This isn’t a life-changing story but just a testimony of my faith.
All my life I learned Bible stories from my mom. I always believed in God but I never committed my life to Jesus. We went to church until I was about 10 years old. Then there was a three-year gap where we didn’t go at all. My mom became a true believer and she started attending different churches when I was about 12-13. I went with my parents to Community Church. My mom said it was up to me to choose from Community Church and some other church but I chose Community Church because it had comfortable chairs and the pastor seemed to get my attention. A few months later my mom was driving me somewhere. She wouldn’t tell me where she was driving and then she pulled into a driveway of a house. The house was the location of the Youth Group of Community Church. I was a afraid to go in. Once I went in and got to know everyone I felt included. The name of the Youth Group is “IT.” I still attend it on Wednesdays. I liked Youth Group because everyone was nice and they taught me many things from the Bible. Every Wednesday they would talk about Jesus. Ever since I was a kid I knew he died on the cross and he was born in a stable but I didn’t know the true significance of it.
My youth leaders would speak of how Jesus died for the whole world’s sins and whoever believes in Him and asks Him to come into their hearts, can be saved. I also was taught in Church that
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.”
(NIV Ephesians 2:8-9)
My mom was excited about her faith and she told me about it. A few days later, I asked Jesus to come into my life on my own decision. I don’t remember the exact date. When that happened I knew what I did was good. I talked to my pastor about it and we discussed Christianity on some questions I had. I got baptized with my mom in Lake Winnabago in lots of green slime and water.
During that three years I believed in God and Jesus but I never really questioned my faith. Then when my 16th birthday came around the corner I started questioning my faith and I would sometimes doubt my faith. I would go to many Bible studies and read as many books I could. Many topics I read about were about Jesus, God, creation vs. evolution, etc. I would go to my pastor and ask questions. When I went to a Christian camp, Camp Forest Springs, I asked my counselor and the speaker questions. Some questions were so explainable on both points of views and had so much indirect evidence that it was hard to come to terms with my faith and which side to believe.
Several reasons I have faith in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior are the accounts in the Bible, the prophecies, and that fact that the Bible speaks of a personal God who wants a relationship with us. I read many books on evolution/creation and creation seems to fit better because everything seems as though it were intelligently and artistically designed. I believe in God because of all the indirect evidence and I think if there were an impersonal force that made everything happen (cosmic accident), I don’t see how unpurposeful human beings can think up purposeful ideas on how we got here. Everything is just so complex that there just has to be a God. The God I believe in is the God that is spoken of in the Bible. That’s why I believe the Bible is God’s Word. I believe that God is my Creator and Redeemer.
Since my 16th birthday, I can tell you one thing. I’ve never learned so much in my life about God as I have now. It’s like my eyes have been opened and I have gained so much knowledge and wisdom. I’ve learned more at Community Church in a month than I ever have in the 10 years I was at the other church I previously attended. I am not perfect and I still fall a lot into sin but I am saved. My faith isn’t to be taken for granted. Many people say, “Oh, I believe in Jesus and he forgives my sins so I can do whatever I want.” God isn’t like that at all. He hates sin. Sin is totally going against Him. Do you know why he sent a flood on the Earth? To destroy all the wicked people who were full of sin. I think when you become a Christian you want to become more and more Christ-like. I have high and low points during my faith. Some days I will be really happy about my faith and won’t care what people think and other days I will be scared. I think this is normal when you grow as a Christian. Now that I know I have a purpose, I have joy even at the lowest times because I know God has something planned for me.