As W Paul Young, the author of The Shack, said in his interview, ‘Once I have discovered the truth about my being, through the Holy Spirit, I can then start to live out the truth of my being’.
So, the next step for me was to respond to that still small voice. Having now married a wonderful man by God’s grace (to us both) and been blessed with 2 beautiful children, I wanted the best for us all. The biggest facet of this wish was to get off the fence about what I believed about God so that I knew how to give my family the best of me and the best of the world: Did God exist? Was Jesus who he said he was? If so, so what? Whilst Dave and I had got married in church that was all about family expectations and a romantic view of marriage on my part. Dave went along with it because he loved me and no other reason.
It was at this point that I began to start attending Holy Trinity Church and along with a group of others, embarked upon the ‘Saints Alive’ course (similar to Alpha) where we got to consider the evidence together and then choose to make a response. During this time I read a lot of books. One of these, ‘Who Moved the Stone?’ by Frank Morrison, an atheist journalist who, in researching his book purported to disprove Jesus’s claims, found them to be so convincingly true, he became a follower. Much like Lee Stroebel, author of ‘The Case for Christ’. By the end of the course I had heard enough to be convinced that the evidence stacked up, so now it was down to me.
I prayed the prayer of acceptance, repentance and commitment and asked for Jesus’s spirit to live inside me. I was somewhat disappointed that there were no thunderbolts or discernible signs that God had heard me but gradually over the weeks God’s promises all came about:
- I became aware of my identity as a child of God (John14:20, Eph 1:4-5)
- I am loved by him unconditionally (J
- I could trust God’s word (2 Tim 6:16)
- I could understand God’s word in his book, the Bible, for the first time.(John 14:26)
- I wanted to go to church and worship with the rest of God’s family (Hebrews 10:25)
- I stopped worrying and became when Mum calls ‘my serene daughter’. (Phil 4:6)
- I started by transformation into a new creation (a work in progress)! Col 2:6-7
- I want to share my great blessing with others! (Rom 1:16)
- Finally, given that it’s Valentines Day, I want to share with you the greatest love letter ever written. This excerpt, known as The Father’s Love Letter, is taken from verses throughout his larger letter to us, The Bible. It describes the unique types of love that God has for his children:
חֶסֶד CHESED – The unique love of God for his children; a permanent, covenant, faithful love; not changeable, temporary or based on feelings, as it is in our modern culture. It provides a steadfastness and a security that is completely reliable. The Greek equivalent word ‘Agape’ is described in wikipedia as the highest form of love. As demonstrated by Jesus, it is the love that offers complete giving of self.
Having read it from cover to cover more than once, I can truly say that I am now coming to understand for the first time what unconditional love means in all its depth and complexity. This is the second key marker in my faith journey.
Jewish saying, ‘We must meet extravagant and unreasonable hatred with an extravagant and unreasonable love’.