In part one I emphasized those few interactions that I had with God in the forty years prior to my conversion. That doesn’t show how truly secular my life was during that time. Other than the highlights mentioned I didn’t pay any attention to God. It was the world that formed me. Sex outside of marriage, I was there. Divorce, count me in. Cohabitation, why sure. A woman’s right to have an abortion, you bet. I believed these things and, therefore, I lived many of them. As to God I don’t think that I ever stopped believing in His existence, but if there was a gripe about Him I was probably joining in. “Why would a good God make such a horrible world?” That was me. “Churches are full of hypocrites:” a secular amen to that, brother. I did go against the world by believing that God created the world. I think it came more from lack of belief in something coming from nothing, rather than my belief in God, but I do remember believing it. If you can imagine someone living in the world and being of the world, then that was where I was until God graciously decided it was time for that mustard seed to take root.
Graced with the gift of faith
The first thing that I can remember happening is God deepening my faith. I went from believing God existed to knowing God existed. It came about in the oddest fashion. I was in the bathroom doing my hair before work. I was looking in the mirror and I reached up a hand to grab a section of hair to curl. Out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of my hand and it was if time froze. In that moment I knew with certainty that i was, because He Was. That was all it took to convict me in faith. Like I said, it seems an odd way to come to one’s faith, but God, being gracious, could see what was coming and gave me what I needed before I even knew that I needed it. Blessed be God forever! Without that grace of faith I don’t believe that I would have called on Lord Jesus when I was later diagnosed with advanced dysplasia of the cervix.
“. . .for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matthew 6:8
From words to The Word
The next thing God did was to draw me towards His Son, Lord Jesus. This He did through a couple of books. I had been an avid reader for all of my life. My favorite genre at the time was fantasy and I was looking for a new book to read. To that end I was browsing the fantasy section at Barnes and Noble when I ran across a book about a monk who has a crisis of faith after being kidnapped by some Vikings. My first thought was that it had been put in the wrong section. It seemed like a much better candidate for historical fiction than fantasy. One of the things I love about fantasy is the author’s ability to create entire worlds and cultures from their imagination. This book definitely didn’t qualify, so I have no idea why I was drawn to it. Yet, three times I picked it up and two times I put it back down. The third time I decided to buy it. Little did I know that a few sentences in this book would help open me up to Christ.
I really knew very little about Christ at this time. We celebrated Easter and Christmas, but with the Easter Bunny and Santa Claus, not Christ. But I did have a light understanding of the underlying events for which these holidays are based, so I wasn’t completely ignorant–just mostly ignorant–of Christ when I began reading the book.
Basically, the monk is travelling to Constantinople when he is taken by marauding Vikings. The monk and one of the Vikings become friendly and inquires about the monk’s God. The monk explains about Christ’s crucifixion and how it was a sacrifice to atone for our sins. The Viking is blown away by the fact that a king would do such a thing for his people. This goes against everything he knows about kings. While I don’t remember the exact words that gave me a greater appreciation of Christ’s sacrifice, here is what I do remember: “What a great God you have! That he would sacrifice His life for His people!” I remember coming away from that thinking, “Yes, what a great God.”
The next book that literally changed my life, was the “Left Behind” series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Once again, not books I would have normally read, but I had started listening to audio books and the selection at the library was sparse. It was through this series of books that I learned about the sinner’s prayer. If, like me, you’ve never heard of it, it basically consists of the admission of sins and asking Lord Jesus for forgiveness of those sins and accepting Him as lord. Any words can be used as long as it includes those components. It’s very short, but very powerful; as I soon found out.
Saved by Christ
It while I was reading this series of books that I started feeling exhausted and having problems with my period. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with advanced dysplasia of the cervix. This terrified me. I was a single mother with a son. What was going to happen to my son, if I died? This worried me tremendously. I think it was this, more than anything else, which led me to pray the sinner’s prayer. I learnt of it after I had already gone through the procedure to have the cells removed but before my check up to see how everything was healing and to learn whether the doctor had removed it all. I prayed the prayer that night after I had just gone to bed. I also asked that Lord Jesus heal me. After praying it my body began to tingle. It was still tingling when I fell asleep.
The next morning when I awoke my body was radiating love like a light bulb radiates light. It was emanating from my body outward in every direction. I was amazed at this, but more amazed that no one else seemed to be cognizant of it. I couldn’t understand why my co-workers and family members couldn’t feel it for I could definitely feel it extending outward beyond my body. It lasted for about a week, and then it simply was no more.
It was after this that I returned to the doctor for the checkup and to find out whether all of the cells had been removed. I don’t remember if they had or not. What I do remember is the doctor’s amazement at what she saw. It was as if nothing had ever happened. There was no sign that a procedure had been done. No sign of anything but a perfectly healthy cervix.
“. . . for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.” Luke 1:49
May we all experience the love of God. God bless!
Thank you yayayamamamama for the use of your beautiful photograph under the Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license.