I was raised as a Christian in that I was told there was a God and was sent to a private Lutheran elementary school. The thing I remember most about those years is that on Monday mornings, the teacher would ask for a show of hands of those who went to church on Sunday. My hand rarely if ever went up. We didn't go to church as a family nor did we practice any faith of any sort in our family life. We wore the "Christianity" facade, but that's where it stopped.
As I got older, entering my teens the fact that Christianity and real life didn't mesh really confused me, though at that age I didn't question. I was told it was so, therefore it was.
As a young adult, married and a mother, I came to a point where I could no longer accept this religion stuff just because I had been told by people who should know, that it was so. If it was true, then it had to be true to me, between me and God, with nothing of what I was taught or who taught me to be considered. It was time for me to challenge these childish things and make my own choices based on my own thoughts and experiences.
So, one day I address this by telling God, "I don't believe in you. I haven't seen one thing on this earth that backs up what I've been taught that you're all about either. So, if you're there, if you're true and the bible is true, then I need you to show me. Until you show me that you are true, I just don't believe anymore and will NOT go around pretending that you ARE just because that's what I have been told by others and it's what I am suppose to believe".
A few years went by. I totally put aside all pretense of belief in God. I lived my life according to what was good for me, no rules of anyone's but my own. Those were difficult years for me, though. I felt a little bit like a ship without a sail, a car without a steering wheel or brakes, a row boat without oars. I think you get the picture. Because of this insecure feeling and lack of guidance I sought the great minds of the day like "The Power of Positive Thinking" and other self help books. I looked around me at my friends and tried to see what they did and why and how it work for them. I saw many who seemed to have it all together while I felt so scattered and unsure of myself. I would pattern myself after these others thinking that if I changed the outside to match theirs, my insides would also match theirs and I'd feel in control. That didn't happen, of course, so I continued to search to find that clue to that inner something I needed but couldn't seem to find.
One day I picked up a book that was in our library of books, one that I think my husband had to read for a class he had taken. I began to read it and found it to just grab me. It's funny, but I don't remember the name of that book anymore. I kept on reading as it addressed the chaos one can feel inside and some practical ways to deal with that. It spoke to the need for God in our lives, a higher power, and how we all share this "higher power" and are all a part of it. My mind took that and ran with it. "If we all are a part of this higher power and it's one whole "thing" than we are all a part of one another too". Envision a HUGE BALL that is the core of all life as we know it. Then envision all of us, me, you, your friends etc. all have a silver cord running from our inner being directly to this huge ball. With that thought my mind realized that that HUGE BALL was our Creator and was GOD! I had FOUND HIM AGAIN.
I was filled with a warmth that started at my head and ran down through my body taking every ounce of tension and fear and insecurity and doubt and confusion, all of it out of me. I could see and feel a presence in the room that gave the room an aura. I was aware that this presence filled every crack, every crevice of the room, all encompassing, everywhere. It was a glorious presence that I recognized immediately as God the Holy Spirit.
My mind went wild. I thought about bible verses that I had been taught but that didn't make sense to me, and immediately I understood. God showed me what it meant. I would think a question and God would give me the answer. It all made such sense.
That day changed my life, has never left me and each day something new, a new awareness, a new lesson comes my way to clarify things more for me about this thing we call life. God walks with me wherever we go. I walk with Him and I talk with Him and He tells me I am His own....and the joy we share as we tarry there, no other has ever known........as the song says.