Seek The Lord Sunday: My Testimony

This week's topic for STLS is to share your testimony, otherwise known as your personal story of how you came to know the Lord and made the choice to become a Christian. I'm looking so forward to hearing all of your stories! I just love to see how God works in people's lives.

Many people have a very defined moment in their life when they chose to become a Christian. I can't say that I have a story like that. In fact, when people ask me when I was saved, I have a really tough time answering them! I guess it really doesn't matter, the date and time...what really matters is that I'm His child NOW...and the one who needs to know the intimate details of my heart and mind toward God, knows all He needs to know.

I was raised in a Christian home. To be more specific, I was raised Catholic. I remember Sunday school and church being a regular part of our lives. I have fond memories of sitting with my family in church, and of some of the great songs we sang. I can't remember any one sermon in particular that touched me, but the music always did :) (I am no longer Catholic...I'll explain if you'd like in another post).

More important than mass and Sunday school though, I remember my parents being an example of Christian living (well, mostly...but can any of us really claim more?). I don't remember specifically reading the Bible as a family, but we talked about what was discussed in church, we were taught a Biblical way of living even if the Bible wasn't quoted, and my parents live a life of service that is an awesome example to us girls.

My two earliest personal memories of God as a child are:

1. Saying the "Now I lay me down to sleep...if I die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take". I was about 9 years old. After praying that prayer, I heard that still, small voice ask me "Do you?" I knew exactly who was asking and what He meant. I thought about it, and answered, "Yes, I do." In my heart of hearts, I believe that I was His from that point forward.

2. We watched the story of Christ's Passion on TV when I was the same age. To this day, I can still easily recall the look of horror and suffering on the face of the actor who played Jesus as they pounded giant nails through his hands. I was devastated. I lay in my bed that night and cried, wishing that He didn't have to suffer, and thanking him for loving me so much.

From that time in my life, I have countless stories of God working in my life. I hope to get them all document on my blog some day...but not today.

I would love to be able to say that I was on fire for the Lord from my childhood on, but the truth is that I lived an essentially "fruitless" life. And when I did bear what seemed to be fruit, it wasn't for His glory, it was for mine. I was self-centered, selfish, prideful, and seeking my own will. The sin in my life that I justified to myself and God...I just don't even want to think about it! Ugh.

When I was 30 years old, I had what I call a "spiritual crisis". I had begun reading a New Age book which challenged every single belief I had about God, Jesus, and the Bible...not to mention who I was relative to God.

So I began searching. I scoured the internet for information about every version of religion that I could think of. I went to talk to a priest. I talked to friends. I talked to co-workers. I asked all sorts of questions that no one seemed to be able to answer to my satisfaction. I tried to read the Bible, but it seemed a jumble of confusion, contradiction, and mystery.

And suddenly, it hit me (aka. God showed me!)...I held very hypocritical views regarding the Bible. I accepted what I "liked", and rejected what I didn't. I accepted the parts that seemed to represent "The God I know", and I rejected the parts that didn't fit with the picture of God I'd created and wanted to believe. I found myself saying things like "I know that's what the Bible says, but that doesn't seem right to me, so it must not be true!"

So I realized that I had to come to terms with the Bible. What is it? Where did it come from? How reliable is it? Does it contradict itself?

I searched and searched and searched. I became satisfied that the Bible was accurate from a historical, scientific, and practical standpoint. But still...I didn't like some of what it said! How could it be that God could be so socially unacceptable?! Doesn't He want us to love Him? Then why does He make it so complicated?!

Then, one day, I felt God speak to me in such a powerful way that I could not ignore Him in that moment. He was telling me that I had enough information, and that He wanted me to make a choice about Him and His Book. Now. Right that very moment.

And finally, in that painful and sweet and humbling moment, I fell to my knees before the Almighty God. My prayer to Him went something like,

"Okay! I don't understand the Bible. It's confusing to me. It seems to say things that I don't think are true. The parts I do understand, I don't like very much! But, oh God...You are God, and I am not. You get to make the rules, and I do not. You know and understand everything, and I do not. From this point forward I accept the Bible as your work. I will live by it to the best of my ability. I will live for you t the best of my ability. Thank you, God, for being so patient with me! I want you, and no other."

And my life was instantly, permanently, and dramatically changed from that moment forward. This post is getting so long (can you tell I love to talk about how amazing my precious Lord is!?)...I'll just list some of the ways that my life changed since I became, what can only rightfully be called, "Born Again":

1. The very DAY that I prayed, my eyes were opened in a miraculous way toward the Bible. I had a consuming passion for consuming, it felt like a physical need akin to thirst or hunger. I just couldn't put it down, and I loved every word. And suddenly, I understood it! God truly gave me the help of His Holy Spirit in understanding the spiritual things of the Word.

2. My feelings toward people changed. All of a sudden, I felt a love for total strangers that I had never known before. I saw all people as either lost sheep or God's children, and I wanted to help them either way.

3. My feelings toward myself changed. I found my proper and humble place before God, and I just never wanted to leave! Although it's sometimes difficult to be on my knees before even God, there is no sweeter place to be.

4. I could not get enough of worship music. I listened to it everywhere I went, and sang and cried through that beautiful music.

5. I finally felt that my life has a true and valuable purpose. I'm not afraid to live, and I'm not afraid to die (not really looking forward to actually dying, but being dead isn't scary to me). I have a certainty and a freedom in Him that I never had before. I belong to Him and he will direct my paths and protect me.

There are more stories I'd like to tell, but I'll save them for later. I want to hear from you now! How did God call to your heart? Tell me about how you answered...

Seek The Lord Sunday Participants
1. Home with Amy
2. Becky
3. Kimberly
4. Abrianna

Learn more about Seek The Lord Sunday here.

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Jessica  – (6/15/2008 06:24:00 AM)  

I would like to hear more of what compelled you to no longer be catholic. I know this can be very controlversial topic. I'd love to hear more if your willing to share.

This is an area of discussion where I thurst to hear more. This also has been a part of my past and now am a Christian. I have a dear friend who struggles with leaving Catholism for the truth that she now feels she knows.

I am not judging anyones, I have friends of more than my religious choice. As long as it's Jesus and the way of the cross...

At my church we had wrote our stories a while back. It helps you be prepared to share with others.

Anonymous –   – (6/15/2008 02:41:00 PM)  

Thanks for sharing your wonderful story, Daiquiri. In my story, realizing the Bible is God's Word was central to me receiving Christ, too.

Lana  – (6/15/2008 03:10:00 PM)  

I love to hear stories of the holy spirit opening our eyes to truth.
Thanks for sharing and encouraing us to share our stories too.

Becky Avella  – (6/15/2008 09:39:00 PM)  

I'm sorry I let you down this week. I have a half written post but I got distracted with Father's Day today.

I'm going to enjoy visiting all of these blogs to read everyone's stories.


Jamie {See Jamie blog}  – (6/16/2008 07:04:00 PM)  

I just found out about this great meme! Since I was a bit late, I just linked to a post I wrote a while back on this subject. Hope that's ok, and I'll try to be back for next week's!

Jennifer @ Conversion Diary  – (6/17/2008 11:50:00 AM)  

Daiquiri, this is such an inspiring testimony! I was hoping to participate but ended up getting behind on everything and not being able to put together a coherent thought. Maybe sometime soon I can put something together and add a link here.

Again, I'm so glad to have discovered your blog. Thank you for sharing.

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