By Melissa McLaughlin
Ever heard one of those remarkable testimonies of someone whose life was dramatically changed after they became a Christian? I get so excited to hear about God’s mighty hand moving in people’s lives.
For many years, I felt my experience following Christ lacked the pizzazz that marked other’s journeys. But this is my story of how I became a Christian.
Over time, I have come to realize that every single heart that yields to the Lordship of Jesus Christ is an absolute miracle. By nature, we prefer to be in charge. By nature, we’d rather tell God what to do. In short, we’d rather be God.
Take a self-centered, rebellious, hard-headed person and transform them into one who lays down their arms and surrenders it all for Jesus. This is nothing less than a mighty parting of the Red Seas of our hearts. Every follower of Jesus is a walking, talking, living miracle.
Here’s my miracle story.
How I Became a Christian
I grew up in a loving Christian home, with parents who cared for me, protected me and guided me with healthy boundaries and abundant TLC. Our family faithfully attended church every week, where I learned more about the Bible and about our Savior, Jesus Christ. We prayed, gave our offering, sang songs of praise to the Lord and nurtured our understanding of Jesus.
By about age 12, I made a personal statement of my faith in Christ and chose to be baptized. I felt excited and uplifted to take this big step. Though at the time, I didn’t really understand the depths of sin that gripped my heart, nor did I fully understand the weight Jesus endured in order to save me from that sin. But as much as I was able, I believed in Jesus and sincerely endeavored to follow Him.
I continued on the path of faith in Christ through my middle school and high school years. During my college years, at about the age of 20, I began to wonder about the truth of Christianity. With so many other religions in the world, how could I be sure about the truth of Jesus? How could I anchor my life on this belief?
On a series of Saturday afternoons, I hunkered down in the college library and read a host of books on other religions to discover what each believed and why. After hours of investigation and soulful consideration, I reached the conclusion that Christianity honestly made the most sense. In all other faith systems, mankind was attempting to reach God, but in Christianity, God came to us, through Jesus Christ. Christianity stood apart.
Yet somehow, doubts lingered, tugging at the edges of my mind. My best intellectual pursuits still left me on shaky ground. Though I continued attending church and remained active in my Christian life, I felt inwardly adrift and spiritually unsteady. It was an unsettling time and soul peace was nowhere to be found.
There were two distinct moments that changed everything. One evening after a college outreach meeting, two young men who also attended the event, asked me about my faith. Somehow, they sensed my tenuous feelings and listened compassionately. After sharing my questions and my intellectual summation, they explained quietly but firmly, “Intellect alone will not get you to Jesus. Yes, it can help point you toward Him for He is truth, but in the end it is a leap of faith. You need to take that leap.”
Their words echoed in my soul. God placed these two people in my life at precisely the right moment to speak precisely the right message. A message from God, a gentle breath of truth and life for a flickering wick. My heart and mind were stirred with new life. Incredibly, I have never seen them before or since.
Then, while sitting in a chapel service about a week later, a young woman from our college campus read this scripture:
Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. -John 14:1-2
“If it were not so, I would have told you.”
There it was. The words of Jesus. The words of truth.
“I would have told you.”
So simple. So clear. So pure.
This scripture resounded in the depths of my very being. I knew it was true. Not with an intellectual ascent or head knowledge, but with a deep heart knowledge. The Living God had touched my mind with His Living Word. The Living Son of God, moved in me through His Living Spirit. I trusted Jesus and I trusted what He said. He would tell me if it were not true. And my spirit came alive in Christ!
I felt like I was made brand new, inside and out. A ray of shining light broke through the fog and dust that had muddled my vision. Now I could see Christ again, clearly and unhindered, in all His glory, truth and grace. Hallelujah! The God of my youth, became the God of my young adult years and has carried me through ever since.
Does this mean I never have questions, fears or misunderstandings? No, I still wonder about the nuances of my faith and God’s Word and how it will all play out in my life and in the world around me. But I have never again stood on the shifting sands of life without Christ. My feet are on the Rock and I am grateful beyond words.
How to Become a Christian
If you have never believed in Jesus or confessed Him as Savior and Lord of you life, I invite you to do so today. Ask Jesus to show you the truth. Ask Jesus to give you the desire to know Him. He is waiting with open arms to receive anyone who will place their faith in Him. You will have your own miracle story to tell of how you became a Christian!
These are a few scripture verses that may help you.
Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
John 1:1 – In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 – The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 5:8 – But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 6:23 – For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 10:9 – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Please pray with me
Heavenly Father, we praise you for you are God and there is no other. We thank you for sending Jesus to pay the penalty for our sins, that those who believe in Him, by faith, are forgiven and promised a place in heaven forever. What grace, what amazing grace! We ask you to forgive us of our sins. We confess Jesus is Lord and we believe He was raised from the dead. Help us walk in the newness of life He has won for us. Help us seek you, Jesus, in Bible reading, in prayer and by gathering with other Christians. Help us experience the fullness of your indwelling Holy Spirit, sent to live in the hearts of all who believe. Help us overflow with the joy of our salvation and shine with your truth, grace and love for all to see! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
How did you become a Christian? What’s your miracle story?