Today, I was asked how I came to be a Christian and what has sustained me in that belief. I think this is a good place to answer.
When I was young, I always felt worthless, left out, and unloved. I broke my mother’s heart once by asking her if she and Dad were trying to get rid of me.
Of course she answered, “Certainly not!”
I replied that I would probably always think that. She tried to get me to tell her why I thought that. I couldn’t tell her because I didn’t know. I will never forget her expression. I was about ten.
I had good parents. They loved me and encouraged me to become whatever I wanted to become. I am an only child so I was not bereft of attention. Girls were not substandard beings in our house. I learned many positive life philosophies from my parents.
These feelings of emptiness, loneliness, and unworthiness were something inside of me. When I was twelve, I walked the aisle.
Anyone who has ever had an encounter with a Southern Baptist church, knows what walking the aisle is. At the invitation near the end of the service, people are invited to come forward to accept Jesus Christ as their personal savior. Fortunately for me, I had a good pastor who explained just what that meant. Everyone has sinned. Sin’s penalty is death. Christ paid the penalty and I accept that. That was a good enough explanation for me then. It was an explanation for a child and I was a child in age. but a baby in spirit. Most people would say that was when I became a Christian. However, I say, it was when I began becoming a Christian. It was then however, that I began to feel worthwhile. It has become a cliché but there had been a God-shaped hole inside me that was now filled.
Not much more happened until I was about sixteen when I started reading the Bible for myself. Out of that period came my not wearing makeup, (I still don’t) and my leaving the Southern Baptist Church. I just couldn’t understand why drinking alcohol was wrong if Jesus turned water into wine. To me, Baptists were adding to the Word.
My life progressed as that of many young adults. I went through rebellion, experimentation. Never did drugs. God spared me that temptation. I never forgot God and I knew that He had not forgotten me. In my mid-twenties, I found a church that really agreed with me and started studying and growing. That explanation I had received as a child expanded until it had true meaning for me instead of an overused under-thought aphorism. Through all the pitfalls of marriage, the harrowing experiences of raising children, and the sometimes depressing process of growing older, God has always told me, “It may not seem like it, but I AM in control. Let me have your trials and be at peace.”
Be anxious for nothing, but with prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NASB)