Robin, USA, Age 44
As a child, I spent most of my time feeling afraid, alone and unloved. There were many incidents of verbal and mental abuse in my family. There were also some incidents of physical abuse towards me and my other siblings. As a teenager and young adult I tried to fill the empty hole inside me with bars, drinking, men, experimenting with drugs and more. I was filled with emptiness and a longing for more.
All through my life I have attended church and even taught Sunday school. However, it seemed that either God was very far away or that I wasn’t good enough to know Him.
I had failed at marriage 3 times by the time I was 31. The marriages also contained incidents of mental abuse, verbal abuse and physical abuse. They too left me very empty and feeling unloved. At age 37, I was single, had 2 children, each one had a different father and I was pregnant with a third child. I was very embarrassed and ashamed of my life. There was a hole inside me that nothing could fill. (Or so Satan wanted me to think!)
I just knew there was more to life. Even though I was going to church regularly, I felt empty and unfullfilled. I began seeking God by going to other churches. One Sunday morning I walked into a church in the small town I lived in and it was incredible. God WAS there…I really can’t find the words to describe that day, but I can tell you that the Spirit of God was moving in that church and I then knew that there was more to KNOWING God.
In October of 1999, during this time of searching, I attended a Bible teaching conference held by a preacher named Joyce Meyer. She explained about the hope we have if we will just surrender our lives to God and accept the forgiveness in Jesus Christ. Jesus died on the cross for my sin, and if I will simply confess my sin and ask Jesus to lead my life, all my sin is washed away and I am given a new life.
A verse that really struck me on that day was Romans 5:8, “But God demonstrated His love for us in this, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” How incredible is that! I thought I had to become perfect or God would never love me…Satan had always told me I wasn’t good enough! It was so incredible…..it was truly a spiritual calling from God to come to Him! John 6:44 says “No one can come to me [Jesus] unless the Father who sent me draws him and I will raise him up at the last day” and John 6:37, “All that the Father gives me [Jesus] will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”
God extends his free gift of eternal life to everyone! “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God-children born not of natural descent, not of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God” (John 1:12-13).
I went forward with many others when they made the call for anyone who was willing to come up and accept Christ as their Savior. I repented of (turned from) my sin and surrendered my life to Him. I have never felt such relief and joy. I wept and wept.
After that day, I felt God completely filling me with His Spirit, coming into my life, reminding me of things, showing me things, teaching me, loving me, forgiving me…He is always there by my side. A whole new world opened up to me…intimacy with God, a life that was being fed by the Word of God, a direction in life that came from God instead of me, a life that was filled with peace and forgiveness and so much more. I also realized the incredible power in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us [FOR ME] so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Praise God!
Since that day, my life has continued to change. This life is still not easy…but I have strength and hope in a loving Heavenly Father. A verse that I continually think about is Philippians 4:7, “And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” I have never had the peace I now have in my life. What an incredible gift is this forgiveness, hope, and life I now have! I am eternally grateful! God, His love, His forgiveness, has filled that hole inside me…and He was waiting for me all that time!