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I Did It My Way

May 19, 2008

I became a Christ follower at the age of 19. I did not come from a family of believers. just the opposite in fact. Me family consists of Atheists, Tarot Card readers, my Mom thinks she has been re-incarnated and has had many past lives.

So, I became a Christian by my own volition. In other words, I was not “raised Christian”.

So I was just curious to know something, where ever you are in life…

How did you arrive there?

What or who influenced you?

Are you pleased with where you are?

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45 Comments leave one →
  1. May 19, 2008 5:20 am

    i’m currently a worship leader and seminary wife – my husband is preparing for ministry. i guess that makes me an aspiring pastor’s wife??

    How did you arrive there? – bible belt, baby.

    What or who influenced you? – my aunt is a preacher’s wife – and a dang crazy one too. plus, i had an incredible mentor walk me through some serious times fresh outta college.

    Are you pleased with where you are? – externally, yes. internally, no.

  2. May 19, 2008 5:49 am

    1, I came from a truely Christian family – however, I was about 4 when they started going to church and became Christians.

    2. My mom #1 – dad #2 – Sunday school Teachers, pastors.

    3. Yes Tam – I believe my walk is one of continuous growth – I think I am listening better to day than yesterday.

  3. May 19, 2008 5:53 am

    I attended church (pentecostal)as a little girl w/ my grandma. I mostly went because she bribed me w/ a shopping trip afterward. The rest of family is Mormon and a few Baptists. I actually got saved at age 24.

    My friend Kristi invited me to a girls camping weekend. It turned out to be a bible thumpin, hand raisin, Jesus praisin weekend.

    Turns out an old friend that I had wronged was there as well. I had to confront & resolve a BIG issue that had been looming for 8 years. She forgave me….that was it. I knew that I would serve Christ for the rest of my life. How could anyone forgive what I had done? And so easily? I wanted – no – needed that in my own life.

    No, I’m never pleased w/ where I’m at. Isn’t that human nature? I want to do better, know better, love better.

  4. May 19, 2008 6:23 am

    My folks were Christian. I committed at 15, and ended up going to a Christian university to study for the ministry. My experiences at the college and in ministry influenced me, but not in the most constructive fashion. They left me rather cynical, not about the faith but about how it is practiced.

    I am happy to still have my faith and the love and support of my brothers and sisters in Christ. As to my cynicism…I don’t know if I should be happy about that.

  5. lori permalink
    May 19, 2008 6:24 am

    How did you arrive there?
    Internet. 2 and a half years ago. Although my family thought they were Christians, they were not, and still mostly are not although they gave me the foundation that I have since built on. My uncle, who is a pastor, tried to show me salvation when I was about 12 but I didn’t trust him (still don’t but that’s another story). I had to reach the bottom of the pit before I could see that I was there. I came to be saved quite by His will.

    What or who influenced you?
    The priest who TAUGHT me how to forgive. That single lesson in forgivness is what brought me to see the bottom of the pit I was in and am now clawing my way out of and ultimately to salvation. God set it all up…all of it.

    Are you pleased with where you are?
    Not yet. I like where I’m headed, but I’m not at a place where I can say I’m satisfied. There is alot of work to be done and my sleeves are rolled up, but it’s early still. I like who I have around me, who I have teaching me, and the influences that are helping to shape my new found faith.

  6. May 19, 2008 6:43 am

    I was raised in a Muslim family. For 19 years I prayed to allah and experienced so much confusion and pain as to why he wasn’t responding. I didn’t understand why certain things were sinful [wasting food, not bringing someone water when they ask for it]. I was taught about the good angel on your right side and the bad angel on your left and if at the day of judgement if the bad angel had more things on his list than the good angel you would go to hell. I was always falling short and was constantly fearful of the reprecussions.

    At 19, I came to the States for college. There were no Pakistanis and/or Muslims and so I was separated from religion during that entire time. I feel like during college I had completely rebelled against Islam and was almost doing things deliberately that were considered against it. During my SR year I was exposed to Christ through my close friends who were also my roommates. Gospel music. Prayer. I never participated but I was listening. My Jamaican friend made me a gospel cd and I used to listen to it at night when I felt lonely or scared. It comforted me. I didn’t know why. I started dating this guy who took me to church for the first time at Easter in 2004. I didn’t quite feel comfortable there. The preacher emphasized on sin and there wasn’t much talk about grace. At the time, I was vulnerable and broken and I needed someone to tell me that I was loved and forgiven.

    A few months later, I started going to another church with a friend of mine and that is when God started tugging at my heart. On a special 5th Sunday service in January of 06, I started crying at the altar. The next day I called my pastor and told him I wanted to give my life to Christ [I was so “young” didn’t even know I could do that in my own heart and receive Him]. But I went to church and him and an elder from the church prayed over me and there I was: a new creation in Christ. It was the happiest day of my life!

    [I guess that was #1 and #2–sorry that it’s so long!]

    #3 I think I answered that above too but definitely my three friends from college, my husband and my best friend who invited me to church that November 05 Sunday morning.

    #4 I praise God for His grace in helping me get this far but everytime I think I’m getting closer I am humbled to realize this is a life-long process. I am never going to be perfected until Christ returns and so I have to live every day of my life in preparation; still learning; still humbled; still teachable. I have come a long way but I still have a long way to go. Praise God that through Him, this is possible 🙂

  7. May 19, 2008 6:46 am

    {ps the night I decided to live for Christ, I said my first prayer ever to Him, holding hands with “that guy”–it is one of the most memorable nights in my life and which is one of the reasons why I ended up marrying him 😉

  8. May 19, 2008 6:47 am

    How did you arrive there? I was raised in a real, honest-to-goodness Christian home and attended a Christian school for my elementary years. I accepted Christ for my self when I was very young.

    What or who influenced you? My parents did, simply because their faith was a way of life.

    Are you pleased with where you are? Yes and no. I’m always yearning for more in my faith, but I learned a long time ago that asking God to change you is a dangerous (good) thing!

  9. May 19, 2008 7:34 am

    Wow. I really enjoyed reading gchyayles story.

    My parents were both born again before they were married. When my mom was pregnant with me they applied to go to Africa as missionaries. So…I blame them for my love for Africa. (I was pregnant with Emma when we were in missions school). My brother and I grew up in the church and dedicated our hearts to Jesus at a very young age. We had some wonderful influences in our lives – pastors, ministry leaders.

    I am happy where we are – I know we are now raising our girls to love Jesus and I know I won’t be in this stage forever. So just like Mandy answered: externally yes, but internally no.

    Good question.

  10. May 19, 2008 8:02 am

    How did I get here? Well, that’s a long story but here’s the short version. I was raised in the Mormon church and, by the time I was a teenager, began to question some of the things I was being taught. When I turned 18 and was expected to go on a mission, I left the church because I could not sell a bill of goods to others that I wasn’t even sure I believed in myself. After a period of several years (and enduring very difficult circumstances in our life), my wife and I began attending a Mormon church near our home. We threw ourselves into it wholeheartedly but it wasn’t long before those same nagging questions (and many more) from years before began to resurface. The catalyst for leaving the Mormon church was becoming broken down by a hidden sin, getting to the end of myself, confessing to my bishop, expecting love and grace and recieving only judgement and condemnation. At that point, I began to seriously investigate the Mormon church, its doctrines, its history, etc. and realized it was not something I wanted to be part of. I had my name removed from the records of the Mormon church (despite threats of eternal damnation) and was unchurched for a couple of years before discovering my current place of worship.

    Who influenced me? It was all by the grace of God. I was the first in my immediate family to renounce Mormonism and begin a relationship with Jesus Christ based on truth.

    Am I pleased with where I am? In terms of being out of the Mormon church, yes. Personally, no. I am pleased with how far God has brought me, I’m pleased to be freed from the chains of addiction, but I’m excited to keep moving forward. I hope I never become too content with where I am because, for me, it would lead to complacency and I would stop growing.

  11. May 19, 2008 8:03 am

    There are innumerable complex factors that brought me to the current point in my life. Each builds on or contradicts the previous experiences that I’ve had. Just like everyone else. It is amazing when you think about it.

    As for significant influences I’d have to cite a few teachers who impressed me with their passion for their subjects. As you know, passion is contagious.

    Am I happy? Eminently, thanks but I’d like to add that life changes constantly and new things influence us as old things can be reinterpreted in new ways.

  12. May 19, 2008 8:13 am

    my dad has been a christian pastor my whole life. so my parents were definitely a huge influence on me coming to faith in Jesus. i couldn’t be happier with that.

  13. May 19, 2008 8:21 am

    How did i arrive here? Definitely by car! 🙂

    I drove myself mostly and had plenty of different stops along the way at places i found ‘interesting’.

    Both my parents had some influence on me – i think they made me a ‘nice’ person with respect for myself and good manners. But on the whole i have ‘driven’ myself where i felt i wanted to go – although He has probably had a greater part to play than i have given Him credit for.

    I think My Aunt Ray influenced my early childhood a lot and gave me most of my desire to learn – i love to learn and to share what i have found out – from the age of 5 or 6 i have been that way.

    For most of the first half of my life i was a non-believer. Traces of that live in me still but for many years i have renounced my faith in science for a Faith in the ‘unknown’. Well, unknown to science at any rate and largely unknown to me also 🙂

    And i have learned much about Jesus who i consider to be The Perfect Role Model – who is to always be trusted. His Wisdom exceeds any other human i know of.

    On Religion i am mostly self taught and self-reliant although i see where God may well bring certain people into my life for varying lengths of time who can subtly guide me in His Ways.

    Nature also supports my knowledge of Him – The One True God.

    Am i pleased with where i am? Considering some of the places i Could be – i’m blessed and lucky. I’m probably where i deserve to be for what efforts i have made in my life. There are one or two things i could have on my ‘wish’ list but i feel that for me to deserve them – based upon many stories i have read here – i would need to go through quite a lot of pain to get them and i have never been a fan of pain.

    I hope i don’t ‘settle’ for how i am now and that i continue to Grow in Him more and more but on the whole i’d have to say he’s been pretty good to me so far 🙂

    Generally i’d say Life’s way too short to be unhappy with something about it for too long! Learn to love where you’re at – but don’t ever settle for that. Seek more of Him – and ‘lose’ the self. 🙂

    <B

  14. ramsey72 permalink
    May 19, 2008 8:21 am

    I grew up in a Christian home, went to Christian school, and then to Christian college. I even went into full time Christian ministry for a few years after college but left that jaded and disillusioned. Left the church for awhile and the whole time I thought I was doing my own thing, God was bringing to a place where I would experience healing and grace. That is where I am now.
    As far as influences, my parents were definitely an influence. A teacher that I worked with in Atlanta helped me get back on the road to finding out who God is for myself and not just what I have been taught. My current pastor and his wife have taught me grace and humility. I have several good friends who challenge me and push me to go deeper with God.
    I am happy right now with where my life is, but never want to become complacent. I have felt a stirring in my spirit for sometime now that God is getting me ready to take me to a different level.

  15. TheNorEaster permalink
    May 19, 2008 8:29 am

    “How did you arrive there?”
    My friend, Scott, told me that God loves me DESPITE what I did wrong; I wasn’t raised in a Christian family.

    “What or who influenced you?”
    Many, many, many people.

    “Are you pleased with where you are?”
    Not by a long shot.

  16. May 19, 2008 8:35 am

    I was raised in a Christian home – my Mom was a PK and my Dad was the music minister. I always wanted to serve the
    Lord, but thought it had something to do with
    ‘setting people straight’ vs. ‘setting people free.’

    It took until my mid-twenties and living in a different culture to see the answers in the Scriptures instead of in my church’s doctrine. Bible study has changed my focus to be upon His Word and not man’s tradition.

    No, I’m not happy with where I am today, many trials and tribulations these days, but I am joyful in Him and the strength He brings. I identify best with Jeremiah…

  17. TheNorEaster permalink
    May 19, 2008 8:49 am

    And, actually, I remember going to the youth group at my old church as a teenager and feeling so left out because I wasn’t raised in a Christian family. Instead, I came from a family filled with alcoholics and drug addicts. And while other Christian kids were arguing about nothing, I was praying for my sister to sober up after she had totalled her car and praying for my brother to stop getting arrested for stealing cars and doing drugs. And for my mother NOT to be stone drunk when I got home from school. And for most of my life, my relationship with my father was a freakin’ lost cause.

    There were so many problems when I was growing up that oftentimes my Christian peers would put me on a shelf and then go make hilarious videos about the “in-home-homeless” sleeping in basement freezers because “there is no wind chill” in a freezer. And everybody would laugh.

    Of course, I did too. I laughed a lot in those days; I had to. It was the only way I survived and stayed sober. You’ve seen my sense of humor. I still love to laugh–and I still laugh a whole lot in real life–but not at the expense of my calling and election. I’ve been the kid hiding in the corner, starving and forsaken, abandoned by The Body. Sometimes, I think that is where I truly found God. And now that I’m all grown up, the “kid in the corner” is the first one to get my attention–not the most popular one at church or at school or the one with the most money or the nicest car or the best whatever.

    For the least is the greatest and the greatest is the least in God’s eyes. And I have been fortunate enough to see exactly that much. Just that much.

  18. May 19, 2008 9:17 am

    How did you arrive there?
    miracle (much like your description)

    What or who influenced you?
    16 year old high school friend invited me to a church, the Spirit of God

    Are you pleased with where you are?
    not completely, but adequately

  19. May 19, 2008 9:55 am

    Thanks, NorEaster.

  20. TheNorEaster permalink
    May 19, 2008 10:09 am

    What did I do now, Michelle…? 😳

  21. May 19, 2008 10:10 am

    i have really enjoyed reading through all your answers. Thanks for sharing. It’s helping me formulate a question for my next post. No, it wasn’t a trick – it just kinda happened. 😉

    you guys bless me. you really do! thanks for always being here and for your friendship!

  22. May 19, 2008 10:11 am

    Nor – you’re so funny. don’t assume you’re in trouble. Now would Michelle ever be mean to you?

  23. TheNorEaster permalink
    May 19, 2008 11:09 am

    Tam:

    Ya gots yer shelf a poind wit dat one! All dough ya yer shelf mighd nud take id so’s gud if’n I keep whitin’ wike dis! 😉

  24. May 19, 2008 11:10 am

    How did you arrive there?
    God dragged me into the kingdom kicking and screaming … until I saw that I was kicking him and screaming at him. Age 39. Until then I was content just being another closet atheist.

    What or who influenced you?
    Christian Grandma impacted me from age 5 – 10. She planted the seed. My adult Sunday School teacher Leah made me read the bible for the first time ages 38-39.

    Are you pleased with where you are?
    As long as this does not include ‘satisfied’ then Yes. I know now I am blessed beyond compare. I live with much joy and want to share that joy with as many people possible.

  25. Heidi permalink
    May 19, 2008 11:15 am

    Where i can from? A rich white Oregon political family that had no clue that Jesus existed.. It was all about money and luxury. But one thing my parents did believe in was the freedom to try things….. so

    How I met? I found Jesus through a youth rally and that changed my life forever. That was in 1983. Wow I am old!!
    Yea, I’ve glanced back a time or two to my old life.

    Am I happy of where I am at….
    No.. then I become complacent and not “disturbed” like I talked about in my blog today than God doesn’t became forefront in my life.. just a Sunday thing.

    This is above is a daily routine- I’m not perfected in it AT ALL!!

  26. May 19, 2008 11:38 am

    Am I happy with were I am??? No, but I am happy with the progress so far

    BTW Tam, the Secret is revealed

  27. May 19, 2008 11:53 am

    I would have to say I did it Gods way. Finally.
    I was doing it my way, but When God decides its time, its time, my friend. I became christian/saved because God choose me to be.

  28. Deborah permalink
    May 19, 2008 12:18 pm

    How did you arrive there? By a gentle touch from God…..

    What or who influenced you? My family, I can’t say friends because at that time I didn’t know the meaning of the word..but when God made Himself known to me..I knew He was real and joyfully there was no going back.

    Are you pleased with where you are? In most respects…I am completely content in who I am, and who He is within me, but there is always the urge to push farther in the ministry, and closer to Him so in that regard, I don’t think I’ll ever get close enough until we stand face to face. I love to think about it.

  29. May 19, 2008 12:19 pm

    NorEaster, you know me better than that!!!

    If I were mad, you would get one of those emails 😯

    I was thanking you for being vulnerable – you speak with honesty and sometimes it hurts – but it always sharpens.

  30. May 19, 2008 12:43 pm

    I’m a short commenter…so, where am I now?
    Christ Follower, wife, student, teacher, etc

    How did you arrive there?
    The interstate of the school of hard, very hard knocks, with a back road to Florida and an extra can of chunky chicken noodle soup

    What or who influenced you?
    My main slice of cheese, my mom, and CS Lewis

    Are you pleased with where you are?
    Sometimes my life feels like it is on pause and waiting for school to be finished or our house to sell…overall, I am living not as I hoped but as I dreamed.

  31. May 19, 2008 1:32 pm

    you are the reason i can’t get Old Blue Eyes outta my head.

  32. May 19, 2008 1:56 pm

    Biggest influence is my wife. The Interstate of Hard Knocks still has the skid marks from me screeching to a halt when I met her. She inspires me and I thank God everyday that she is my wife.

  33. TheNorEaster permalink
    May 19, 2008 2:06 pm

    Yeah. Hurts a lot sometimes…

  34. May 19, 2008 3:33 pm

    I’m loving reading about everyone’s journeys!!

    1. I grew up in the catholic church. Went to a baptist university, found out what it truly means to be a child of God, married a preacher’s kid and now my mom refers to me as her Baplic!
    I had always worshipped and loved the Lord, but I felt I really accepted Christ into my heart in college when I really established a relationship with Him. 2. One person in particular that influenced me was a dear sweet older friend. She was a strong Christian and for my high school graduation gave me my first Bible. I had never just picked up a Bible and read it for fun before. Who knew I’d be here today relying on it every day for guidance. 3. Yes and no. Continually loving and learning. I wish I could blog more about my faith, but everytime I step out to do so the words aren’t there. That’s my prayer right now.

  35. May 19, 2008 4:03 pm

    I went to a rock concert and got saved. However, I was raised by Christian parents (go figure). I was only 11, and I can still remember the tears I cried as I knelt down to be forgiven of my sin.

  36. May 19, 2008 5:17 pm

    i was raised in for the latter part of my adolesance in a Christian family..i totally rejected it…so when I did it my way..the pit was my home…and the levels to the pit seemed endless…i watched friends die, literally…experienced suicide of someone close to me, and angry at God is an understatement…but He reached into that pit, sat in the crap of a life I had, and rocked me…and walked me through each and every step that brought me here…it is all HIM and none of me, I know what I am capable of..and its not good.

    Am I happy ? Yes! and also anticipating what and where is next with HIM..HE does not ever sit still..and complacency is not something that HE will allow me to get away with.

    hahaha i forgot the rest you wanted to know…oh well we have an eternity to catch up! love you Princess, and i am thrilled that HE brought us both here today!

  37. May 19, 2008 6:54 pm

    I was born into Catholicism and even went through ten years of private Catholic education. Although today I’m not a “practicing” Catholic in the strictest meaning of the term, my relationship with God and my affinity for the Catholic traditions are intact. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve developed a great appreciation and respect for all forms of worship, including the polytheistic beliefs of most “eastern” nations– considering it their God-given right, a nod to free will. I sometimes struggle with this as I feel I’m given every opportunity by God to set the record straight, so to speak, and am just too fearful of the potential confrontation. So, instead, I focus on myself and my own beliefs and practices. Does this make me a bad Christian?

  38. Michael permalink
    May 19, 2008 7:42 pm

    Just about to type when for some reason I scroll up and see Darla’s response.

    Almost exactly like mine. I didn’t really reject Christ, more like just wanted to do things my way as I turned into an adult. Reached the pits, and at 25 rededicated my life to God. Been going strong ever since.

    God bless.

  39. May 19, 2008 8:25 pm

    “Where ever you are in life….”

    i am in a place of contentment and peace and solace. I am certain The Divine is in everyone and everything regardless of whether we call The Divine: God, Allah, Brahma, Dios, Yehweh, Jehovah or any one of the thousands of words humans have invented for that which is the Ultimate Reality.

    peace,
    Jules

  40. May 19, 2008 9:06 pm

    So Mandy loves Frank Sinatra now??? 😕

    I bet Lopez is crushed!

    <B

  41. May 19, 2008 9:42 pm

    I was raised in church so I came to know the Lord at an early age. I don’t know a “person” who really influenced me, just being consistently in church, we had an amazing youth group for such a small town.
    Am I pleased with where I’m at? I’m pleased at the progress I’ve made but there is so much more to be done in me.

  42. May 20, 2008 11:39 am

    I know I was in my parent’s Baptist church the Sunday after I was born 🙂

    I am thankful for my upbringing. I have never had a time where I didn’t have Christ in my life. He wasn’t always my Lord, but He has always been my Savior.

  43. May 20, 2008 9:22 pm

    (i’m responding to these posts out of order…)

    my parents got saved when i was 5… i made the decision shortly after. from then on, i grew up in a “christian home”. i feel like i can say the same as cindy — Christ wasn’t always my Lord but He’s always been my Savior. (what a great statement!)

  44. May 21, 2008 4:42 am

    What Lopez doesn’t know won’t hurt him!!!
    😉

  45. May 21, 2008 6:45 am

    Lol – my lips are sealed 😐

    Good job i have fingers huh? 😉

    Lopey – Oh, Lopey!…

    <B

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