I didn’t come to know The Lord until I was 26 years old. At that point in my life, I was pretty much the opposite of a Christian. I described myself as an agnostic, really not believing in anything. My life was nowhere that I wanted it to be. I was very lost. Angry and I wasn’t sure why. Depressed over my situation. I had made a lot of mistakes. I didn’t think there was hope for happiness. My boss at the time (Rob) was a Christian and he had such a great family and just had a peaceful presence. How do I get that I wondered.
I had never even picked up a Bible in my entire life… but I had bought one for my birthday that year! A friend of mine read his every night, and somehow I just became interested in it. I started reading it like any other book I had read: from the beginning… Genesis 1 “In the beginning…” and then I stumbled my way into Exodus, got confused and stopped. “How do you do this?” I asked that friend. “This doesn’t make any sense!” He told me to start in the gospels “It’s the best parts: where Jesus is alive!” Ok, round 2… here we go. Matthew, alright these are great stories. Mark, wow these sound familiar, I think I almost understand what’s going on here. Luke, I see a pattern here. These are fantastic! Then I get to Luke 8: 11-15 The Parable of the Sower:
“This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God.Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved.Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.”
This intense feeling came over me: something clicked. I couldn’t explain it at that point (now I know it was the Holy Spirit.) All I knew was that I wanted to be good soil!
Not too long later, I started talking with my boss (and now friend) Rob about going to church (I hadn’t been to one since I was 5 years old.) He invited me to his church for a new sermon series on Why God. What perfect timing! I started going with him and his family. He also recommended a book: The Reason for God by Tim Keller from Redeemer Church in NYC. I read the it cover to cover in a day. It answered so many questions that I had for so long. This book honestly changed my life. Page 166 hit me right in the gut:
“A life not centered on God leads to emptiness. Building our lives on something besides God not only hurts us if we don’t get the desires of our hearts, but also if we do.”
This one statement helped me realize why I was always trying to fill my feelings of emptiness with anything and everything but they never made me happy. Nothing was going to be able to fill this God-shaped hole in my heart… except HIM.
At this point, I have been accepted into PA school and I am moving to Long Island in a matter of weeks. I was finishing a public speaking group I was in (yes, I am a complete nerd) and I had to do my final speech “Inspirational.” I chose to speak on my testimony up until that point. I know, the childlike faith is pretty amazing! Keep in mind, this group was part of a hospital, so I am about to give this talk to a room full of hospital administrators and human resource personnel. Looking back, I wish I had that kind of fearlessness now!
The next morning, I am at work having lunch with Rob (who is my good friend after working there for a few years) telling him about my speech. He knew that I was speaking but didn’t know the topic. I told him that the speech went well. I got to tell everyone about my favorite part of the Bible. I love Luke and the Parable to the Sower. It means so much to me now. I want to be the good soil. I remember it so clearly that he looked up and dropped his pen. “What did you say?” I said Luke is my favorite. I just understood it. It’s like a light went on! He kept staring at me, “that is the exact verse that I have been praying for you since I met you.”
Yes! I know! Amazing right?
I still wasn’t sure what was happening, but God had my attention. He had peeled away the scales from eyes. I really was once blind, but now I could see!
It was shortly after that I moved to Long Island… and this new life started.
So many amazing things have happened, along with some rough confusing things too. I have learned so much from experiences, books, friends, and mentors. I am excited to share things with you!Do you have a verse that changed you? Is there a part that God really spoke to you and the scales fell from your eyes? Or have you known the Lord your whole life?
Original painting done by my sister. I gave her the Parable of the Sower to read and this is what she created! I love it <3