For most of the 27 years of my life I tried to avoid religion. My mind was unable to wrap around the abstract notion of faith. I could not comprehend the importance of or need for religion. I wasn't atheist because I believed in the possibility, but I was more of agnostic. That basically means I was skeptical about the ability to know or not know about the existence of a deity.
A few years ago my life was stuck in an endless, destructive cycle. I spent all of my free time playing video games for hours and hours upon end. I was working 60-80 hours per week in a salaried job that I had grown to hate. There were a few times I even worked 24 hours straight for that job. I had always thought that was the career I was destined for because I didn't have a college degree.
But I desperately needed a change.
One day I had the sudden inspiration to look into the local community college. I barely made the deadline to sign up for that term's spring classes and enrolled in one course that was completely online. It was the first change in my life that would lead me down a new path.
That summer I stepped down from my salaried position and transferred to a different store. I was going to work evenings and take full-time classes during the day. That fall I met my fiancee through one of those classes, and we also realized we both worked evenings at the same store. We hit it off immediately and my life has become better ever since.
We occasionally went to her old church across town with her Grandma. While I enjoyed seeing her family, things never really changed for me while attending there. I still wasn't certain of my ability to believe, to have faith.
Seven months ago we decided to try and find a church nearby because she believed it would be important to belong to a church that we can attend as a family when we have children. I was willing to look around and we went to a few churches around town. We didn't go back to any of them a second time.
Then we attended a church called Point of Grace. She thought I might like the rock band-style music, and she was right about that. We also enjoyed the sermon given by the pastors. It was the most interesting church service I had ever been to, and we agreed to attend again the next weekend. We've gone every Sunday ever since, and I can officially say that I feel as though I belong to a church.
But there was more in store for me.
I've been reading a few pages each day from the Bible. We've become involved in some premarital events and some small group sessions. One of these is known as Pursuit. It is an eight-week course where we attempt to "See God as He is SO we can see ourselves as He sees us SO we can see others as He sees them". Wednesday was the sixth lesson in the course, and it seriously changed me.
Something that night struck a chord with me on a whole other level that I didn't even know existed. It is like a faith switch was suddenly flipped. I have been inspired to pray every morning and night since that session, as well as a few times during the day when I feel inspired to. I've become more open in talking about my new-found faith. I've started posting a bible verse each day on Facebook with the hope that it helps someone in some small way. If it inspires or encourages at least one person, then it was worth it.
Driving to work on Thursday morning I had the urge to turn the radio to Christian music. It has been there ever since.
A few weeks ago a family member needed to find a new job, which came at a bad time because she is getting married next month and had just put in an offer for a house. I started praying for her to find a job and yesterday I saw a Facebook post that she got a job.
My fiancee was suffering from jolts of pain yesterday. Last night I prayed for them to be healed. This morning they were gone.
A year ago I would have argued that this was coincidence. Today I believe there was a higher power at work.
I'm not here to preach and try to convert anyone. But I am here to let the world know that I am a true believer now. It took a long time, but I have finally found my faith. And I can't wait to find out where it is going to take me in my life.
Linking up with The Lightning and the Lightning Bug for the Dare to Share: Brave. This has always been a topic I've had trouble talking about and it feels great to finally be able to share it with others.