Part One – MY LIFE IN ADAM.
I was born, raised and educated in a religion. I attended church weekly and then some. I married my husband, Jeremy, in 1996 and when we decided to start a family, we discovered I had health issues. Naturally, without knowing God, I took control of the situation and was determined to resolve my own problems. I turned to self-help books, spiritual gurus and all sorts of herbs, teas and magic tonics. Despite my miserable efforts, God graciously gave us our son, Ace in 2002. You would think I would have seen God’s hand in all of this and given Him the glory, but sadly, “blind men don’t see nothing”! So I continued my downward spiral. In 2012, my dad passed away suddenly. Foolishly, I thought my “advice” was helping my dad. Not so.
Later that same year, I had an appointment with one of these self-help gurus. Oddly enough, this appointment was very different from the rest – instead of my physical health being the issue, he began asking me questions about my spiritual health: who I thought God was, who Jesus Christ was, who I prayed to and the like. I was speechless! (a special moment for my husband, no doubt). :o)
No one had ever contested nor questioned me on my faith up to this point in my life. Each time I stumbled through with an answer to his question, he then responded with a Scriptural text and added, “But, don’t believe me, read this!” all the while patting his hand on a Bible laying nearby. Something was changing. I left there that day and actually began to ponder over the questions he asked me about God. For the very first time in my life, even though apprehensive, I actually wanted to see and to know what was in the Bible (remember, this is after 12 years of religious education).
I asked Jeremy if he would read the Bible with me. He said “Sure – but can you find me a really dumbed-down version”? Being the loving wife I am, I replied, “Absolutely” while I searched for a Bible loaded with colorful pictures!
Seriously! You can’t make up something like this! A paraphrased version and a picture Bible most third graders would be envious of!
Part Two – MY LIFE IN CHRIST
On January 1, 2013 we opened our Bibles for the very first time as husband and wife and began reading. We read daily, finishing on June 5, 2013. How could we have prepared ourselves for the authority, the power, the vitality coming forth from the pages of the written Word? I remember growing up being told that I could never understand the Bible. Yet, here we sat, day after day, in our living room, reading the Bible and beginning to understand. It was so real. In retrospect, we now know, the Word was coming alive and active to our darkened souls. It was like God, through His Word, was unfolding and explaining our lives – to us.
There I stood convicted, in awe of a Holy, Holy, Holy God I had never known. I saw myself truthfully, as He did. The pedestal I had been standing on for nearly 40 years was knocked out from under me. I knew I needed to be saved! I repented and trusted in Jesus Christ and His finished work. No longer did I see Christ as dead, hanging on a crucifix (as I had all those years in the church I grew up in) but He was now alive – in reality and in my own heart!
Seeing Jesus Christ in His full majesty through the gospel has been nothing short of a miracle in our lives!
Who could have imagined?
For the first time in our lives, we actually care about the things that God cares about. The things we used to think were so important, we have lost track of. We now genuinely care what people know about God. And His Son. Who would have thought that we would one day walk away from the religion, the traditions, we had both been brought up in for 40 years? Who could have known we would one day sit in a church where the Word of God is expounded verse by verse? Who would have ever imagined that we would now be sharing the gospel – even to a young Muslim man helping us load our TV – in Walmart’s parking lot! Who could have known that the power of the gospel would lead us to joining our first Bible study ever? And, that we LOVED it? And that study would lead to the next…and the next…and the next! How could we ever imagined that reading God’s Word – the double edged sword – would expose and convict us of our sins? How could we have known the Little Missouri River, along which Jeremy was raised, would one day be our place of baptism? As believers! How could we have ever taught our son about the Lord Jesus Christ…had we not first been taught?
Who could have ever imagined?
If it were not for the gospel…the very power of God through His Living Word – we would have never known LIFE from DEATH!
As a side note, in case you are wondering: Jeremy and I have moved on to Big People’s Bibles now! :o)
May I leave you with this: I know Jeremiah is called “the weeping prophet” but I love his passion/depth in his words and I think he says best what my heart, my new life in Christ, the LIVING WORD says: “But if I say, I will not mention Him or speak any more in His name, HIS WORD is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” (Jeremiah 20:9)
Ladies, God is still at work in the hearts and lives of His people, including yours! Would you like to share a testimony of how God saved you, how He has blessed you, convicted you, taught you something from His Word, brought you out from under false doctrine, placed you in a good church or done something otherwise awesome in your life? Private/direct message me on social media, e-mail me (MichelleLesley1@yahoo.com), or comment below. Try to be brief (3-4 paragraphs or less) if possible. I’ll select a few to share on the blog another time. Let’s encourage one another with God’s work in our lives!