I live with hope, purpose, and security in being loved unconditionally.
But it was not always this way for me.
I grew up in a home where God was important. My mom and dad became followers of Jesus when I was a baby, so a life centered on the God of the Bible was my home environment. Although the Bible was attacked in my English classes every year of high school, I was not impressed with teachers’ arguments. My last year of high school, however, a teacher asked difficult/penetrating questions, like, “If there is a God, why is there so much suffering in the world?”
I graduated from high school in 1969. The world was becoming smaller and photos from around the world were becoming commonplace. I was becoming familiar with suffering on a large scale for the first time in my life. I decided to eliminate God from my life for lots of “great reasons”, but the bottom line was that I wanted an excuse to live the way I wanted, and besides…it felt good not to have to defend God for once. After three confused years I came to a point of desperation. I realized that if there were no God, then life was purposeless. There was no meaningful way to determine if anything was right or wrong, so moral judgments were simply products of someone’s, anyone’s, personal opinion and nothing more. After some time, I met some people who knew why they were alive – they lived with a hope and a purpose I was sorely lacking. I started going to some meetings with them and reading the Bible. Over the next year my search for meaning intensified.
At the end of summer 1972 I read the Bible to find answers to questions that had come up through friendships with people of a particular religious group. One day I read John chapter 3. In this chapter Jesus explains to a religious leader that in order to go to heaven, a person must be born a second time. I realized that I’d only been born once, of human parents. I needed to be born a second time, of a Heavenly Father. I knelt beside the couch where I’d been studying and admitted to God that I was a sinner. One of the verses in John 3 says this: “God loved the world in this way – He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” I did not want to die separated from God, or missing what I had been created for. I told God I did believe that Jesus died to pay the penalty for my sin, that He rose again and conquered death, and that I was giving my life to Him, to live for Him. I didn’t join that man-made, man-centered religion, because I couldn’t find getting-to-God-through-being-good-enough in the Bible. I entered into a personal relationship with the living God who made me, who, alone, could forgive my sin.
Wonderfully, God began to make changes in my life. I began to understand and embrace the eternal purpose for which God made me. I stopped lying to my parents, and began to love and help them with a grateful heart; I began to choose my friends wisely; and I have learned not only how important it is to forgive others, but now I have the power of the living God to enable me to do this. Since my life purpose is now based on a personal relationship with the living God who never changes, it’s not vulnerable to changing circumstances or people. This definitely helps give me peace.
God explained life to us in the Bible, which answers the basic questions of life: “Where did I come from?” “Why am I here?” and “Where am I going when I die?” as well as tough questions, like, “Who gets to determine what’s right and wrong?” and “Why is there so much suffering in the world?” I can’t answer every question people might ask me, but I personally know the One who knows the answers and I have chosen to trust Him with what I can’t explain.
Life is tough – really tough. I don’t have enough wisdom or strength on my own. I need HELP – lots of it. The world is broken and all of us are broken. In addition to forgiveness, all of us need healing from heart-wounds caused by abuse, our choices, and other ways we get broken.
God has enabled my husband and me to be married 45 years, faithful to each other, because of His work in our lives. Only through God’s power could this have been possible!
Since becoming a child of the Creator of the universe, I’ve done a good amount of study in science and philosophy as it relates to the 1st basic question of life: “Where did I come from?” As man is able to probe deeper and deeper into the world of microbiology and biochemistry, it becomes obvious that the information, communication, and language that are involved in life at the cellular level require an Intelligent Designer. I know He is the God of the Bible who lives in me. You can know Him, too. 🙂