Knowing of God to Knowing God

Some people, myself included, need to have proof of everything.  If I have a question, I will search multiple sites until I feel confident that I have the “right” answer.  Because this is how my brain is wired, I have at times wondered about my faith.  How do I KNOW the Bible is true?  Where is my extra-Biblical proof?  In this technological era, there is plenty of information but that information is often conflicting.  For every site “for” Christianity and the Bible there is one “for” Buddhism, “for” Islam or simply “against” Christianity and the Bible.  How can I KNOW Christianity is true?

I’ve always believed in God and the Bible.  I’ve believed because I was raised to believe it.  My mother and grandmother made sure that we were in church.  At 5, I was baptized and in the choir.  Each Sunday we were at church, each Saturday at choir practice and each summer at Vacation Bible School.

Proverbs 22:6 King James Version (KJV)
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

God and the Bible were my North Star.  That was a good thing.  Because of childhood trauma, I suffered from depression and anxiety for almost as long as I can remember.  There were several points that I thought about suicide.  Had I not believed that death was not the end, I may have made that choice.   I was more convinced that suicide would result in more suffering rather than the end of suffering.  When I think about the increased suicide rate in younger and younger children, I am thankful that I believed.

But as I grew up, I wanted more proof.  So I read and studied.  Certain passages seemed so far-fetched:  Jonah in the belly of a whale, Moses and Israel passing through the Red Sea, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and the walls of Jericho falling down are just a few.  How can this be true?

I may have continued to struggle with lingering doubts if something has not happened. I met Jesus.  At 40, I began a journey of healing from my past trauma and the resulting damage.  That journey began when I met people who had met Jesus.  They hadn’t merely read about Him or studied Him, but they had met them.  How could I tell?  Because they told me about how the met Him and how He changed everything.  I met criminals and addicts and broken men and women whose lives were completely changed.  Changes that did not occur from sheer willpower or mere counseling and self-help, but supernatural changes.  The changes in these men and women changed their future and the future of their families and the future of everyone they came in contact with.
That sounds a lot like the people who came in contact with Jesus while He lived on the Earth.  The Apostles were a little wonky before Jesus died, but they were committed upon seeing the risen Savior.  Jesus turned fishermen and a doctor and a tax collector and ordinary people into world-wide evangelists.  He turned them into people who were not deterred by torture, threats of death and even the brutal death nearly all of them suffered.  They started a fire that has burned brightly for over 2000 years.
It turned a terrified 40-year-old woman in a woman who trusts God when I am afraid.  I would love to tell you that I’m superwoman, but I’m not.  I still struggle with many things.  But today, I’ll never let it stop me.  Before I shrank from situations for fear of failure or loss or just from fear.  Today, I know that if God has brought me to a situation, that He will empower me to overcome it.  I have trust issues, but I trust God.  Therefore I can love everyone, trusting that He will protect and guide me.  Previously when I failed, it would further undermine my confidence and my worth and my believe in God’s love.  Now I view failure as an opportunity for growth.  I think about how I could have responded better and I thank God for showing me areas that need improvement.  Because every pain and failure is an opportunity to grow closer to God.  …OR further away, but it’s a choice.
I chose to grow closer to a God that allowed me to see a future that I never imagined– future with awesome family and forever family.  A future of children and grandchildren that I pray I can share this faith with..share my God with.
Be blessed

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