How I Became A ChristianI don't remember when I quit attending church but it must have been around age 16 or 17. I didn't quit believing, I just didn't go to church.
I began to make my own decisions and each was more stupid than the last. I went to college and was homesick, fought with my assigned roommate and got poor grades. I lasted one semester. I would quit many jobs. If it was a great job I would perform poorly and get fired; if it was a simple job I would quit almost as soon as I was trained. I would open the door and talk to anyone. I had unresposible friends and boyfriends. I moved around a lot, from apartment to apartment. I didn't act in a safe manner yet I went unscathed.
When I was 20 I met a man and fell in love. The feeling was not mutual yet the guy hung around and got my best six years of my prime marrying life in that relationship with me thinking it would lead to marriage and family. I finally had to end it myself because this man had no intention of settling down with me. When the final goodbyes were said I felt nothing. Yet I had no energy and the only thing I got pleasure from was chain smoking alone in my apartment. I didn't know I was at the beginning of mental illness.
Around this time my parents moved from Denver to Wisconsin. I was now a college grad and relationship-free. I moved to a new town and new job, fresh start. On the Monday I started work, on lunch break, I had a full blown panic attack. I'll never forget it, it was one of the worst experiences of my life. Over the next two months I descended into mental illness -- anxiety, clinical depression, paranoia, wanted to hide all the time. The fresh new life lasted two months before I packed up and moved to my parents' new home.
I felt better, met and married a stable man from a good family. I thought my trials were ending. I worked on the mental issues and would recover some but also fall back into new traps. We did not have God in our marriage. We could not get along. We divorced after six years and one child, a girl. God never gave up on me but I didn't allow him to help me. I still thought I could do everything myself and didn't need him!
Now I was a single mother with very little support. I thought my life was okay but My life was empty. Yet I sure didn't want Christian Bible thumpers bugging me about being born again and baptized. I have always disliked how they insisted their way was the only way! But God kept knocking! My daughter had a friend whose grandmother was the driver for play dates. This lady asked me if I went to church and invited me to hers. She asked me each time she saw me over a period of several months.
Now comes the goofy part. Somehow I knew God was insisting I accept him and I started trying to prepare myself. Finally I said "Yes" when my friend asked me again. On my first Sunday I couldn't believe the love and friendliness of the people. I was drawn in. After a few weeks one of the elders wanted to know if he could come over to my house and talk to me. I knew he wanted to baptize me. This meant I had to ADMIT I HAD BEEN WRONG in wanting to shut Gd out and push butt-pain Christians away. But I allowed him and his wife to come. I told them I couldn't be good and they said it didn't matter. I asked a lot of questions and argued a lot... and was baptized that night.
Eddie washed my sins away while God cleansed my heart and mind. I totally felt this. At this point I will say I was overcome with joy.
Four years later I will say I still sin, I still have problems and life is still a hassle sometimes but I feel God is near me and he is here to help! I'm not alone!
He's done miracles all my life but one thing I can think of really stands out. About a year ago I was tempted to have a casual sexual encounter, but God said, "No." I didn't like to think of giving up this desire and it took a while for me to accept God's "No," but I did, and really just as soon as I let it go I felt God step near me and lift me up and bless me all over! That's the only way I can describe it.
Now he helps me daily with work, money, prayers regarding other people, my health, worries and fears, everything. The worst thing I can imagine is to be separated from him.