Thursday, January 12, 2012

Soul-searching... again

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!

1 comment:

Deborah said...

I think have some of the same questions and we've been reading some of the same stuff! You're right, people can find scripture to support just about anything, so it's hard to weed through it all to find the truth.
Another thing that's a problem is confusing our standing with our state. Once we are saved, we are 'in Christ' and nothing can change that. Our state, however, is a whole other thing, and it can change from day to day if we aren't staying close to God. Even Christian are capable of horendous sins if they get far enough from God.