Julie O’s Story

sf_Believe_0005_Group 1 copy 5 (Custom)What was your life like before you met Christ? *  I grew up in a wonderful, loving, Christian home. I had an idyllic childhood and was very imaginative. As the youngest child, separated by six years from my next sibling, I spent a great deal of time alone. This isolation taught me a great deal of self-reliance but also self-importance. It was all about me.
How did you come to Christ? * I came to know God in a very intense way the year I turned thirteen. Although I had been taught my entire life about the “full armor of God,” it wasn’t the least bit real to me until a series of various (scary) experiences forced me to cry out to God to save me, as I could not save myself. I’m not sure even now if I did the “Sunday School” prayer of acknowledging my sins and needing a savior – all I know is that from the moment I prayed, I found peace. A few years later, I recounted my experiences to my pastor, Ansel Baker, and was baptized.

After I trusted God as a young teenager, I fell away from the faith. I saw hypocrisy and skepticism everywhere I turned, even and especially in the church. I did plenty of things for which I am ashamed and have repented. When I was twenty, another series of events caused a dramatic turn-around in my life. I confessed my sins and began to seek God’s will and purpose for my life. It was like I stepped from darkness into light. I know that since that time God’s hand has been on me every step of the way.

What is your life like now in Christ? *    Sometimes I feel as though I spent my early life trying to prove things to others or please them. Christ took away that desire to please others and replaced it with the fulfillment only He can give. Since I began living my life for Christ, I feel at peace with who I am and no longer feel as though I must prove anything to anyone. I only have to follow Him, go where He leads, and do what He tells me to do. Through Bible reading, great books by favorite authors C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald, inspirational teachers on the radio and in church, I am reassured that God’s opinion of me is the only one that matters.

Any additional comments? Knowing you are forgiven is the most freeing thing! Even though I continue to mess up in life, I know that God is always there – perhaps sighing in disbelief like a loving parent that I could fail yet again – but always ready to help me put myself back together and try again to stay on the path where he has placed me.

The Christian life is not an easy one. As I grow in my relationship to Christ, He continues to reveal to me my faults and failings, not to beat me down with them, but to help me overcome them and in doing so, become more like Him.