I would like to share my story with you on how I found God.
I was raised in a home where there wasn’t a focus on God. While we believed in God and professed that we were Christian, we rarely went to church and never read the bible. My personal relationship with God/Jesus started when I was young, I can’t remember how old I was, but it was during that “scared of the dark” phase. I remember waking up one night and being really thirsty. I was too scared to get up and go get some water, so I remember praying to God. Moments later I heard my father waking up and going to the kitchen which meant I could go too now that the lights were switched on and I wasn’t alone. Since then, I knew that God was real. Not because of my prayer being answered, but because of how it felt to me. It felt so natural turning to God, even for something small, and it feels so good knowing that he was listening and chose to answer me.
After that I continued to pray, although not attending church/reading the bible. As a consequence, I didn’t really know what exactly Jesus did for me and why. I didn’t understand the fundamental truths. Something always felt like it was missing, God felt so far away from me.
I started university and was exposed to a whole new world: literature, philosophy, art, music. In a way this opened me up, and because I didn’t have a solid foundation in Christ I was easily swept away. Fast forward a few years later and I was still very much lost. What happened was that my seemingly innocent interests had evolved into a quest for truth, knowledge and enlightenment. To be the notion of the enlightenment was so enchanting because it promised that I would be free from my insecurities, fears and anxieties. I felt that if I could obtain this, then all my problems would magically disappear.
So, I delved deeper into anything that offered some “truth”: Tantra, Tao, Chakras, Audio Meditation, New age thinking, Eastern philosophies, etc. I remember reading this quote from a popular book about how the author believed in Jesus but did not believe that he was the ONLY way to God. So, I thought that by meditating I could get closer to God. I also smoked weed a few times as I felt like my mind could process things better. It was like when I was high, I could connect the dots and find meaning.
One day I remember reading an article that contributed to the whole “all is one” belief that was starting to grow in me. So, I decided that that was it, that I would achieve enlightenment that night. And I went into a deep meditation. I felt like I was getting closer to something, but then something felt so profoundly wrong that I couldn’t go on. I can never find ways to describe how I felt but I will try.
It’s like I was calm up to a certain point, but then the audio meditation started to near its climax and I could feel this dread upon me, so I stopped. If you asked me what it felt like on a soul level, I’d say picture falling into darkness. Then this hand reaches down and grabs you and pulls you out. You see in that moment the thing that made me stop, made me turn the audio off, that stopped me from losing my mind was Jesus. I know that He reached down and pulled me back to him.
After the meditation I felt awful: mentally, physically, in every way. I couldn’t eat, sleep or rest. After a day I went to see a pastor who we knew and told him what happened. By this point I knew that I sinned against God by turning to something other than Him. I remember just needing someone to tell me it would be ok.
The pastor prayed for me and told me that I would be fine, and that God would help me. Things got better each day. I was very fragile, I couldn’t speak to anyone and had panic attacks.
One night I was torment by the worst thoughts ever. You see, I knew that God had forgiven me, but I still believed that this sin disqualified me, and I would go to hell or be punished. I started to read the bible each day, watching sermons on TV and praying. I would say that within a few weeks I was better. I got rid of everything that tied me to my old thoughts and beliefs.
Since then, I have been walking with God, when I look back at it, I see God walking by my side. My relationship with Him is so wonderful. I have learnt to trust Him and to let Him love me. Since then, many wonderful things have happened.
So here it is: How do you find God? You don’t. He finds us. I believe that since Jesus rose, he has found and secured each and every one of us. It’s just the devil that makes us think we are lost, beyond hope and vulnerable.
My advice to anyone “looking for God” is just turn to Jesus and thank Him because He IS there, and He LOVES you. Always.