I was about nine years old when I told my dad I was a Christian, and I was baptised at fifteen. But from then to just the end of 2007 – that’s about two years – I was attacked by terrible doubts and worries that I wasn’t a Christian after all. I was terrified that I might die a non-Christian, and had no idea what to do.
I can barely remember my conversion. I remember telling my dad I was a Christian, and my mum can remember me asking her what it meant to be a Christian. But I have no memory of actually becoming a Christian.
This, I believe, was used by the devil to make me doubt my salvation. Nearly every week I would hear people saying how they can remember a time when they were not saved and rebelled against God – or how they were converted on the 6 June, at twenty-five past ten, or whatever.
Hearing these stories panicked me. I couldn’t remember a time when I rebelled against God or hated God – I had always believed God was there. But nor could I remember being converted.
The truth revealed
A few weeks ago I sat in church and just started to think the whole thing through. For a while after that I would just think and pray almost constantly, trying to find reassurance.
Eventually, while out walking, I suddenly felt much better and became sure in my heart that I was a Christian – and had been for many years! My conversion must have been a very gradual process and I probably didn’t realise at the time what was happening.
I was talking to a friend at the time and he encouraged me to write all of this down. He pointed out that it would be a testimony – not a story of how I became a Christian but a story of what God had done!
That, after all, is what it’s all about. I had been looking in myself for what I had (or hadn’t) experienced, when I should have been looking to Christ for what he has done for me.
I hope my experience can be used by God. Perhaps in years to come I will meet someone else who doubts as I did, and I’ll be able to tell them my story. Maybe someone is reading this now who can’t remember their conversion and worries just like I did. I hope that I’ll be a help to someone like that.
God is truly amazing. Through recent weeks, and even while writing this, I’ve been filled with joy as I remembered the hard times I went through and just how good God was to me at those times.
I’m so glad that throughout that period of doubting I still went to church and prayer meetings. I’m especially thankful to God for my boyfriend who has been such a help, persuading me to keep reading my Bible and praying.
And I’m trusting in God that if I ever have a time of doubt again, that he will look after me all the way through it!
I’ll add a verse from the Bible because that is where we learn what God is like and what he wants to tell us. This verse says exactly what I feel. This is from Psalm 31:7-8: ‘I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place’.