“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” -John 6:35
The Search for Wholeness
I spent the majority of my life as a self-practicing Pagan. I searched for a deeper meaning in everything around me. Constantly longing for something I could never identify. For brief moments I would feel content and then it would disappear and I would be left feeling empty like before. The best way I can explain it is, you know when you have a craving for something, but no matter what you eat you can’t figure out what you’re craving? That’s what my spiritual life was like. And I’m sure many of you have felt that way in your life, even those of you who are Christian and know the reason for this hunger.
I’ve mentioned before in my post, “My Journey to Grace“, the constant desire we as humans have to try to connect with something greater than ourselves. There is an entire genre of books built on exactly this search. It seems to affect women more than men, considering there are so many more self-help books for women. I can say that with my craving to connect to the “more”, I have read my share of self-help guides. It wasn’t until I was dealing with the end of my marriage that I finally reached out to the only book that would truly help me, the Bible.
Exactly one year ago this week I was baptized as a Christian. I was born again on my daughter’s birthday. To say this year has been full of rainbows and lollipops and that my life has been perfectly smooth sailing since converting would be a total lie. I will say it has been a lot less dramatic. Getting baptized was never a requirement for my conversion. But it was most definitely something I felt in my heart I needed to do, for myself. It is in my nature to physically enact a clean slate.
If you haven’t read my previous post about my journey to Christianity I’ll give you a quick update. I lived a very lost spiritual life. I was baptized Mormon as a child. My family converted to that faith when my siblings and I were young. And then I left that religion when I was a teen. Being put off completely by organized religion I became a self-practicing Pagan, meaning I didn’t have a coven. I was a Pagan up until a couple of years ago when I honestly started leaning more towards atheism. My husband still held Christian beliefs that he suppressed so as not to cause any more problems in our marriage. And that’s how we got here.
Last year we completely changed our lives. We threw out all the old and started new. When you keep doing the same thing over and over for 23 years and it just doesn’t work, you either completely change it or you walk away. Well, we chose to demolish the old and build fresh. But we needed a new and hopefully much more solid foundation. We decided to return to a more traditional, simpler, and rewarding way of life. We found that in Christ.
The Blind Shall See
I always took that phrase literally as a kid. “Then the eyes of the blind will be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped” Isaiah 35:5. There are so many references to Jesus healing the blind and the deaf, not all of them were meant to be taken literally. It wasn’t until I was reading the Bible with the Holy Spirit guiding me that I finally understood that.
Some of the hardest experiences of my conversion was sorting through the misinformation and lies I had been taught, heard, or took on by my own choice. One of the weirdest changes was trying to know when I was remembering a scripture from the Bible or if it was something I read as a child in the Book of Mormon. Let me tell you that was a fun mess to untangle.
The most exciting thing that happened was the almost magical way the Bible seemed to finally make sense to me. Some might say it was like I was being divinely guided. (sarcasm heavy in that last sentence.) I took a few Bible studies to help me focus my reading better and to get guidance when I struggled. But really I thoroughly enjoy reading the Bible now! I love how God shows me the passages I need to see always at the right time in my life. And I have a hunger for something now that is being satiated for the first time ever. The hunger I felt, I learned from Biblical study, was actually put there by God so that we will seek Him. That part of me that felt incomplete was made whole the day I accepted Christ as my Savior.
The Biggest Change
Like I said before, my life isn’t perfect by any stretch of the imagination. I still struggle with occasional depression, anxiety, and self-doubt. But the difference is, now I know deep in my soul that things will work out. I always have hope. I know that if I just hold on and pray and be patient, God will see me through it. He has a plan for my life that is so much greater than anything I could come up with.
So many times in my life prior to being Christian there was drama. When something bad happened I would get filled with despair and wonder if I would be able to recover. Drama still tries to invade my world, but now it is less likely of my making. And now when things get chaotic, I give myself a day to dwell, I pray, read my Bible, and the next day I usually experience an overwhelming sense of calm. My life and in turn Aaron’s life is so much more full of joy.
Because of the changes we’ve made, I can say with total certainty that mine and Aaron’s marriage is finally healthy and full of love. We still argue and have our days. But more often than not we work things out and tackle our problems as a team. I truly believe this is due to our effort to follow Biblical principles in our marriage.
God is Faithful
I know I am a new Christian and am basically coming to this faith like a child, new and full of wonder. But if I could say one thing to someone searching as I did, God is faithful. He will pursue you. And He loves you. And nothing you’ve done could ever change that. If you are searching to feed that hunger that just won’t go away, pray. I can tell you that a prayer was what changed my entire life. I prayed and turned my life over to God. And at that moment, after 42 years, everything changed. It was literally like the clouds parted and I was finally free.