The Moment I First Believed
When you step back and look at the world you can’t help but ask yourself “What went wrong?” But the answer is, us God’s children have fallen away from Him. I haven’t always believed in God as a matter of fact I spent the majority of my life uncertain if God was real. I was raised in a loving family but my parents did not attend church. If I ever attended church it was with my grandma or the church bus would have to come pick us up. My dad disagreed with the way people would act who supposedly were church people and a few other reasons. So, for me I did not have the foundation of knowing God was real or even have a clue what faith was about. But God definitely has a way of showing us just how real and powerful He is. I was in my middle twenties before I would realize that God was indeed real, loving and powerful. After struggling with addiction from the time I was seventeen to being sick with an unknown illness for six years I found myself in a spot of not believing. For me it was hard to imagine that if God was real why would He allow me to go through so much pain to only find myself miserable at the end. But after years of trying to find a cure for the illness that struck my body I knew that my time on earth was short. My body was tired so I began the process of making sure that Jason and our kids were taken care of. I even had the very hard conversation with my husband of letting him know I could no longer fight anymore. Then I realized whether I believed in God or not, I really did not want to take the chance of it being true and missing the opportunity to spend eternity in Heaven. I knew one thing was for sure I had already experienced enough pain in my body and torture that I most definitely did not want to go to hell if it was for real. After all I had attended hundreds of funerals and listened to countless sermons and would even find myself repeating the sinner’s prayer at the end but never could feel anything. I had heard those preachers warn about hell for the sins in our lives and how God would forgive us if we would repent. One thing was for certain I had committed a lot of sin in my life and lived a life that was not pleasing to God. So, as I laid in bed one night next to my husband knowing that my life was coming to an end I decided to repent of my sins. It only took maybe a few seconds and I just simply said “God if you are real I ask that you please forgive me of my sins now because I don’t want to confess them in front of you.” Yep that was it short and simple and absolutely straight to the point. But still I didn’t feel anything and after doing drugs for years I didn’t think anything ever happened unless I felt something. It wasn’t but about two weeks later though that God would prove to me that He is indeed real and He heard my prayer. While on a trip with my family I had a near death experience that forever changed my life and in that moment and time I believed. After dealing with being sick for so long in one moment God healed me and I have been healthy ever since. He has delivered me from the stronghold of addiction and has taught me what it’s like to be a child of God. I now know that not only is God real but so is Satan and let’s be honest Satan doesn’t like me or you. The only interest he has in any of us is our souls and torturing us in hell. I honestly believe we will see the return of Jesus in a short time and God is trying to get us all prepared but we should be honest and not fake with God or other people. I guess that’s one reason why my dad did not attend church was because people were not honest and pretended to be someone they weren’t. We all make mistakes and don’t always act the way we should nor should we judge one another but in the end, we should strive to give glory to God in everything we do which will help others believe in God as well. I’m thankful for God’s amazing grace and for the first moment in which I believed. Let’s make 2018 the best year yet and increase the Kingdom of God by being the best representatives we can be of God.
Written by; Anita J. Shipman