This is not my salvation story, but rather how I turned back to the Lord.
I had been a Christian for many years, but I did not have that peace that Jesus talked about. I had thought that I had understood the basics of scripture, but I was to find out later that I just hadn’t gotten “it”. A lot of the time I was angry and not knowing why.
I continued going to church and kept my anger and depression hidden. It was not intentional deception, it was just the way I was, always smiling.
By 1990 I was on the foreign mission field. I would like to say I grew by leaps and bounds as I saw hundreds coming to know God, but that is not what happened. My struggles and lack of understanding had gone with me overseas.
I returned home in 1994 and by February of 1995 that depression I had felt most of my life, (not recognizing it as depression), was in severe panic mode.
Genesis 2:18 says: “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone.” I felt that this was my biggest source of pain, loneliness, but it was so much more than that, and God could fix it all if He wanted to. So guess who caught the blame and my fury at this unfulfilled life? God.
I remember in some of the worst times, pounding on the steering wheel of my car and screaming, F-you to God. This, to the One who would give me my very next breath.
One night, alone in my room, my world seemed to collapse in on itself. I felt alone and abandoned by God. I couldn’t see any hope and it was one of the scariest times in my life. It was bad. I just didn’t want to “be” anymore. John 10:28 came to mind,(about nothing taking us out of the Father’s hand). Knowing that I was headed to a very dark place, I said to God, “don’t let go of me.” He never did. He loved me thorough all of the awfulness.
It took about ten years of not going to church, no bible reading, next to no Christian fellowship, doing my own thing and generally feeling miserable before I got the nudge to start reading God’s Word. Just a little. Prayer was difficult, but slowly things were changing.
A new acquaintance was telling me about the church he was going to. When I walked into Christian Hill, on a Sunday long ago, I was happy to see some friends from my old church, but it was the song service that got to me. Tears were streaming down my face as we sang His praise. I started reading the Word again opening up to God. He has taught me so much, not the least of which is His faithfulness, even when I am not. I had some repenting to do.
Somewhere along the line “it” had become about me and now I was finally seeing that “it” is about Him. Whatever happens, whether my heart’s desires are never met in this life or not, He is still God. Life is not a constant ray of sunshine. There is still hard stuff to deal with, but I am looking to our Father’s promise that, “no eye has see, nor heart imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Cor. 2:9), and that helps restore my hope.