Featured

My Story, Part 1: The Beginning

The idea to start a blog stemmed from a comment I made in a Facebook group:

My conversion story is so long and complicated, I could write a book.

I figured it would be therapeutic for myself to write things down. Figure them out, because honestly when I think about all the things I’ve experienced, witnessed, and learned during the last 21 years of my life, it’s hard to keep things straight. I hope my story can help someone else, I hope it will give others hope. I hope it will bring others to Christ. That is my prayer. That my story will ultimately bring glory to God.

I’ll kick off this blog with a series of posts explaining who I am, where I came from, and how I came to Christ. I wish I could keep this blog anonymous, but I’ll have to figure that one out later. I also want to add that I’m not sure where this blog will go. It might end up being an advise blog or it might be a compilation of stories from others. Either way, thank you so much for listening to me and for joining me on this journey 🙂

So let’s take it back to the beginning…

I’m not entirely sure when it happened or why but somehow my great-grandmother and her husband got in to a religion called Christian Science (I’ll probably do a future post on that). My grandmother and her brothers were all raised in it. In fact my grandma was so into it that she became a CS nurse. She moved to Massachusetts very young to learn her trade at the Benevolence Association, a Christian Science nursing home in Chestnut Hill. This part of the story is achy because I’ve only been told bits and pieces. Anyways, eventually my grandmother wound up meeting my grandfather at a CS nursing home. She was a nurse and he worked in a different department (not sure what). My grandparents did quite a lot of church hopping. My dad has told me that they got married in a Mormon church, but that he also remembers visiting a Baptist and Presbyterian church when he was young. They always returned to Christian Science though.

My father also decided to take the same path, and so during the 1980s he became a CS nurse as well. He eventually found his way out to New Jersey (He grew up in the Southwestern US), where he began work at Tenacre nursing home. There he met my mom who was also a nurse. They got married in 1988 and moved out to Ohio in 1990. My mom had some trouble conceiving, but in 1995, after much prayer I finally arrived, then in 1998 by brother was born.

Continue to Part 2 to hear the next part  of my story 🙂

Soli Deo Gloria

Part 5

Part 4

Part 3

Part 2

Advertisements

What I learned from the past 3 years of my life.

What I learned from the past 3 years of my life.

God is SO GOOD!

That’s it. You can all go home now. That’s all I learned.

Just kidding.

But really. That phrase basically sums it all up. I’ve had a rough three years honestly. It started with my mom passing away, battling depression/grief, my dad getting remarried to a not-so-nice woman, being in a dead end relationship etc etc.

But God has perfect timing and knows exactly what we need and when we need it. All we need to do is trust in Him and trust His plan. I struggled (and still do) with trusting God. Believe me when I say that I know it can be really hard to trust in someone that we can’t necessarily see, especially when things in our life keep going awry.

I’ve learned to humble myself. I may not have deserved everything that happened in my life, but I certainly never thanked God for the tings that I do have, or prayed about the things that I needed. I was never patient about the things I wanted.

Jeremiah 17:7 says “Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.” (ESV) and Psalm 21:7 says “For the king trusts in the LORD, and through the steadfast love of the Most High he shall not be moved.” (ESV) and boy is that the truth!

Sometimes in life we will have moments where it feels like everything has been taken away and like we are suffering, but if we trust in God, He will surely get us through. I recommend reading the book of Job during these times. God certainly used it to open my eyes to so many truths.

The Lord is sovereign and He is good.

Soli Deo Glroia

My Top 10 Favorite Hymns (Part 1)

My Top 10 Favorite Hymns (Part 1)

I love music! I was in orchestra from 5th grade all the way to high school. I still play a little bit here and there, when I have the time. One of my favorite parts of church is worship. I love hymns, especially the old traditional ones (I like some contemporary christian music too but I honestly don’t think it can hold a candle to the old stuff, but I’ll write a post about my favorite CCM songs too!) I don’t necessarily like these only for theological reasons. I may like the melody, the lyrics, my ability to sing it, or the author/origin of it.

So lets get started!

 

1. What a Friend We Have In Jesus

To be honest, when I first heard the title of this song, I thought it was going to be fluffy and silly. But then I heard it on TV (without lyrics) and I really liked the tune. We had sang it once before that in church and I really didn’t think much about it, but this time I liked the tune so much that I decided to look it up and see if I could play it on the piano. With this I finally got to look at the lyrics without rushing to sing or distraction, and I loved them. This all came to me at a time when I was really struggling to trust God and to wait on Him. The repeating line Take it to the Lord in prayer was such a great reminder that I need to just take all my problems and troubles to God and He will help me through it all, one way or another. Now today when I start to get worried about something or I am concerned about a certain situation, I remind myself; take it to the Lord in Prayer.

2. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing

This is by far one of my favorites to sing, probably because from a musical standpoint it’s easier for me. I’ve always liked it for that reason. But the lyrics are just as amazing. They speak to how much we have to thank God for, how despite our wandering God still redeems us.

3. Be Thou My Vision

Another one that is easier for me to sing, which makes me enjoy it all the more. Also, its an Irish hymn which gets bonus points with this Irish-American girl! 🙂

4. A Mighty Fortress is Our God

I love the music for this one! The tune speaks to how strong and mighty our God is! Also the fact that it was inspired by a psalm is pretty awesome too.

5. Nothing but the Blood

This was one of the first hymns that I heard after coming to Christ. My favorite way to sing it is in a slower solemn style. The lyrics are my favorite and such a great reminder that only Jesus’ precious blood can atone for our many sins

 

 

3 Books Every Christian Should Read

3 Books Every Christian Should Read

I know posts like this are a little cliche, but I’ve been reading some pretty good books recently and I thought I would give it a go! Of course as disclaimer this is subjective and purely my own opinion.

1) THE BIBLE!!!

This should be a no brainer of course, but anyways. Reading the Bible is vital for any Christian. When we read the Bible we are reading God’s Word. He is speaking directly to us. I recommend getting a simple reading plan, like this one and this one. Don’t be afraid to highlight and write in your Bible. Charles Spurgeon once said “A Bible that’s falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn’t.” Here is a great one.

2) Do I Know God?  by Tullian Tchividjian

I was really struggling with my salvation when I read it, but it helped me so much. Tchividjian gave reasons and solutions to why we may be doubting, most of which are practical. It’s an easy read and I would say its very beneficial for any and all Christians to read. You can buy it here.

3) The Meaning of Marriage by Timothy Keller

This book is seriously the best. I gleaned so much from it despite me not being married nor engaged. I learned not only how to relate and interact with a potential spouse but also how to relate and interact with people in general. There was also a great amount of Gospel truths that I would recommend it to non-believes as well. You can buy it here.

 

Well, there you have it! Those are my top 3 books (for right now) that I believe every christian should read!

Soli Deo Gloria

 

 

An Update on My Life

I can’t quite remember where I had left off in my previous blog entry. I know it’s been a wile since I’ve written any thing and I know I said that wouldn’t happen with this blog. But sometimes life gets busy and you just don’t have the time (or the creativity) to write out exciting things. And also I wasn’t really sure where to go after I told my whole story. I mean how could I have topped all of that?

Anyways.

I wanted to come back and update those of you who read my entries/those who may be following this blog. Some things have changed a little since I last wrote .

Starting with I went through a breakup.

Friends, please take this to heart when I say do not date a non-Christian if you are a Christian . It will only bring heartache. Also, do not date long distance. This too will bring heartache.

The reasons I went through this break up is as follows:

  1. He was not a Christian and he made no effort to even consider becoming one
  2. He lived in a different country and there was no evidence to suggest that we would ever meet each other
  3. I met a guy

I didn’t cheat, I want to make that clear. I broke up with the other guy because it was clear that there could be something fruitful between this new guy and I. And I was right. He’s a Christian, hard worker, he lives near me, hes altogether a great guy. He’s also a Baptist, which if you’ve read in my previous posts you may have noted that I joined a Presbyterian church. However, I find that I am more closely aligned with Baptist doctrine (credo baptist right here). There isn’t really a Reformed Baptist church anywhere in my city though, so this is just another blessing from the Lord. I just love his church! Usually I go with him but since he is out of town this Sunday I’m going to try going by myself, so that way I can get to know people by myself. Its been three months with him and I am so happy. God is good, ya’ll. You need only wait on him.

Next; I got a job! Its not anything too fancy. Its at a local ice cream shop. I’m just so happy that I’ll finally have an income.

Also, since writing my last posts, I finished reading the entire Bible and, boy, did that bless me! The Lord opened my eyes to so many things during that year. I grew so much in Him and I’m so thankful!

I started a new bible reading plan, Read the Bible in 90 days, and I can’t wait to see where the Lord takes me during this time.

That’s all I have for you (for now). I promise I’m going to try to write regularly this time.

God bless!

Soli Deo Gloria.

My Story Part 5; New and Reformed

I was reading many articles and following many blogs all over the Internet about Reformed theology. At first I thought that Reformed theology was only the five points of calvinism, little did I know that there are also creeds and confessions that we hold to.

So I started looking for reformed churches in my hometown. I preferred Presbyterian, but any reformed church would do. At this point I didn’t even know that there were liberal and conservative  denominations (imagine my horror when I started finding out that almost every Presbyterian church in my city is PCUSA and mostly has female pastors.)

Around the beginning of November, I decided to visit my cities Presbyterian church, they were very nice but hardly talked about Jesus. Infact the past. Preached that something can change the world is “a smile” not God. That bothered me and after doing some research, and come to find out they were PCUSA. This was disappointing because I though I had finally found a church that was “perfect”(as perfect as a church can be of course, which we all know no church is ever truly perfect 😉 ).  So I stopped attending after a week or two. It was about December and I felt so depressed over the fact that I didn’t have a church to attend during such an important time. I wanted to try a PCA church next but it was so small that I was a little anxious and self conscious to go in (silly, I know). I have no doubt that they are a good church though.

At that moment I decided to attend an OPC church. I decided I would go on Christmas so that way I could blend in with any new people. To my surprise I did not blend in and had people constantly coming to talk to me. I left a little dazed over it because this church had been dubbed the “mega church of the OPC” ( or at least that’s what I’ve been told). I don’t even think they though I would come back, but I did. And I’ve been going for about 2 months now. I quite enjoy this church, it’s large but you still know everyone, it’s traditional worship (they have an organ!!), and the preaching is always sound. I’m taking an inquirers class in March and have been reading through Westminster Shorter Catchism.

I really think that finding a good church has had a positive influence on my day-to-day life. I’m attending school everyday, I have a far better attitude, I have better self-esteem, I have things to look forward too, I’ve made many friends, and have someone who is sheparding me.

I praise God for all that I have been through because without it I wouldn’t be where I am.

Soli Deo Gloria.

Part 4

Part 3

Part 2

Part 1

My Story Part 4; Change

I got baptized in Summer 2015, it was in a local creek and performed by a man who spoke in “tongues”, things were good for about a month. That summer I started to get anxiety again (as a reaction to starting school again, missing my mom, and a few other things). I eventually stopped going to church, reading the bible, and praying. I had trouble sleeping most nights and I didn’t eat much during the day (my lowest weight was 104 lbs. I am 5’4″). I would rarely pray during my anxiety attacks and hardly even thought about God.

The anxiety continued until January/Februrary of 2016. At this time I started to get into a lot of new age practices, Yoga, meditation, following the moon phases, etc. I tried to justify it and look for a way to excuse it as Christian, I even joking a Christian yoga group. I wasn’t going to church or reading the bible and I was clearly not good at discernment. I would say that I was an atheist really. I was so unhappy at this point. But God was calling me back. At first I thought he was c allying me to the Eastern Orthodox Church, I had visited a service and told everyone that I was converting. I ever went back to a service though because it just wasn’t working for me.

So I continued not doing anything. I still wasn’t happy. I was eating and doing normal things but in my core I was not happy.

It was about late June-early July, when I decided to just go and buy a new Bible, a different translation something fresh and new that I can mark up and read. I bought a beautiful ESV bible. But after it arrived I still didn’t read it. I was scared honestly. I didn’t have the energy and boy was I scared. One night it changed though, I decided I need to read at least something, even if it is one or two verses. I told myself that I could work my way up to reading more.

I started by reading the book of Philemon. And every day I would read short books from the Epistles. One night while reading Epeshians, I came to chapter 4 verse 29, I had realized that I had said something not very nice about a girl at school that day. I immediately repented, of what I said but also for many other things. I also apologized to the girl and we are friends now 🙂

I followed many Facebook groups and Instagram accounts that I thought were Christian so that my whole life would be saturated. I started to attend a non-denominational charismatic seeker-driven church.  I loved going and I went every week, but I didn’t feel like I was growing in thee Lord there. God had opened my eyes to many different things that I had never heard before. One of these things was that women cannot be pastors (1 Timothy 2:12). I felt a very strong conviction for this. So you can imagine my shock when I came into this church one Sunday to find that they had invited a woman to preach.

The search for a new church had begun…

Soli Deo Gloria

 

Read Part 1

Read Part 2

Read Part 3

Read Part 5

My Story Part 3; Journey to Christ

I personally believe that the age of 17 was when the Spirit started to work in me. During the spring of that year (2013), the Bible Series (by Roma Downy and Mark Burnett) came out of the History Channel. My family and I watched it every Sunday. After the series was over I had such a desire to read the Bible and to know more of God’s Word. I downloaded a Bible app and listened to the audio Bible every moment I could. I also did a devotional through Nehemiah. I don’t think I understood what I was reading (mostly because I wasn’t paying careful attention to it). I then started reading through the epistles, the first one I read through completely was Titus.

I was committing sins though. I’m still so embarrassed of it. I would pray every night that God would help me to stop doing it (I never asked for forgiveness though and didn’t confess this sin to God until years later). One night I couldn’t sleep because I was so grieved over this sin, I opened the bible to Psalm 51, I read it over and over because I related to it so much.

I also started going to church (CS) more during this time. But it’s clear God was working in me, I went to prayer meetings at my high school and was reading the bible every day. I got a new bible (KJV) for my 18th birthday and also an apocrypha.

It was around Christmas that my mom started getting sick. We were attending more and more CS church services because my mom was hoping for a healing through CS. She was constantly seen surrounded by CS literature and also listening to podcasts from the Mother Church. I suggested that maybe she try reading more of just the bible, her reply was that she would rather read”our” material. This came as such a shock to me because I had always been taught that the foundation of Christian Sciene is the bible.

I started working at a CS nursing home that spring. I was constantly surrounded by CS, always reading the lesson to the residents and talking mostly about it with all of them. My mom was brought to the nursing home shortly after I started working there because we could no longer care for her at home.

Fast forward to May and my mom had passed away from breast cancer. I was shocked, grief is something you can’t understand until you truly deal with it. In July, before her memorial service I decided to buy myself a brand new Bible, this time it was an NIV. I started reading this every morning. Mostly just random passages, I would pray no then open the bible at random and read whatever was on the page. I wasn’t learning anything but it did give me comfort. I took a lot of scripture out of context. When I would fly I would hold the bible open to Joshua 1:9 in my lap. Without reading the entire chapter I didn’t know that this verse wasn’t for me.

In October 2014, we decided to switch our cable company. We wanted to watch Star Wars Rebels, we ended up not watching it because we thought it was boring. At this time I had trouble sleeping most nights so I would lay on the couch most nights and watch tv until I fell asleep. My dad being a good Christian Scientist didn’t like some of the infomercials that would play while I slept (in particular one that was about cancer), so he switched the channel one morning to the Trinity Broadcasting Network (this is not an endorsement please stay away from it).

My early Christian years were filled with a lot of heresy and false teaching. Recently reflecting on this has caused me to think that I was definitely a false convert. It’s amazing what God will use to save us though. I got “saved” on January 1 2015 by repeating the prayer at the end of Joel Osteen’s tv show (embarrassing, I know). I was reading the Bibe everyday still, but also believed a lot of the prosperity gospel (especially that if you are a Christian then nothing bad will happen to you).I was also into reading Jesus Calling everyday. There were times when the discernment bells would go off in my head, though. I wish I had listened to them because it would have saved me a lot of trouble!

In Winter I decided that I wanted to get baptized, it was a struggle with my dad because he was very much against it. After a lot of convincing he finally agreed and suggested that wee have a family friend do it in the summer (I was baptized in a local creek). My dad and I had many arguments over doctrine. I became convicted that Jesus was indeed God and that the trinity was real. He would smile in a mocking way and say that the bible doesn’t say that at all. He would come to a non-denominational church with me and whisper quotes from Science and Health and Mary Baker Eddy in my ear throughout the whole service. He still thought I was a Christian Scientist, no matter how many times I said I was not.

Soli Deo Gloria

Part 5

Part 4

Part 2

Part 1