A REAL Relationship with our heavenly Father
I did not grow up in the church, although my family and I did attend now and then. When I was young I was told that if we ask Jesus into our heart, then we are saved. So of course I wanted to go to heaven, so when I was in elementary school, I said, Jesus come into my heart, like they said to do. So, that was it. I thought I was covered. I went on living my life the way I always had. I figured I had a personal relationship with Him, after all, I did pray to God every now and then. I was pretty wild growing up, but I was just looking for excitement. I wanted to live life to the fullest. I was rebellous in my teenage years, which included running away from home, many bad relationships with guys, the drinking and partying scene, more or less, trying to live life to the fullest!! OH, and if you would have asked me if I was a Christian during all this, I would have said, OF COURSE!!
When I was around age 22, (in 1982) my parents and I went to visit North Carolina, they have a cabin there.
While we were there, I talked to a friend of ours there. She had given her life to the Lord and
I knew that there was something different about her than other people. When she was around, she
was always praising the Lord and talking about how good God was. Although everyone else that I knew
claimed to be Christians, there was still something different about her. She glowed and I knew she
had something that not many people had. (I later found out it was a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus).
Well, I knew if I had questions about God, she would be the best person to go to, so we talked while I was
there and she invited me to church and gave me Christian books to read. I hated to have to go back to Orlando
Florida, (where we lived), because I had so many questions I wanted to ask her and I didn't really know of
anyone back home that was so excited about the Lord as she was. So, we ended up going home, I attended
church a few times there, I got very confused, (especially when the people started raising their hands and yelling
praise the Lord, I didn't know what that was all about.) I even went to a different church where they didn't do that, but
it was too boring for me, they all just sat there. So, I eventually just quit going to church and kept living my life for myself,
looking for excitement and fun any way I could.
My parents eventually moved to North Carolina and I stayed in Florida and attended college. I went through many cases of depression and about two years ago, when I was 27, I moved up to North Carolina to be closer to my family. After I moved to NC, my parents invited me to a little church they attended. I became interested in the Lord again, so I went out and bought myself a good Bible. I began reading the Bible starting with Matthew, and eventually read the whole Bible. I also started praying at night before I went to bed. I felt a need every night to ask the Lord into my heart to make sure He was there and because I was wanting to be sure He was there. I also made a beeline to the lady's house that had such a close relationship with the Lord, I still had so many questions, so we sat and talked about the Bible a lot.
February 13, 1998. The day I met Jesus personally and my life was changed forever!
After living in NC for about a year, I came down with my depression again. This time, I got very sick also and had not been able to eat for a couple of days. I was so sick I couldn't get up off the couch. I was all alone and I began to cry while I was laying there. I was so upset, I didn't understand why I felt so alone, if I was a Christian, I thought that the Lord was supose to fill that empty space that was in me, yet I was so alone and empty inside. This made me cry even more. I knew there had to be more to God than just saying prayers at night and going to church and reading the Bible. I knew God was out there somewhere! Something inside me told me there had to be more to God than what I had. I began crying out to God and asking Him where He was. I asked Him why I felt so alone inside. I just kept calling Him and calling Him. Then I told Him if He loved me, I needed Him to show me, because what I needed most in the whole world at that moment was to know that God loved me! I wanted Him to maybe just move something in the room or something to let me know He was there and that He cared. I sat there and waited. Nothing happened. I cryed out to Him some more and told Him to show me He was there. Still nothing. I was willing to do anything at that moment to get closer to God. I had never gotten down on my knees when I prayed, I always felt like God could hear me where ever I was, that I didn't NEED to get on my knees, but I guess I knew deep down inside it was a matter of my pride. So I was willing to show God I meant business this time, and I attempted to do something I never did before when I prayed. I slid right off the couch onto my knees and bowed my head to pray. The verse "Ask and you shall receive popped into my head, so I said, "Lord, I am asking, I need you most now, please come to me and give me strength and guidance!" ALL OF A SUDDEN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL FEELING FILLED ME FROM HEAD TO TOE! It was like all of the most wonderful feelings I had ever felt in all my life wrapped up into one and multiplied by 1,000,000,000. Then, I started crying. But this was not an ordanary cry. I had never experienced a cry like this before. As I let out about 4 cries, with each cry, I could feel God pulling out the pain, loneliness, depression and hurt. It felt as though He was cleansing me. I felt so clean and new, and in replace of what He took out, which was the pain and loneliness, He left a feeling of pure PEACE. This peace can not be put into human words or explained in a way that anyone can understand, but the feeling of peace was so soothing and beautiful, I could no longer hold myself up on the couch and had to lay my upper body down on the couch where I had been kneeling to pray. As laid there in a state of pure blissful peace, I heard a voice! The voice was that of my Savior Jesus and He said, "All you had to do is ask." As I was laying there, all I could do was say thank you, over and over and over! Then suddenly it was like a veil was taken off of my eyes and I realized that all those people that talked about getting filled with the Spirit, I now understood what they meant. I had just been filled with the Holy Spirit!! Wow, what a feeling. There is no feeling from anything on this earth that can give you the feeling that the Holy Spirit can give. There is no drug, no drink, no physical pleasures in all the earth that can ever measure up to the feeling of God when His Holy Spirit fills a person. It was so amazing, it changed my life and I have never been the same. The Lord left a fire burning in me to do His will and to tell others what God can do for them.
When the Holy Spirit filled me, He filled that empty space that was inside of me. That space that I was always trying to "fill" with something. HE FILLED IT. The emptyness is gone!! Praise the Lord! Hallelujah!!
As I was saying before I started giving my testimony, no one had told me about what a PERSONAL relationship with Jesus Christ was
all about. I heard a lot about what Jesus could do for me and I heard a lot of people talk about Jesus, but I was never taught that
this relationship was PERSONAL in the sense that we know personal from relationships that we are able to have with one another.
The churches I always attended never taught about the "filling of the Holy Spirit" or the manifestations of God's Holy Spirit. I was more
or less taught that we pray and somehow God is working things out. After I found out that God still speaks to His children the way
He did in the Bible I was brought into a new level with God that I never knew existed! After I found out about how personal this relationship
was, I went on my own little quest to find out what else was in store for me with this new relationship and Jesus never stops pouring out the blessings!! He is still as personal with me today as He was when I first found Him!
A relationship with Jesus Christ is more than feelings I would like to add. It was through my faith and obedience that I "experienced God". Through faith we must believe in God's Word! Then step out in faith and DO what God's Word says! It is as easy as that - Faith and Obedience! You can't have a relationship with Jesus without the Bible and prayer. The Bible is God's Word, God's Word is authority over all. We must read the Bible daily and spend our time in prayer daily, to build this relationship with our heavenly Father. Praise the Lord for such a beautiful relationship that God's children can have with HIM!
Go to our heavenly Father. He is real, He hears your EVERY word. Get closer to Him and He will get closer to you. God wants fellowship with His children. AND NEVER GIVE UP ON HIM. Some people miss out on this personal and powerful relationship with Jesus because they gave up or feel what they know about God is enough and struggle through life and miss what all He can do for us! Get in the BIBLE and believe His promises. They are for you. They are not just for special people or someone else. Every promise in the Bible is for you. If God says He loves you, HE DOES! If God says He loves you so much He sent His Son Jesus to die for you, HE DID! This is not to be taken lightly. This is the Word of God.
God is truly wonderful and really is there for those who call for Him. He is there for everyone, all it takes is to reach out to Him. He is all about LOVE and He only wants the best for us.