Growing up I was a very shy child, afraid of making mistakes and lacking confidence. When I was in the eighth grade, a friend told me that her mother said I had an inferiority complex. With that comment I grew even more self-conscious and insecure.
As a young adult, I followed what was popular culturally, looking for peace and happiness. I became involved with sorcery and occult practices, such as automatic handwriting and palm reading, and I sought out fortune-tellers.
My family went to church, but I didn’t know much about the Bible. God only seemed to be a part of my life when I was in the church building.
My father’s mother was a very devout Christian. She read her Bible at home and was a very giving and loving woman. But when I would stay at her house overnight, I would often have nightmares about something trying to “get me.”
My mother also became involved in the occult. When I was twenty years old, my mother’s sister came to my house and gave me a book to read. She said that the things my mother was involved in were devilish and not from God. I thought my aunt was just a religious prude and scoffed at what she said. But her boldness planted a seed, a question that I eventually desired to have answered.
I prayed to God five years later, asking, “Who is right and who is wrong? Is there really any way to know You, God? If You are there and if You can, please show me.”
Within three days I saw an old high school friend who had moved back to town. She was involved with The Way and was having fellowship in her home. I wasn’t searching for something that agreed with what I already believed, I wanted a way to know what is true.
The Word shared at fellowship was logical and inspiring. I began to believe that life could be good. I learned how to stop the flood of thoughts that left me anxious and afraid. I became excited about living, knowing that God loved me and would help me overcome my challenges. I didn’t have to be anxious about not being perfect and not knowing everything. I could live and grow from stage to stage and enjoy the grace of God in my life.
The Word I was learning made sense, and I saw that the Bible had integrity; so I began to trust God and change. The Word regarding “are the dead alive now?” was vital for me. Even though it was logical, it took time for me to become convinced.
I read the book Receiving the Holy Spirit Today and spoke in tongues in the privacy of my home. Immediately after I did, I clearly perceived that I had been deceived by counterfeit spiritual phenomena. It was amazing. There was not heavy sorrow, just an acknowledgement that I had been wrong and tremendous thankfulness to know I was born again and a child of the one true God.
For the first time in my life, I experienced genuine peace and began enjoying the fruit of the spirit. I had joy overflowing and a heart full of love. My demeanor changed dramatically. I was set free from my prisons and began to experience life and the goodness of God. It was such a blessing to have something to give, knowing I could pray for others, share the Word, and help others experience God’s goodness.
I am so thankful God heard and answered my prayer, showing me The Way and how to know God’s will from His Word.