Today, I want to recount some events of my life over the last three years, starting with the summer before my baptism. Some events just play out in ways that cannot honestly be explained away by coincidence apart from a higher power. I believe God is sovereign over every moment, and I am thankful for the ministry of She Reads Truth.
I have not always enjoyed a healthy relationship with the Bible, but this ministry (to say the least) puts the words of scripture into beautiful magazine workbooks on the most quality keepsake paper. You can read it. You can write all over it. You can grow in biblical literacy as you soak in the text. At least, that has been my experience.
This is the Gospel
One of the She Reads Truth study books has this title. I wanted to know the good news, so I bought the book. (Gospel means good news.)
The study books are printed with the Christian Standard Bible® translation, and I noticed John 3:16 read a little differently than I was used to hearing. “For God so loved the world…” was written, “For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 CSB®
Just a simple change of wording had me contemplating the way God loved the world rather than only noting He loved the world quite a lot.
Baptize Me Now
I don’t know if I can fully communicate the gravity of the moment when I realized the Jesus who God raised from the dead is actually God and actually lives right now. Every moment, He’s alive. Every moment, He’s accessible. Every moment, He’s here. Baptize me now.
This was such a huge revelation to me because when I was in college, I was brainwashed by a manipulative cult. I was taught that Jesus is not God. This is heretical, erroneous nonsense.
Instead, there were three absolute truths I was just beginning to see.
1. Jesus is God.
2. He lives.
3. He is love.
In November 2019, I was baptized and became a member of Fishers United Methodist Church.
What Else Would I Choose?
As I write, I kind of care that my words are read by someone (other than my husband) and I kind of don’t. I don’t crave being known because I already am. I’m known and loved by God. His constant presence and His promise of faithfulness and His sovereignty over every moment are more than enough to celebrate.
I hope and persevere and wait and imperfectly commit the entirety of my existence to seek God because what else would I possibly choose than to be His? He is so good. Perfect. Holy. Right. Awesome. WOW. Whoa. And my emotions are reached, palpably by this truth. This absolute truth.
Surprise from Wapakoneta
Wapakoneta, Ohio is a small town best known for Neil Armstrong. It is also a location approximately five miles from the headquarters of the Way International. This is a religious cult I left in 2012.
Imagine my surprise when I received a message from a man whose online dating profile indicated he lived in Wapakoneta. Imagine our first “face to face” conversation where he stayed in front of a computer screen for six hours on Zoom and listened to my story before we met.
He’s now my husband, and we no longer live in Wapakoneta.
A Note on Functional Gods
Sometimes when you think you are following Jesus, you can be following something else instead, like empathy or suffering. These are functional gods.