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