“From Atheist to Agnostic to Now Saved!”
I did not grow up in a Christian household, although my mother did expose me to Jesus at very young age. She shared the Bible truths of creation, the story of Moses and the power God gave him to split the seas in half, and Jesus coming to die for us on the cross. Although my family believed in and told me about God, their lives did not reflect it. Irregularly attending mass (services) and reading the same chapter in the Bible, coupled with praying the same prayer every night was the extent of their “walk with God.” As I grew older, seeing how my family treated and walked with God, it made me believe that He was some sort of genie I could come to whenever I needed or wanted something.
“I did not understand the true character of God and the type of relationship He desired from us.”
As a child, the Bible became one of my favorite books, filled with fairy tales; God became my favorite imaginary friend. As the years passed, I began to ask tougher questions that nobody was able to answer. So, I began to search for the answers on my own. I wanted to understand the mysteries of the world and its Creator. I searched many different avenues of religions and beliefs that this world had to offer, tasting and seeing each of them in search of some type of fulfillment. I searched endlessly for the majority of my high school years, daily passing by the Book with all of the answers on my bedside table.
The lack of answers made me very uncomfortable. As an attempt to fix it, I began to believe in many types of religions and gods simultaneously. I figured that if I practiced all of the religions, then hopefully one of them would be honoring to God. I prayed prayers, read spells, meditated, fasted, and went on strikes of silence. I was generous to others without expecting anything in return and drowned my time in good works to be considered a good person. However, as I did what so many of these religions commanded, in the end, I felt as though I was drifting even further away from the truth.
By the end of my senior year in high school, I hit an all-time low. Things at home were not going well. In the winter of 2012, a beloved family member attempted suicide in front of me, and as I cried out to whatever god would pity me, my heart froze and became hardened. From that point in time, I decided in my heart that there was no God. I didn’t want a god to exist because if he did, he would have answered my call. I felt as though he would have given me an easier life: a real god would have been there for me when I needed him the most.
“As my bitterness and hatred towards the Lord settled in my heart, I began to become content within myself.”
I got a job, bought my first car, made good friends, and went back to school. I was also able to slightly mend family wounds. I was finally happy and felt at peace with my life. For the next 2 years, I avoided all spiritual matters and inwardly laughed at those who professed to believe in God. I considered myself wiser than them and thought of them as using God as a crutch.
In April 2014, a friend mentioned the topic of eternity. I told him that if there was a heaven, then I would go there because I was a victim of this world, yet remained a good person helping those in need. My friend looked at me and bluntly told me that if I died today, then I was going to go to hell. I had never been so offended and furious in my entire life. I couldn’t understand why he was so sure about his statement toward me. I spent that night researching the different interpretations of hell and what it might be like if I died and ended up there.
To prove to my friend that I wasn’t going to go to hell and that I was a good person, I went to his church that Sunday. As I sat in the pews by myself, I watched the church members praise God. I wasn’t saved that day, but something within me softened. For multiple weeks, I continued to visit his church. I bought a Bible and attempted to separate myself from a lot of worldly habits and superstitions. I began to read through the Gospel of Matthew every other night.
The night that I read Matthew 27, the crucifixion of Christ, it brought a new meaning into my life. Even though I had heard about Jesus’ death and had seen many movies about it, this new profound meaning was different. Initially, I couldn’t understand why Jesus died, and I wouldn’t have ever intended to place Him on the cross.
“However, God’s mercy toward me became so evident as He began to deal with my pride and brought all of my sins to my mind.”
I had never felt so ashamed and overwhelmed by the sins in my life. The profound truth of Christ enduring God’s wrath toward my sins while dying on the cross, in my place, vividly replayed in my mind. I finally understood the connection between the implications of my sins and their effect on my eternity. At that very moment, I got out of bed and knelt before the Lord. I repented with faith and wholeheartedly received Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
That night in June 2014, I felt broken into so many pieces, acknowledging what I deserved. But that same night the Lord, with firm, yet loving hands, washed me and made me whole, filling my heart with an inner peace that has never left me!
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
The Lord has dealt with me patiently and saved me from my wicked and destructive way. He desires the same for you.
Psalms 21:4 says: “He asked life of thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever.”
I love this verse because it sums up what salvation is and how simple it is. The Lord wants to give you life abundantly; you must simply repent and ask in faith with your whole heart. Since being saved, my life has been transformed with the Holy Spirit, and I can sincerely state that I refuse to go back to the person I used to be. Jesus brings a peace and hope into my heart that is foreign to this world. I once lived a life with no direction and so much confusion. I did not understand where I was headed, but with Christ in my life, now I KNOW my purpose and where my eternity lies.