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I had to be sure

December 2005 | by Louise Carter

I always imagined that the answers to life lay in experiencing new things – travelling, learning about other cultures and meeting new people. Having grown up with no religious influence, I was happy to accept this as being ‘all there is’. But I soon discovered that these things provided only temporary happiness.

So started my journey of questioning. I decided to ask a work colleague about his Christian faith. I was apprehensive, unsure how he would respond. I didn’t want to offend him and was also worried that I might feel pressured. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

My colleague invited me to a Guest Service at his local church. I was surprised how relaxed and friendly the people were. I was given a Bible and began to read the Gospel of John. For the first time, I started to seriously consider what my beliefs were and why I believed them.

I was reading real, historical evidence in the Gospels and seeking how people had an actual relationship with this person called Jesus. It had never struck me before that Jesus was real and that I also could have a relationship with him. So I kept reading, asking questions and talking to people.

Was it for real?

I knew very little about Christianity and had to be sure that the things I was discovering about God were for real – that I wasn’t just fooling myself. Maybe it was a comfort thing or I was looking for something to make me feel better? But that was not what I was experiencing!

As a person who hates change or the thought of not being in control, this was far from ‘comfortable’ for me. Also, I was worried about what my friends and family would think if I became a Christian.

But after months of thinking and questioning, I knew I had to make a decision. I thought I could just ‘sit on the fence’ – until I realised that there is no fence with God. It was a simple decision, either to accept Jesus or to reject him. And so, strange as it felt, I prayed, asking God to forgive me and to bring me into a relationship with himself through Jesus Christ.

A changed life

I thought I would experience a ‘bolt of lightening’ or be overcome with some emotion. That didn’t happen to me. Rather, over a period of weeks and months, I felt a growing assurance that God was working in every part of my life. I sensed the absolute joy of putting my trust in Jesus for each day.

God’s love has changed my life in every way. Of course, life is never plain sailing but I have experienced God’s blessings in bringing me through difficult times as well as good times. The Christian life is definitely a daily challenge but an amazing and privileged one.

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Evangelistic