within me, now also giving me the gift of eternal life. Thank you Jesus for your forgiveness, mercy and grace.

 

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