Why I Believe (pt. 1)

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

 
When people ask why I believe or what the foundations of my faith are, it is easy to open the Bible and point to the answers within its pages.  But, that doesn’t truly explain my faith, for my faith comes from deep within me, born of my experiences and the manifestation of God in my own life.  So bear with me as I share a bit of my story.  Below is the first of two parts.  The second will come next week.  My prayer is that as you read the words of my testimony, God will become more real to you and you will feel the blessing of His hand upon your life as His hand has been upon my own.

The Early Years
I have always had an awareness of God.  From my earliest days, I remember knowing that there was something beyond myself – a Creator that set the world into motion.  But, for years, that is all I knew.  I didn’t understand the gift of salvation nor how much God truly loves us.  I grew up going to church and hearing the lessons taught in Sunday school, but my understanding didn’t go beyond the stories of ancient times that seemed far removed from my life in the suburban U.S.  My faith was shallow and immature, like a seed planted just below the surface.  But still, it was there, waiting in dormancy for the season of my life to change.
As the years passed, I experienced the usual growing pains.  I went through my teen-aged years with a few bumps and bruises and plenty of questions about life that didn’t seem to have answers.  My awareness of God was still there, but my vision of Him was vague in its clarity.  I didn’t understand how real and close He actually was.  Although I didn’t fully grasp the depth of God’s existence, I was grateful for the blessings that He brought into my life.  At 19 I met the man I knew God intended for my husband.  This was a strange realization to have considering my faith was so limited and immature at that time.  But, God works in ways that are beyond our comprehension.  We married and several years later we were blessed with two beautiful children.  But it wasn’t until I entered my 30s that my God became completely real and tangible to me.  It was as if, one Sunday morning, a light was switched on.  I sat with my family in church, listening to a message from the pastor, and heard for the first time that God chose me and wanted a relationship with me. 
“Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ
to be holy and without fault in His eyes” (Ephesians 1:4).
He chose me?  That was an incredible thought.  I was humbled and in awe that the Creator of the universe would have more than a passing thought about me.  The discovery that He wanted a relationship with me was amazing.  From that moment on, as I opened my heart to Him, my small seed of faith germinated and grew and my relationship with Him deepened.  I found that my desire to give back to Him increased the more I came to know Him.  Through His Word, I learned of His character and through prayer, worship and quiet times, I found that character to be true.  God brought people into my life to mentor me through Bible study and fellowship and gradually, the God who had seemed intangible was becoming more and more real to me.  He was part of me and I couldn’t imagine my life without Him.  But still, I had much to learn about myself and the God of Love.  Life is not always easy.  Challenges come.  Mistakes are made.  But our God is always faithful.  Soon I would come to learn just how faithful He is. 
And that, as they say was only the beginning...
Living for Him,



Please join me over at Spiritual Sundays, hosted by Charoltte & Ginger, and Brag on God Fridays, hosted by Laura, for more encouraging devotionals.

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13 comments

  1. Oh Joan! Thank you for sharing your testimony. I can't wait to read the next part.
    Our GOD is so Gracious to choose us and to show us His everlasting Love. Blessings~

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  2. Joan:

    This is a beautiful testimony. Your story sounds a bit like mine - I was raised in church and had an awareness of God. I even knew that Jesus was the only way to the Father and that in order to spend eternity with Him, I must give my heart to Christ.

    However, it wasn't until my 40's that I truly began developing a relationship with Him. And as you said, "that was only the beginning..."

    Looking forward to reading more.

    Blessings,
    Joan

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  3. Yes! You are called by name! Now I'm waiting to hear more (part 2) about my little sis!

    Lovingly, Bonita

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  4. Thank you for sharing your testimony. God does work in ways that are beyond our comprehension. It is so amazing that he chose us, and that the creator of the universe loves us and wants a relationship with us. Wow!

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  5. Thank you for opening up and sharing your testimony, this will help so many on their paths to Him!

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  6. What a beautiful testimony. I look forward to part 2. It really is mind boggling to think that the creator of the universe wants to have a personal relationship with us. Thank you for sharing,
    Blessings,
    Charlotte

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  7. In my thirties, my relationship with God deepened. I grew up in the knowledge and witness of God's love but there was something about my growing older that afforded me a deeper love in and for my Savior.

    Good to hear more of your story...

    peace~elaine

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  8. I can't wait to hear part 2!

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  9. Thank-you for sharing your inspiring story!

    HSS!

    love,kelee

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  10. What a great testimony.God new what mistakes we were going to make before he made us and still wanted us.
    God Bless,
    Ginger

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  11. Thank you for sharing your sweet testimony. It is humbling to know that he chose us just the way we are.
    Blessings,
    Annette

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  12. Love the Ephesians verse, knowing He chose me! Blessed this morning to read how God used that verse as a tiny seed in your life. What a blessing you are to so many.

    I hope your Tuesday is crowned with peace.
    Pamela

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  13. What a tender story of these steps of faith: the planting of seeds;
    the watering;
    the tender shoot;
    and then the roots growing ever-deeper.

    Your story is beautiful. It honors God. You reflect Him well. I'm so glad He pursues us -- each in a unique way. Grateful for your story here, Joan.

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