When I was in my early twenties it looked like I had the world by the tail. I was young, had a good job, and independence. Yes, on the outside, it looked like I had it all together, but inside, I knew better. I felt so empty, surely there had to be more to life. Life seemed to be so full of disappointments, and living in the moment brought its own set of difficulties. It was hard to always make the right choices and decisions, and one wrong move often led to more. Where was the happily ever after that life was supposed to be? Just when you thought you were in control you’d discover just how far from the truth that really was. And where was God in all this? Did He even see me? Did He even care? I tried different churches looking for answers, but always came away as empty as I had gone in.
Around this time two different work acquaintances began talking to me about Jesus, how much love and peace they had found in Him. They both attended the same Apostolic Pentecostal church in town. It all sounded too good to be true, too unbelievable. I knew about God. He was big and holy and evidently not interested in me. They talked about it so much it got to be annoying. I tried to talk about other things, but somehow, they always brought the conversation back around to God. These people didn’t give up, but kept inviting me to church, even though I always turned them down. Finally, just to get them to stop, I reluctantly agreed to go to church with one of them.
That Sunday morning the church service was unlike anything I had ever been in before. The music was lively, and it was so obvious the people loved being in church, singing and worshipping. Even the praying was different than I was used to, as if they really believed God was listening and would answer! There was a sweet feeling of love and peace in the church. That was what I knew my life was missing. The people were so friendly and seemed genuinely happy that I had come. They told me Jesus loved me and that He could and would forgive my sins and make me new! It seemed so hard to believe, but I was so tired of living life, that I was willing to try.
Being baptized in Jesus’ name was wonderful! I felt everything they said I would feel; so clean, and new! Then they showed me in the Bible that there was more for me, that I needed the power of the Holy Ghost. It was a gift from God of His Spirit that would help me in every part of my life. I had never heard of that before, but I was so hungry for all that God had for me.
The night I received the Holy Ghost was the most life-changing event I have ever experienced. It was everything they told me and more! What a marvelous thing that God would live in me! Jesus has kept me many years now. He truly is my joy, my strength, and the Friend that sticketh closer than a brother! He is, as Isaiah 9:6 says…Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Being a born again believer doesn’t mean I have a perfect life. Life is life, and there is no “happily ever after” in this world, BUT, I have a perfect and loving, merciful God to walk with me through whatever life brings, and the promise of an eternity with Him when my life is over!