When did God first become real to you? I enjoy hearing people tell their story of discovering God. It usually involves a difficult time in their life and often the story takes a turn for the better when they encounter God. Sometimes my question has been answered with, “I’m still trying to figure out if He is real.” No matter the answer, the story behind it is always unique; no two are exactly the same.
Warning: My story is not kid-friendly.
I’d traveled alone to Hawaii in hopes of figuring out my life. I had money and more material things than I needed. I was loved and adored by more than one man. I had overall good health. But I felt empty and confused.
As I walked along a beach in Honolulu, my eyes landed on the horizon. The sun hung over the still water. Although there were many people sunbathing and playing, in that moment, it felt like it was only me and the horizon. I couldn’t stop staring at it. I felt that my life was meant to be more. I felt that I was meant to be more. I wanted whatever was beyond the horizon….the unknown, the unfamiliar.
When I returned to the mainland, I was welcomed with the mess that I had temporarily escaped. Determined to make a change, I ended several toxic relationships that I should have ended a long time ago. A few days later, I met another man and began another toxic relationship. We enjoyed several months of reckless fun. The cycle had started again.
One Thursday night, right around the booty call hour, as I prepared for him to make the two hour drive to my house, I received a phone call. It was him explaining that he was not coming because he wanted to live his life for Jesus and he wanted me to do the same. He said he wanted to honor me and he said a lot of other things that I can appreciate now but at the time, it sounded like, “Blah, Blah, Blah.” I knew he’d recently met a pastor who was influencing him to follow Jesus, but I never thought it would come to this.
In frustration, I yelled, “Who is this Jesus that he is willing to turn down this #!$$& for Him?” I decided right then and there that I had to find out who this Jesus was. I found a Bible and began reading. Four days later on my birthday, I decided I wanted to be baptized. And three weeks later, I was baptized.
There is a scripture that reads, “If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find Me” (Jeremiah 29:13, NLT). Clearly, my motives for seeking Jesus were not good, but my desire to find Him was real. I did not have to get my act together or pray a lengthy prayer. I didn’t have to go to church or have someone pray over me. All I had to do was seek Him and I found Him. And as a bonus, I found me too.