Back in 2014, I wrote a post in which I briefly mentioned some religiously-related events in my life and promised I would expand on them at a later date. I never did because “other topics” seemed more important, more interesting, and/or more pressing.
However, prompted by a comment and some questions made by rawgod on that old post, I decided to FINALLY fulfill my promise and write about my conversion to Christianity. Some of it may be “old news” as I made reference to the event in my book, and I think I’ve also related a bit of it in various blog comments. In any event, here’s the story.
Technically, I was not raised in church. There was a brief time when I was very young (4? 5?) that I was exposed to Catholicism — primarily to satisfy my father’s parents who were very (!) devout Catholics. He himself did not attend church and my mother wasn’t at all religious. Fortunately (I say now), one of the “Sisters” in catechism class treated me quite badly one day and that ended my participation in the Catholic faith.
Religion entered the picture again in my teenage years when I was invited to attend church services (Lutheran and Congregational) by a couple of my girlfriends. I found the experiences boring and declined any future invitations.
My next exposure came when I was in my early 20’s after marrying my first husband. Although he was not religious, his parents were. They rarely attended church but his father NEVER failed to read the bible EVERYDAY. In any event, my relationship with them was not how I eventually became a Christian.
It actually happened rather indirectly through association with a married couple that were friends of my husband. It had become a fairly regular occurrence for them to come to our house for dinner and we would sit around afterwards and chat. Oddly, on more than one occasion, we would get on the topic of religion. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t have been interested, but the wife was a lapsed Nazarene and she often shared some of her more amusing church experiences. Then one night, for whatever reason, we began discussing the Book of Revelation (the last book of the bible) with its strange — and frightening — “end-time” events.
Since I had never been exposed to these stories, I have to tell you they made me very uncomfortable. Even so, I wanted to know more — so in between our get-togethers, I dug out the bible I had purchased many years before (simply because it had a white cover with gold lettering and I thought it was “pretty”) and started reading. Unfortunately, some of what I read was even scarier than what we had covered in our discussions and I became more and more anxious.
Eventually, my discomfort became so great that I approached my mother-in-law about my feelings. She obviously could see how deeply affected I was so she arranged for me to meet with the pastor of a Pentecostal church they occasionally attended.
As I sat down with “Brother and Sister” Weston (name has been changed) in their living room, I immediately began questioning them about all that I’d heard and read. They listened for awhile and answered a few questions, but eventually “Brother” (Pastor) Weston commented, “You can’t understand a story by reading the last chapter.”
He then went on to talk about Jesus, who he was, why he came, and how he could change my life. All of this was totally new to me and I absorbed it like a dry, thirsty sponge. Needless to say, by the time our meeting was over, I had prayed the “sinner’s prayer” and tearfully “accepted Christ into my heart.”
As I walked out their front door after our meeting, little did I know how drastically my life was going to change! Was it for the better? I thought so for 15-plus years.
But life is full of changes, is it not?