There are moments in your childhood that really stand out and define how you look at life. I had one of those moments back in the ‘70’s. The first “Smile God Loves You” happy faces were coming out. There was buzz in the air about spirituality and talk of God being dead.
As a teenager I would discuss things with my mother. One day she asked me if I thought God was dead. I don’t remember my response, but her comments stuck with me. She said with all the bad things going on in this world she believed that God had died, leaving us abandoned. Since the only true God was dead there was no hope.
My mother still went to church religiously, just in case she was wrong. But her spirit seemed crushed to me. This sent me into a downward spiral. I still hoped she was wrong, but she was my mother. How could she be wrong on this? She was raised in a rectory by her aunt and the priests after her mother died. She was the one who made sure we went to church. She was an authority on God in my eyes.
My only escape and refuge at this time was to spend hours lying on the grassy hill-side in the cemetery across from my house. It was the most peaceful place in the world for me. I would lie there and talk to God. He would listen, I believed, but He never answered me. I wondered if He was just another figment of my imagination. Either way, the time spent lying there always left me refreshed.
Life went on and years later there was a tug at my heart to go deeper with God. There was an unfulfilled need in me. My husband, Bob was going through a spiritual awakening at this time, which he had been afraid to share with me. His awakening was brought on by a three-year long debate and conversation with a co-worker who challenged him about his beliefs.
To make a long story short, my husband committed his life to the Lord one Sunday morning. I struggled with this decision until a few weeks later. One night in a quiet house with the kids in bed, for the first time Bob and I knelt together and began to pray. We cried out to God for the joy we had seen in others that we did not have. Right then and there at the foot of our bed, God answered. We felt His presence come into the room. It was amazing and wonderful. I told Bob that God was there. Then I began speaking words that were not going through my mind. These words were encouraging to us, confirming that God was real and alive.
That was my salvation moment. The thought that had been planted in my head as a child about God’s death was proven wrong. My life’s message since then has been that God is alive and He loves all of us. I don’t know what messages were planted in you as a child. Some of them possibly were not right. Take my story as an encouragement and know that I am a witness to God’s life and love. Ask Him to show Himself to you. I know He will.
Enjoy your week. I’ll be back next week with more.