I was baptized as a baby, but even though I grew up knowing about God and Jesus, I thought that I had to be a good person – that it was something I had to do on my own. I was on this huge roller coaster ride. I would try to be good, but when things did not turn out the way I wanted, I would get angry at God. I could never understand why my life could not be easier. So I would give up on believing that God cared, because I knew I could never be good enough.
Then one day, just over a year ago, a friend invited me to come to her church. The first time I prayed, I was so moved by the Holy Spirit that I sat there in tears asking God to forgive me for all my sins. Since then, I have been on an amazing journey. I discovered that God desperately wanted a relationship with me, that at times He was actually chasing me. It was not about being a good person; it was simply because He loved me.
This summer I told the pastor that I was thinking about being baptized again. He encouraged me to go ahead with it, so I did. He had talked about the fact that right after a person is baptized seems to be when he or she experiences some of the greatest tests. For me, my tests came this summer. They started when I lost my permanent job. Soon after, my car was stolen.
In the past, I would have walked away, feeling like God did not care. My thought process would have been, what was the use in believing when bad things happened anyway? But this summer I read a book called Shattered Dreams. It talked about how God wanted a deeper relationship with me. I did not have the answers as to why these things were happening to me, but I knew I had to trust God. In the end, as many of you know, prayers were answered. I was given a vehicle by someone in our church. Then I got another permanent position. These days, life is very good.
I just want to share how amazing God’s love is. He does listen to us. He really just wants a relationship with us. At a special women’s night in October 2009, I was told my gift from God was celebration. Life has been an amazing celebration. I was also given the verse of Psalms 18:2:
The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my Savior;
My God is my rock, in whom I find protection.
He is my shield, the power that saves me,
And my place of safety.
I finally understand that God just wants a relationship with me simply because I am His child.