I was born in Germany during the sixties. My parents were, what you may call, average normal Christians: They went to church whenever there was a (baby) baptism, confirmation (protestant), wedding, or a funeral. Up until I was about 10 years old, each night my parents prayed a children’s prayer Müde bin ich, geh zur Ruh. After that I was left to decide whether to pray or not on my own.
Being a good Protestant I had confirmation at the age of 14. This was a crucial time in my life: I was very curious about God and God’s world. I was searching for answers to my many questions. So I kept asking the preacher about things. Sad, but true, I was left hungry. His answer, for example, to my question of where God is was, “God is not in the world, God is the world” was an answer that made no sense to me.
Growing up I became rebellious and more and more bitter. I was scared. All I wanted to do is to escape the madness at home: My parents were constantly fighting and threatening to take their lives.
I had just finished vocational school when I became pregnant at the age of 20. What better thing to do then to get married and to have a great family? But what followed were many years filled with abusive behavior, tears, hardships, screaming – you name it! And the marriage ended in a divorce!
Yes, the Lord was always there for me. But I was blind and deaf. I did not see nor hear Him. What I did see, though, was the faith my little boy had back then. One day, when he was about 3 years old, he said to me: “Mom? You know what? When Jesus comes back I want to give Him a BIG hug!”
A dramatic experience that changed my life forever
It happened during an evening when I was alone at home and my boy was already asleep. On that evening I yearned for God so desperately. I needed some answers! “Why God? Why?” I asked.
The Holy Spirit led me to a few pages in my Bible that opened my eyes. No, I didn’t hear an audible voice, nor did I see an angel or a vision. It was more than that. At a time when I wasn’t familiar with the books of the Bible at all, page numbers kept coming to my mind. I opened my Bible and kept on reading and reading.
I read words in my Bible that seemed to have been written just for me. Words that pointed me to times and sins in my broken life. I felt so bad and thought I was going to die, right there and then! I was ready for the big thunder and lightning coming down on me to kill me.
Then I heard that soft voice again (not audible but within my heart) which said: “Open your Bible to page…” Again, I was afraid. At first I did not want to open my Bible because I was scared to read more about myself and my sinful life. I answered: “No. Please, no!” But the gentle voice kept on telling me to open my Bible and so I did.
What I read then still touches my heart very much every time I’m telling or writing down this story. The words are found in Isaiah 43:1
Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.
By that time my knees and my face were on the floor. I was sobbing, having trouble to handle all the thoughts and emotions inside of me. It was hard to believe how the LORD could save a person like me.
All of this happened in my living room, with no one else present but the Holy Spirit and me, and nearly thirty years ago. I know, to some people this may sound strange but this is my testimony on how I came to know the LORD.
Bless the LORD, O my soul
I’m glad my born-again experience happened at home. It was His perfect place and timing for me.
You may have been led to say “the sinner’s prayer” and then have been left to find out things for yourself. Or, you may have been misled to believe that, once you become a Christian, your sorrows and problems will just vanish.
The new life isn’t explained within a minute or two. Let me tell you this much, though: As believers in Christ we can face the same problems here on earth as non-believers do but with one great difference: we live in the knowledge that He is faithful and will
- forgive all our iniquities,
- heal all our diseases
- redeem our life from destruction
- crown us with lovingkindness and tender mercies
- satisfy our mouth with good things, so that our youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Being a Christian does make a difference!
Yes, the Christian life isn’t always easy, here on earth. Here we will face times when our tears are just running down our cheeks. When a loved one dies we grieve. When our children go the wrong way we have sorrows. When our bodies age and ache we feel the pain.
But we also know that one day:
God shall wipe away all tears… and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.