What’s Your Story?
A series of Christian salvation stories — starting with my own
Since being saved in 2001, I have had an interest in hearing the stories of other believers who have given their lives to Jesus.
Before and after stories of many Christians can be so inspiring and uplifting. And who couldn’t use some inspiration?
So I’ve decided to feature one story every week here on Medium, starting with my own.
I was born in 1968 to parents who emigrated from the Netherlands to the province of Ontario in Canada.
My three older brothers and I were raised in the Roman Catholic Church and attended Separate School throughout grade and high school.
Although I knew who Jesus was and loved Him, I felt like Religion was more of a school subject, and Church was relegated to Sundays only.
My faith was on the peripheral of my life, rather than integrated into it. I had a “box” for everything: health, education, work, family, faith, etc., and managed to keep faith separate from the other aspects of my life.
I stopped attending church regularly when I moved out on my own to attend University. I got married in the Catholic Church and both my children were baptized. Not because I believed it was important; it was just the thing to do.
Life was going fine.
Until it wasn’t.
I had just turned 30-years-old when I received devastating news and the world as I saw it through my rose-coloured glasses shattered.
I had to deal with the police, children’s aid society, lawyers, courts, counselors, supervisors, and a very different and ugly world than I was used to.
However, in the midst of this horror show, I moved towns, and in my desperation to find someone to befriend I stumbled across a women’s Bible study group.
I wrote about that experience here:
Through the love of the women in the Bible study, I gave my heart to Jesus.
Although I knew who Jesus was and loved Him, I finally fully understood that He wanted a relationship with me.
He didn’t want to be relegated to Sundays only. He wanted to be part of everything: my health, my education, my work, my family.
I started to pray and read my Bible every day. I started to journal and “talk” with God through the pages.
One morning, I had an incredible experience that left me overwhelmed. I shared with my family in an email:
Tuesday May 15, 2001
I just wanted to share with you an AWESOME experience I had this morning.
I was enjoying my morning coffee, when the kids were playing downstairs, I decided to relax in my (beautifully newly painted) living room. I had an overwhelming urge to write and decided not to ignore it this time. I figured that if I were to write my book, I had better get started on it sometime.
Well, I got my notepad and my special writing pen and sat on my couch ready to write.
At that point something took over.
My eyes sort of blurred and it was as if I was taking dictation for someone. I was overwhelmed by the feeling of the Holy Spirit in me, and couldn’t control my sobbing as I wrote.
It was as if God was talking to me directly, through the Holy Spirit, through my pen. This is what He said:
Trust in God and your children will be safe. Don’t try to tackle the evil on your own — it’ll crush you. Let God help. He wants to help. He wants to take care of His family. Everything will be alright.
God is all powerful and all knowing. He knows your pain. He knows your fear. Lift it up unto Him and He will take care of it. You need only ask. You need not fight this alone.
At this point, Daniel came crying asking me to help him find his Pokémon. Leave it up to kids to yank you back to the present!
This was the most awesome experience I’ve ever had. If I’ve ever doubted God’s presence before this, I can honestly say I don’t now!!!
You know how sometimes you pray and ask for a sign from God that He has heard you; well, here it was for me!!!!!
I’m still teary eyed and shaky thinking about it.
My eldest brother shared with me that he had been praying for my salvation for 13 years. Now we both are praying for the rest of our family to join us in the joy of being born-again.
And over 20 years later, I still enjoy an intimate relationship with my Saviour. He is my best friend.
I talk with Jesus as if He was sitting next to me…as I believe that He is. He’s always been there with me, through the good times and the bad times. I’m only sorry that it took the bad times for me to finally understand this.
Stay tuned as I will be continuing to share salvation stories of other Christians through this “What’s Your Story?” series.
(First featured on Medium platform February 2, 2021)