What was life like before you met Jesus?
My story doesn't involve a defining moment in my faith where my life was absent of God and then suddenly found God and made a drastic transition towards Him. Since I can remember, I've always had a strong prayer life and have felt God was pursuing me. As a young child I remember praying for my family and asking God for help with day-to-day life experiences and more significant life events. This has continued throughout my life and is a current practice for me along with regular bible reading. I felt that God has shown me tremendous grace and mercy my entire life in lieu of how I lived my life which at times would not be pleasing to Him. In lieu of this, He has blessed me far beyond what I deserve!
How did you meet Jesus?
My early exposure to Christ and the Gospel were through my Catholic education. I feel this has made accepting God's grace and mercy a bit challenging for me. Even though these teachings were not as much about God's blessing of abundant love, mercy, forgiveness, and grace, I did feel God's presence and that "he had my back". Until about halfway through college, I lived more "freely" but always felt God was with me and that he would never let me get too far from Him that I would "mess up" beyond his love for me. Romans 8:35-39 speaks to this love that I felt God had for me in this phase of my faith journey. Thankfully, it will be there for the rest of my faith journey as well!
“Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep. No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
About halfway through college I began to dive into my faith more. I sought a bible teaching church and began attending on a regular basis. There was nothing devastating going on in my life that drove me to this but I just felt moved by the spirit to do so. God had placed a new friend in my life that was a believer and his influence helped my along my journey. Soon after I met Anne, who became my wife, and she was a believer. Looking back as I write this, I see how God had a plan for me that led me to a deeper faith in Him.
After being saved by Jesus, what is your life like now?
As I stated earlier, God has blessed me in so many ways far beyond what I deserve! He has kept me in his care, protected me from the evils of this world, blessed me with a wonderful family and enabled me to provide for them. He has created a desire in my children, my wife, and me to know Him which I am extremely grateful for! Most recently, God has worked in me to open my eyes to sin in my life that was clouded by other sin I felt was more significant and have been addressing. I feel this is God's way of letting me know He is still pursuing me and that he continues to love me through this sin- revelation enabling me to deepen my faith. If I wasn't recognized by him as one of His children, I don’t believe he would continue to pull me closer like this which gives me comfort! The verses below resonate with me given my place along my journey and the comfort given by God's promise!
Romans 12:1-2 “And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
John 5:24 “I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life.”