I think I do this every few years. I'm searching. Things that have been happening, have left me with questions about what I believe. I'm questioning everything again. I'm so confused. I can find well-written, expertly researched articles with scriptural evidence to support almost any claim !??? Eek! What DO I belive? I recently read about universalism. They believe that everyone is going to heaven and that there is no such thing as a literal hell. This one has really floored me. Check it out for yourself! I just don't have the time to read everything there is to read but I'm just a little shaken.
My salvation. I think I wrote my testimony on here once. I should read it again. Here's the gist of it as I remember it.
As a child, I attended an evangelical summer bible camp. I was 2 months from my 8th birthday. My counsellor explained that Jesus had died for my sins and that if I said I was sorry for my sins and asked Him to come live in my heart then He would and I would get to go to heaven. Seemed like a good deal, so I did it! I buried my head into my brown sleeping bag, prayed and asked Jesus if He would live in my heart! After that I continued to attend church with my parents and thought of myself as a Christian. It was shortly after this experience that a dark family secret was revealed and my family life was turned upside down. In my teens, influenced by peer pressure I started to participate in worldly pleasures. I think I enjoyed the attention I got from "being bad". I spent more and more time with my school chums, less and less time with my church friends. I still attended church, worked at the bible camp in the summers and felt so close to the Lord during those summers! I prayed and read my bible everyday! Journalled all my devotions and really wanted to serve the Lord. But, I felt like I lived a double life at the time because upon returning to my school friends I returned to my sinful life. When I was 16 I decided that I should get baptized, a class was starting up and I remember thinking that maybe if I made a public declaration of my commitment to God that I would have an easier time resisting temptation. I was wrong. After high school, I moved to the big city and dove headlong into a world of sinful pleasures. I smoked, drank, did drugs and was promiscuous. I felt that I was unlovable because of my wickedness and did not believe that God could love or forgive me for any of the awful things I was doing. I did some things that are so wicked that I rarely speak of them. I felt like scum.
After 5 years of living in the depts of the world and having nothing left, I do mean nothing... spiritually, physically, monetarily, I was a bag of raw emotions. I begged my parents if I could move home. They relunctantly agreed. I met my hubby 3 months later. We became friends very quickly and I thought that maybe he would be a good influence on me because he went to a very conservative church. I was wrong... I was a BAD influence :( We got married 2 years later. Pregnant with our first baby I felt that we needed to find a church. It was the right thing to do. We attended several churches and in the end Aaron was very insistent that we attend his church. I did not want to go. I tried to make the best of things and after going there off and on for 2 years I felt like I needed to be there. I questioned my salvation experience as a child because of the sinful life I led for 5 years as an adult. I actually liked the idea that I was lost when I did all those awful things. Finally, after many times of ignoring the conviction of the Holy Spirit working on me to commit my life to God... I went forward, fell on my knees at the alter and with tears pouring off my face I begged God to save me!
I did not feel an instant relief... I needed time to process. I was invited into the office to talk privately with the Pastor's son. He did not realize what I had just asked God. He slapped his bible open and shut a couple times, announced, "you know what the bible says, you know what you need to do!" I turned to Aaron sitting by my said and asked him "what do you want me to do" he started to cry and said "I want you to get saved" I prayed and told my Lord that I felt tired and I just want him to take the lead in my life. Afterwards I was met with lots of people hugging me and congratulating me. It felt awkward. I wanted to be baptized because I felt that it was the logical next step. Joining the church was part of that step. I loved hearing the preaching and participating in the singing at church whether it was congregational or singing specials, the music and the bible really touched my heart. I slowly over time grew to be comfortable in my church.
In that last year, things have been changing.
This post is getting long. I'll continue tomorrow... or whenever I pull this thingy out again!