Like many people who grew up in the church and trusted Christ at an early age, I do not remember specifically the moment I became a Christian. I don’t remember a time or a place. I was raised in a Christian household by godly parents, which by no means bestows salvation upon someone, but it certainly helps one get there more easily. I do vividly remember a time of doubting that I had when I was in 4th or 5th grade. I doubted my salvation, as I was not sure if the first time I became a Christian had “taken”. This is a time I remember vividly, and at that point, I then knew that I fully understood that the wages of my sin are death, but through Christ, the gift of God is eternal life.
So, in that sense, my story does not have much of a “before” element to it. But I can tell you that the experience I had with doubt in 4th or 5th grade was not the last. The chosen people of God were given the name Israel, which means “wrestled with God or contended with God”. In my life, that is not too difficult of an extension to make for myself. All throughout my life, I have wrestled with the idea of God, the commands of God, the nature of God, and the very idea of the existence of a god at all. At times, atheism seemed much more attractive to me than Christianity. But despite all that, I could not quite shake having faith in God. It hung on by a thread for many years. The thread on which it hung was the things God was doing in my life – the things that He was doing to bring me back into full relationship with Him, though I was kicking and screaming at times.
I was a fairly angry person when I was 15-20, but as I gave my anger over to God, He redeemed me from it. In college, my anger turned to nihilism (the belief that there is no intrinsic meaning or value in life), but He redeemed me from that as well. When I finished college and moved back to Yukon, I prayed (almost dared Him) that He would show Himself in our church and raise up the next generation of Christian leaders. As He often does for those who show little faith, He gave me a sign. He began to build a community of young adults at CCC! We started with three people, and now we are a group of over twenty. I am not saying that all of this was specifically for me, but it has done more for my relationship with God than anything else. Now He is showing me what it means to grow deeper in relationship with Him and to live my life as a light in order that many may come to know Him by what He has done, and is doing in my life. I am by no means the perfect vessel, but He is the perfect God. He will redeem you, just as He has redeemed me. This I can say with more certainty than I can say about anything else.