A Lesson in Love and Salvation
When I first sat down to write this piece about why I believe in God and the awesome things that he has done in my life, I was at a loss for words. When it comes to God’s goodness, there are so many great things that he has done to show me that he is real and that he is here loving me and extending his grace every day.
As I look back at my faith walk and how far God has blessed me to come, one thing stands out very clear. When he introduced himself to me, it was not planned. It is written in the bible that the “Lord comes like a thief in the night” (1 Thes. 5:2) and that is honestly what happened.
I never planned to become a Christian and quite frankly was living a completely opposite lifestyle. The only reason I attended a local church, was because a friend at the time encouraged me to go with her, so she could get to know this guy who also attended. Being new to the area, I had never heard of the church nor had my friend, so it was pretty bold for us to go for the reason she intended. Once we entered, honestly there was some resistance. I grew up in the church and had witnessed a lot of behavior contrary to the word of God; also life’s circumstances had hardened my heart to the point where I had questioned not only the validity of God, but my own purpose. Sitting in the crowd of believers and listening to the Pastor that God used to minister his word, seemed to penetrate the wall that I had built up around my heart. I started to feel my spirit rise up and rejoice due to being in the presence of God as the Pastor spoke to my heart and the issues of my life; I started to weep. It wasn’t what the Pastor was saying, but more what God was speaking to me. I remember hearing him tell me that he forgives me and to come home. I tried to fight the urge to stand when the Pastor asked “Who here wants to give their life to God and proclaim Jesus as the Lord of their Life?” The harder I fought the more the urge came and as I stood up and received the Lord, he received me. Gone were the shackles that I was battling on the surface at the time and I felt released. I felt free as if a burden had been lifted off of my shoulder. I walked out of church that day feeling fresh and renewed and I knew it was a feeling that I wanted to feel again and never let go of.
The crazy thing about getting “saved” is that once you experience the hand of God removing your burdens, it’s hard to return to a life of sin. It is written in the bible that believers should “Come to [God], all of you who are weary and burdened, and [God] will give you rest.”( Matt.11:28-30), but it seems that the immediate problems you see are the opposite of what God works on.
The first real physical touch that I experienced from God was when I prayed for deliverance from a man that I knew God didn’t want in my life. It seemed no matter how hard I prayed, he came twenty times harder to aid in my destruction. Finally after he forced himself on me, I had all that I could bare. I prayed to God to heal me and to touch me, I knew he was real and I felt in every fabric of my being and like the woman with the issue of blood, I just needed one touch from my Father. After I prayed for his healing, I asked that he reveal himself to me through a real hug. I needed someone to just hug me and let me know that although I was just violated, I was alright. As a cried, I remembering turning over to lie on my stomach when I felt an arm lay across my waist and back. It was startling, but there was no fear; instead I felt perfect peace and instantly fell asleep. I remember that day because it was the day that I feel God truly came down to show me not only that “The Lord thy God shall supply all of my needs according to his riches and glory,” (Phil 4:19) but also that “He is my loving God and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield, in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.” (Psalm 144:2 NIV)
Although I have had and still have very intimate encounters with God, the road of redemption is not easy. I have trials and tribulations like everyone else, but the difference between a Christian and those who may not
I know God is the fact that we are not fighting the good fight alone. The Lord is by my side every step of the way ‘directing my path’ in the way to go so that he can use me to teach the world about the goodness of his glory and grace. I know that some people are skeptical about his existence, but if you just open your heart a little to realize that he is not mad at you or your mistakes and really wants you to come home so he can bless you, the doubt will disappear like the sins you commit. Trust me, I know.