Susan S.’s Story

sf_Reborn_0004_Group 1 copy 5 (Custom)What was your life like before you met Christ? * Because I grew up in a Christian family and regularly attended church, I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know God.

How did you come to Christ? * From an early age I was fascinated with nature, as I saw God’s power, love, orderliness, and creativity exhibited all around me. Because I had loving parents who modeled Christian principles, it was an easy transition to accept God’s love for me. I was baptized around age eleven, but even before then I recognized my sinfulness and need for Christ.

For me there was no specific “come to Jesus” moment—it was simply a gradually increasing awareness of what it meant to have a saving relationship with Christ. I am more analytic by nature, so my move toward God was more thoughtful than emotional.

What is your life like now in Christ? *    My life after coming to know Christ didn’t change appreciably at any one time. I was painfully shy and fearful of people as a kid, and becoming a Christian didn’t immediately change that—I think God had some lessons to teach me first. Because I was the only introvert in a family of extroverts, I got the idea that there was something wrong with me. While I felt very loved and accepted at home, everywhere else I felt like I was on the outside looking in. In my young mind, I thought that the only way to be a good Christian was to be a social butterfly—after all, how was I going to be able to witness to anyone if I couldn’t even carry on a basic conversation? In fact, the harder I tried, the more likely I was to put my foot in my mouth or forget everything I ever knew. Although I didn’t realize it at the time, I was overcome with a sort of inverted pride—thinking that I was worse than everyone else and unlovable because I didn’t have the ‘right’ personality. I never stopped loving and faithfully trying to obey God, but in my teens and early adult years I questioned why God had not given me the tools needed to carry out His commands. While the churches I was in during those years taught correctly, my perception was that fellow church members were only interested in those who had outgoing personalities or certain desired talents, which seemed to leave me out entirely. There seemed to be a disconnect between what Jesus said and how fellow believers acted toward those who didn’t perform as expected.

The people God has most used to influence me have mostly been those who modeled rather than spoke God’s principles, along with authors who invited me to think and imagine what an authentic Christian life would be like on a daily basis—such as C.S. Lewis, Victor Hugo, Ken Ham, and many others. Over a period of decades, and with the timely influence of several God-sent individuals in my life, I grew to understand how my own childish, sinful ideas were sabotaging my Christian life. I came to see that being an introvert wasn’t a sin, and that my worth comes only from God and not from what others, even other believers, might think of me. I acquired a greater comprehension of the inborn sin nature that continually tries to control us and to keep us from using our gifts and abilities in ways that are pleasing to God. God gradually helped my overcome my fear of people, though my old ways of thinking can still pop up in certain situations. This “thorn in the flesh” reminds me of my dependence on Him.

Early in my life God gave me a desire to somehow make a difference in others’ lives. This desire has been a driving influence in the choice of my careers and my identity as wife, parent, and part of the body of Christ. My constant desire is to seek the truth and do what is right, not what will make me popular—of course, figuring out what is right and true isn’t always easy—it requires lots of prayer, Bible reading, and analytical thinking. Like everyone else, sometimes I get it wrong—the best thing is that my failures aren’t really failures if I allow God to teach me something from them.

In spite of my struggles in building relationships, God has blessed me with a godly spouse, godly children, wonderful grandchildren, and good friends. More importantly, He has blessed me with a deep inner peace and the knowledge that He loves me no matter how often I fall short or how I happen to feel at any given moment.