May 15, 2011

Glimpses 44


Angie's Journey Begins!

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G'day and welcome to Partake Glimpses Stories. Where we see together how Jesus is alive today, working in peoples lives in different ways and is relevant to the world today, 2000 years after He walked the earth, died, rose again and ascended to the right hand of God the Father. Today, I want to tell you about Angie, a lady I know, and about her journey to faith in Jesus Christ.  It was told to me and I now tell you.

Early church memories

The oldest of 3 sisters, I was packed off to Sunday school in a Wesleyan chapel over the road from where we lived to giving our parents a rest each Sunday morning, or so it seemed. There I learnt about Jesus, his parables and the people of the Old Testament. Though we moved away, the memories stayed with me. I never forgot them and Jesus was always special to me, although I didn't understand the reason until much later.

First contact!

Life moved on as it always does for everyone. My holiday romance, Jim, and I married and we had 2 children. Our extended family started talking about how they knew Jesus personally. Our son, then only 14, after going to church with his cousin, came home saying he'd become a Christian. We wondered what was going on. After 3 months of our son's pleading we agreed to go to a barbeque which was part of their church outreach. Arriving an hour early as our son got the time wrong, we watched as the folks set everything up, and  thought how genuine they were.

One young man there told us his story. He was the eldest of 6 children, he hadn't had an easy life and explained how his life had been changed by Jesus Christ. That he no longer fought in the street and had the love of God for people. It made us curious enough to decide go to that church the following Sunday.

Jesus begins to get a grip on me!

That Sunday afternoon Jim had a nap, our daughter was visiting with friends and I was ironing. Our son pleaded to watch a video he'd borrowed from church. In this video, actors depicted to us the story of Jesus from the gospel of Luke. I could feel myself getting secretly angry while watching the film to begin with as I ironed clothes. By the end of the film the iron was off and I sat with my son in front of the screen as they crucified Jesus and it hurt. I couldn't understand why they had to do that. It didn't make sense. It never had made sense to me.

That evening we went to church, arrived a little late and we settled ourselves near the back of the church.  We viewed a lively congregation and joined in smiling at each other as they worshiped with a real genuineness. This was not church, as we knew it. This was alive and exciting!

Jesus did it for me!

The speaker gave a message, ending with a request for all to bow their heads so those wanting to know Jesus could raise their hands. Jim and I looked at each other as we gritted our teeth. No way were we going to raise our hands! Then the meeting was over. I found myself asking the woman next to me why, if Jesus died 2000 years ago, was it anything to do with me. She gently explained that Jesus is central to history - that before him, folks looked forward in faith and those living after him look back in faith. He is therefore, pivotal to everything.

At that moment something happened to me - something terrible and wonderful - almost unexplainable. In my mind the video portraying Jesus' life, that I had watched that afternoon came back to me. It replayed in my mind, showing me yet again what and how Jesus had suffered. For the first time realisation came to me that this Jesus had been beaten and suffered - for me. He'd been spat on, mocked and humiliated. He'd had a crown of thorns pressed down on His head, He'd had nails driven through his hands and His feet. That He had been crucified just for me! The woman in front of me realised from my reaction that something was going on and led me to a quieter place.

My Christian journey begins!

It hit me then that the Jesus I had always known from childhood, had really and truly died for me and it wasn't just a story of fiction. He was who He claimed to be and had something to say about how I lived my life.

Worst of all, I knew I'd never thanked Him or said I was sorry. I asked what I had to do to get to know him and was led in a simple prayer of repentance and faith. I walked out of that place with the biggest smile on my face! That smile lasted for 2 weeks, having found my answer! I had committed my life to this Jesus Christ.

The family follows too!

My husband, Jim says he saw something different in the people at that church and the change it had made in me. He knew there had to be more to life. So, on his own, a few days later, late into the night, he got on his knees before God and committed his life to Jesus Christ too.

The following Sunday there we were again unchurched, not fully understanding everything, but eager to learn. A few weeks later our 12 year old daughter made her choice to follow Jesus too!

That was in 1992 and here we are 19 years later. So much has happened since then and that's a story in it's self.  God has been faithful in so many ways. Both children are now grown up, married to Christians and raising their own families in the Christian faith.  Yes my love of the Saviour just keeps on growing. I have much to thank God for.

If you have found the story of Angie helpful, please do let us know how it has helped your own journey of faith. Thank you!

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