“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Early one Sunday morning I rolled over and looked at my bedside table. My bible was lying where it had been all night — a foot away from me, under the reading lamp — like a protector. I sat up and looked at the book’s leather cover and its sheer weight. I rubbed my eyes, then shook my head and thought, “How did I ever become a Christian?”
Some mornings are like this, especially Sundays when I know in a few hours I’ll be getting dressed and heading to the second service at Life Mission Church. The disbelief also nags at me when I’m putting on my crucifix necklace or catch a glimpse of it in the bathroom mirror when getting ready for the workday. I just wouldn’t have guessed that I would eventually become such a committed Christian. But I am.
We often hear that God works in mysterious ways. This is true – He’s always working on you, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. You are being molded in his image and you can never fully realize who you are until you give yourself to him fully. I didn’t (and sometimes still don’t) like the idea of following: following another person, following trends or following Christ, etc. And that’s what keeps millions of others from being believers – they don’t want to live selflessly with the knowledge that someone else has the answers – that God is directing their path.
Somehow I managed to get lost despite starting out in the Christian faith at an early age. I went to youth group in high school but I found that I wasn’t a strong enough believer to keep the faith through college. Then my marriage – which was not founded in anything biblical – came and went after eight years of almost constant struggle. And then came the most confusing part of my life: post-divorce dating.
After making a number of poor decisions, I reached a broken place a little more than a year ago where I couldn’t help myself anymore. Then one afternoon during a typical day at work, the Holy Spirit spoke to me. And like millions of Christians who’ve heard the voice of the spirit, it is now impossible for me to turn back to my old life.
So what is this Holy Spirit? And how does is speak to you? I can only attest to what I heard and what a few others have agreed were their experience. I “heard” a feeling that came from inside my body, but was distinctly not my voice, nor was it like any other internal conversation I’d ever had before. The source was not me, but something that had to be external … that felt internal. And this voice sent me two specific messages at the same time – one that was stated directly, and another that was intertwined with the first statement.
I can’t explain it. This spirit stopped me cold as I was literally moving from one task to another. I was moving from my computer screen to my desk when I heard it. And my life hasn’t been the same since. The clear call of Christ shot directly through to my heart and told me this:
Those have been my focus for the last year and I’ve gained ground in both areas, unquestionably.
That doesn’t mean I haven’t experienced trials. They seem to come in a constant flow. Almost every weekend – and sometimes during church services – I’ll find texts and voicemails on my phone from women I used to see. The texts are open-ended, and when I decline their offer to get together, I know what that means: a night spent at home, alone.
But that is a fate far favorable to the life I had before.
Give me the time alone. Give me my bible. Let me read the word of the Lord. Let it impact me to the point where I want to share His words and put down my own thoughts. Let it wash over my entire life and make me new again. I would rather wake up and shake my head in sheer astonishment and joy than experience another heartless day with me at the helm of my own lost interpretation of life.