I love meeting people and sharing stories, and would love to hear yours if you'd like to share it. Everyone has a testimony!
My life radically and wonderfully changed the day I invited Jesus into my heart to be my Lord and Savior. The day was March 3, 1996. I had just spent two days studying a book called "Life In Christ", trying to learn about Jesus and how to get born-again. I just knew in my heart with an unexplainable "knowing", that it's what I needed to do if I wanted to have that "peaceful-kind-of-joy" that one of my co-workers always seemed to have.
A couple of days earlier, I had asked this co-worker how he could always respond so pleasantly to our boss, who never talked nice to anybody, and he never seemed to get upset or offended no matter how rudely our boss treated him. I noticed that he always seemed to have such peace and joy, even in the midst of the most trying circumstances.
This co-worker had never witnessed to me before about Jesus, but his "silent witness" spoke volumes. He casually responded to me that he had been born-again about a year before. Instantly, something leaped inside of me and said, "That's it! That's why he has that peaceful-kind-of-joy all the time! That's what I need!"
Except for a rare occasion, I had not been in church for 25 years, and just wasn't at all comfortable talking about God to anyone. So I didn't ask him how to go about getting born-again, though I really wanted to. But I couldn't wait to get off work to find a Christian book store, so I could find out for myself. I felt an urgency like never before.
So here I was thirty-three years old, after spending a life away from God, finally drawing toward Him. I had spent a lifetime trying to fill a void in my heart that only He could fill, with everything that the world had to offer.
Even though I had grown up in a loving home with wonderful parents, I became wayward in my teenage years, getting into drugs and alcohol, and later dropping out of high-school and moving out on my own at age sixteen. Throughout those years, though my sweet parents didn't know WHAT to do with their wayward child, they never stopped loving, encouraging, and trying to help me.
At age twenty-seven, after two DUI's within a six-month period, I got on my knees and fervently prayed to a God I didn't know, asking for His help because knew I couldn't stop drinking on my own.
I had never been able to get past the fourth day all the times before when I had tried to stop before and now after this prayer, to my amazement, I made it to five days! I just KNEW my prayer had been answered! I was so thankful, and I knew for sure that God was really there and that He really did answer prayer! I began trying to draw closer to Him in my own way. I tried reading the bible, and I learned the song "Amazing Grace". I was too uncomfortable with the idea of going to church, but was trying hard to become a better person. I was happier drug and alcohol -free, but still something was missing.
Years later, when my peaceful co-worker casually mentioned that he was born-again, I was ripe for the harvest. Something jumped within me and I just KNEW that this was it...this is what was missing from my life!
So there I was, after studying the book I'd bought on becoming a Christian for two solid days, on my knees on my bathroom floor, inviting Jesus into my heart to be my Lord and Savior. I didn't understand how Jesus could have an effect on my life now, but I knew that I wanted and needed Him more than anything, and I wanted Him with all of my heart.
After I prayed the prayer from the workbook, I wondered if God really heard my prayer. I so needed to know if He did, but had read somewhere that you shouldn't test God, and carefully worded my request: "God, you don't have to give me a sign that you heard my prayer, but you know, I would really, really like one."
I felt compelled to look out the window, and was stunned at the most incredible sight before me. There was a brilliant blue sky with huge, white, puffy clouds floating across it. On top of one clouds was the perfect form of a huge cross, several hundred feet tall, with a kneeling figure before it. Wow! How could that possibly be? My mind could not comprehend what my eyes were seeing, but there it was, right before my eyes! I looked away several times and looked back at it again. It was still there, as plain as anything I'd ever seen.
I didn't know what it meant, but I knew that the kneeling figure was me, and felt that this was somehow a sign that my prayer had been heard. I'd never heard of such a thing before! I watched as it floated across the sky for at least two or three minutes, until the trees obscured my view. I ran outside and it was still there. I didn't know what to make of it, it was so big! Yet, somehow I felt that I was the only person who saw it.
For the next four days or so, I was walking two feet off the ground. I never felt so good! My sins had been washed away and I had a brand new spirit, the Holy Spirit, abiding in my heart. I was alive like never before, and felt a joy and peace that I had never known before. "Why didn't someone tell me about this before?" I emphatically wondered. "This is a REALLY big deal! Everyone needs to be born-again!"
The day after I got saved, as I was still trying to comprehend what had happened to me, I picked up a piece of paper off the floor at work, and was about to throw it away, when I felt inclined to unfold it to see what it was. It was a hymn titled "Come, Follow Me". I read the lyrics, and it was about Jesus. I couldn't believe it, could this be another sign from God? Was He confirming to me that this was all for real?
I have since learned that, yes, God is communicating with us all the time and in many different ways. He has spoken to me through a dream, a child, a stranger, a bumblebee, a song, and a storm, as well as countless other ways. I learned that He loves to answer prayers and will lead and guide us in everything, if we ask Him to. More than anything, God desires for us to spend time with Him.
I began to talk to him all the time. The more I talked with Him, the more I could feel His presence. The more I felt His presence, the more of Him I wanted. I began to weed out anything and everything in my life that was not holy and pure, for a much greater reward of His sweet presence, and more joy than I had ever known.
Back to the week I got saved: I knew I needed to go to church, but was very nervous about going because I didn't know what to do once I got there, and figured everyone would just know I wasn't a churchgoer, and would look down on me for it.
I asked God to lead me to the perfect church for me. I didn't care where or what kind it was, I just wanted the perfect one for me. I thought I would have to go to several churches before I found the right one, but God led me to the right one the first time.
And when I asked Him to send someone to help me, so I wouldn't feel so uncomfortable about being there, He sent a nice lady to meet me as I crossed the street to go into the service, and I sat with her. I was so blessed that He sent her! I had the most awesome time in that church service, with tears streaming down my face, I knew it was exactly where I needed to be.
As I began to grow spiritually, He moved me on to another church, where I learned about worship and the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Then He sent me to one where I learned about prayer and fasting and healing. Then He sent me to one that taught about spiritual warfare. Each time He moved me to a new church, I thought, "This is the best church in the whole world, and I'm never leaving!" I felt so privileged to be a part of it.
I likened my spiritual walk with being in school. As I grew in the things of the spirit, God would move me to another church so that I could continue to learn and grow in things that were not being taught where I had been before. When we go to school, we don't just stay in the same grade forever, we graduate and go to the next level.
God moved me to Missouri in 2000, and I became part of a church that teaches about the prophetic and apostolic, and uses and teaches about all the gifts of the Spirit. Again, I said, "It's the best church in the whole world!
Then in 2003 He sent me a wonderful Holy-Spirit filled husband, whom I married after three daysand we began to help lead worship at a wonderful, growing little church, where God was moving mightily in the hearts of His people. It's all about the worship! If we can get to where we truly worship Him with all our hearts, in unity and on one accord, there's no telling what outpouring of His Spirit we will experience!
I believe there is only one true church, and I joined it the moment I got saved. No matter where we go, where there are born-again believers there is family. How wonderful for us Christians to have family all over the world!