How did you become a Christian?
A lovely girl who I have met and got to know recently asked me this question. This was a question I haven’t been asked in a while. It was a joy and privilege to sit over a cup of tea and talk about my story, a story about redemption and power. A story of grace and love and ultimately a story of a God who reached out and lifted me from the pit and set my feet upon a rock.
My story is a story of running, walking and shuffling. My story is a story of brokenness made new and a story of a freedom bought and paid for. I know I was saved from my brokenness so I could walk in all that God destined for me. I was prayed for by a precious friend of mine for over ten years. Ruth prayed for over ten years before she saw anything change – what an inspiration and encouragement to those who have been praying for years for someone to know Jesus – Keep going!
She prayed for me to know the living God and when I finally did I still struggled for a bit to make sense of it all. For the first year of my life with God I moved in with a guy and I began to work for Ann summers!! I mean seriously if I was Ruth, I would be questioning the reality of this conversion. Ruth was not deterred, or put off she continued to pray, love, show grace, challenge but most of all let God be God and the Holy Spirit do the ultimate heart changing. I love and respect this in my friend. I learnt a lot from her, what she has done for me has challenged me many times in how I treat others.
Finally a year later when I got baptised that I finally decided to take my foot from each camp and chose to follow Jesus seriously. Life then became fun, interesting and I started the best adventure of my life. I was loved, I could love and I was accepted and redeemed. Does this mean my life became easier? Not a chance, I was a broken person who needed a lot of healing and in my experience sometimes in some areas healing is painful.
I spoke one Sunday morning in my home church about the woman at the well (John 4:4-26). A woman who I got to know so well over a few weeks. A woman who has known pain, rejection, loss, low self-esteem, low self-worth but then she met Jesus. Jesus who broke all the boundaries by speaking to her, Jesus who broke all the boundaries by even being in the same town as her. Jesus spoke to her, respected her, showed her dignity and elevated her self-worth when probably no one else around her had done in a very long time. This woman had five husbands, and in that culture it was never the woman who walked away, she would have been sent away. Imagine the rejection, the pain, the loss of this five times.
The story of this woman ended up with her meeting the living God. She would never have to look for love in all the wrong places again. She met and trusted in the living God. What did she do with this? She went and told the people in her town. She went and told them about the encounter that she had with the living God. What happened when she told them? Many of the town believed that day. WOW! Her story, her transformation brought many to know and believe in the living God.
We are steeped in a culture that you must earn Gods love, that you must get it right or sort yourself out before you can know this living God that I talk about. Or some people truly believe that they aren’t good enough, or they have done too much. This a lie that must be let go of, Jesus knows us and loves us unconditionally. His Holy Spirit does the ultimate changing. I am not ashamed any more about what my life looked like before I met Jesus. My life was what it was and it makes me more determined to show and tell people that I, that person fifteen years ago can be loved, accepted, made new, given a purpose, have eternal life in Jesus then this grace and this freedom is for everyone.
I didn’t like people too much before I met Him, I had a love for material things, my appearance, my looks, my success and money. I didn’t trust people, I tried to find love and acceptance in the wrong people and the wrong things and He broke that powerfully. The Holy Spirit began a work in me through the word of God, His people and His church.
Jesus does this in us so many can believe in Him through the transformation of our lives; He saves us and brings us to Himself so we can be imperfect people to an imperfect world to show them His perfect love.