This is my attempt to write down my testimony of how I came to believe in Christ.
It was February 1994. I was attending a school for tourism and studied to become a hostess. I had a friend in that school and with her I went out for a walk every lunch-brake. We talked about al sorts of things and also about her being a Christian. The town she comes from, is known as a town where almost everyone believes in a very strict way. She once said "If I walk through town on a Sunday afternoon and I wear pants or jeans I am considered a bad, non-religious girl. But I think that is not what the Bible says." Not being raised as a Christian I did not know what to say, because I did not know what the Bible said about it. I had been on a Christian primary school and they gave everyone that left school a Bible, so I had one at home. I decided that I would start reading the Bible so that I could talk more with my friend about her faith.
On 15th of February 1994 I had a bad day. Life had not always been easy to me and although on the outside everything was nice in my life now, I still had scars and wounds that hurt a lot and made that I frequently was depressed. Now no one knew about those depressions. I knew how to mask all those hurts and put up a pleasant face. In past times when I had tried to tell people how I really felt, I was not taken seriously. Especially not by my parents, who saw my brave face every day. They thought I had made it through all the difficulties just fine. So this day I felt all the weight of the world on my shoulders again and lay on my bed crying. Most of the times I cried myself to sleep, to forget. (I have always had a very strong sense of good and bad. Through everything I always tried to choose for good.) Besides my own hurts I saw so many people around me who had their wounds and scars. How can this be? I thought. So much pain and hurting? But I do believe in good, and I always will believe in the power of good!! Now all of a sudden, after this proclamation (which I said aloud) I turned very calm. I stopped crying and was so calm that I could not believe it. (If you are used to crying yourself asleep, this is a very strange experience!) So I sat up straight and thought: "Well, what shall I do now?" I looked round and saw my Bible on my bedside table. Okay lets read a bit. I opened my Bible and started reading. All of a sudden, while I was reading, there was a hand on my shoulder and a voice next to my ear said: "Read that again, your answer is in there"
Now, I was sitting with back against the wall, there was no-way someone could be standing behind me or even be in my (very small) bedroom with me without me knowing it. But I did not even realize this; I simply did what the voice had said to me and read it again. It became clear to me what Gods answer to one of my questions was and than it hit me! God existed! It was true! I started to realize what had just happened. Something was tickling my chin, so I absentmindedly stroke it away. My hand was wet and only then I noticed tears were streaming down my face again. But this time it were tears of joy. I jumped out of bed and sat at my desk to write to my friend about what had happened. Something strange happened again. I started writing, but when I came to a point that I did not know how to continue, my pen just kept on writing. I looked what it was writing and thought: "yes thats right", and took over again and wrote on. This actually happened a couple of times. When I came to closing down the letter I again felt a hand on my shoulder and than a presence leaving. Like someone said, you will be okay from here on. I have never been really depressed anymore. I have felt sad or relived past hurts when God started healing me, but I have never known this misery without hope of ever ending it, again. I still have a photocopy of the letter today and you can clearly see two different handwritings.
Although I now knew God existed, I still was a long way off from meeting Jesus as my personal Savior. So I knew God existed, now what do I do?
My families, from both sides, are non-believers. Even for generations back. The only one I know who believed, is my mothers grandmother, she was a catholic. There was no one in my direct surroundings I could talk to or ask advice. So what should I do? I decided that I would read my Bible through completely and than go looking for the church I thought fitted best with what I had learned. I was afraid of stepping into the wrong church. I thought: "so many churches and they all say something different, I am not converted now to walk straight into the wrong church." (This is of course how I thought then. I know now most churches only differ in details and one is as good as the other as long as the true gospel is quoted and they love and obey Jesus.) Reading the Bible took me about two years. In the mean time I met Tom. In such a crazy way that, when it became a serious relationship everyone said we were meant for each other. Of course now we recognize the hand of God. Unfortunately I also got sidetracked in this time. By reading a book I got convinced the true God could be found in a sort of new-age Christianity. I read some books about divers new-age practices and got more and more convinced that was were I ought to be. Luckily, God brought another book on my path, called: "Misled by new-age" The story of a man who thought he served Jesus for years and than discovered it was in fact the devil, and then really met Jesus. When I first saw the title of the book I thought: "Yea, sure. I found the truth and now you are telling me I am misled?" But I always was one for hearing every side and decide for myself, so I took home the book and thought: "Lets see what he has to say" It saved my life.
After reading this book I said: "All I want is the one true God, the one who touched my life almost two years ago." I threw out the new-age books I had, turned away from everything that was new-age and started reading my Bible again. Then the trouble started real good. It was like, until then the devil had had his hand in my life but did not touch me. When I started to turn away he grabbed me and drove his claws in my life. I had very strange experiences after choosing for God again. My moods started to change rapidly and very strong. One moment I could walk through the house singing, (not knowing why I was so extremely happy) and the next moment I could be crying my eyes out (not knowing why). Once I was doing the dishes. In my hand I had a bread knife. Suddenly it was like the moment froze, and I felt how it would feel to stab a person with it. I could feel flesh and that hitting a bone. It was horrible! I also almost threw someone down the stairs. It was lunchtime at my work and I walked with a couple of colleagues to the restaurant downstairs. Suddenly there was this voice in my head: "a little push" and my hand started to move towards the back of the person walking in front of me. When it was half way, I suddenly came to my senses and thought: "o, my God, what am I doing?"
These things happened end of December 1995. When I had had so much I could not take any more, I prayed to the Lord that He would take it away and I promised that the first Sunday of January I would go to church. I felt I could not handle this on my own any longer and that I needed to find a church. I had been busy with finding out which church said what, and which churches were in town. (I had moved to this town half a year before this.) I had been in a church in this town a couple of times when I was a little girl, with a friend from primary school. Since I lived in this town I had been trying to find out where it was, but had not been able to find it. Just two weeks before two nice ladies came by to bring me a plant and a little book from the collective churches of the town to welcome me as a new citizen in this town. Everything was in there. Where to find what church. In short what they stood for, and times of services. So I knew where to find that church again. I decided to start with that church. Maybe the fact that I had been there as a little girl, was a sign from God. If I had the feeling I was wrong there, I would go on try the next church, but I knew I had to start somewhere now.
It was a sign of God! When I arrived there, the mother of a former school friend was at the door welcoming everybody. Right after the service, the people who had taken me to this church when I was a little girl came to me to welcome me. They could not believe their eyes, seeing me there. These people became my spiritual parents, teaching me the first things of the gospel, introducing me to people, and Christianity. One month later a guest preacher explained so clearly, who Jesus was, that he was God and what he did for us, that at that point I decided: "this is it! I will stay here, I want to be baptized and I will go for this." Up until then I had trouble with how to see Jesus, and believing what he had done for me and that that really was my salvation. One month later I was baptized.
So this is the story how God saved me. I am in church now for two years. I have learned to love my Heavenly Father more and more, got to know my Savior, King and Bridegroom Jesus on a personal bases, and I learned and am still learning to walk with the loving instructions of Holy Spirit.
May God bless every single one of you who visit this page.
If this is only an attempt, what will the complete story look like?
Monica did some of the tests too.... Here are her results!
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