After a day composed of many doubts, I wasn’t feeling connected with much of anything. On my way to church I told my friend I didn’t understand why my faith hasn’t gotten a lot stronger, and that I wish God would just do something so I knew for sure that everything I’ve been doing lately was real, and pleasing to him. He laughed and said, “Oh, don’t worry, God will show you he’s real. He’ll remove all doubts, just you wait.” All I could think was, “I sure hope he does that soon.” Throughout church I was in a daze and just going through the motions. I remember thinking before communion, “Can I truly be taking this communion if I don’t believe with all of my heart, mind, and soul that there is a God, and he is Jesus, and everything I’ve experienced in the past five months is completely real?” It scared me knowing that I was even questioning that. I thought I was doing all the right things, but it was like the more I pursued God, I was feeling like I couldn’t say with 100% confidence that God was real, and I’ve experienced him. (Which is nonsense because looking back He was so present and worked so many miracles in my life.)
Anyways, after hanging out with two friends most of the day, they were finally going to go home so I could study, but feeling down, I suggested we all go get dinner. Even talking during dinner, I continued asking my one friend (who’s been following Christ for about five years now) questions, and just thinking that this whole following Jesus thing is all too much to ask for, and too hard to do. I was struggling with doubts big time. I thought, “I’ll never have a true peace of mind… I’ll always have pointless, anxious thoughts that make me question things.” My whole focus of the conversation was that I’d been getting stressed out and anxious, and therefore losing hope. How could I call myself a follower of Christ if I wasn’t 100% sure in my heart that he was even real?
Well, those doubts were all removed about an hour or two later. And boy, was God direct. We got back to my house, and once again, my two friends were going to go home, but still feeling bad that I was struggling with doubts, I suggested we hang out for a little longer, hoping something would click while we all talked about it. My one friend was reading through the book of James and explaining some things to us that were making sense, and I was slowly starting to feel a little better, but still thought I needed something huge to happen to remove this fog from my mind. While he was reading, his Facebook account was up on my computer and I grabbed it and joked that he had two messages in his inbox and I was going to read them. I figured they were from girls, but he said to go ahead and read them because they were probably just his daily Bible verses that he receives. I opened up the message and read the daily verse. My jaw dropped. Chills ran through my entire body. The verse read, “CASTING ALL YOUR ANXIETIES ON HIM, BECAUSE HE CARES FOR YOU.” 1 Peter 5:7. I was suddenly filled up with an incredible sense of love. My face burst into the biggest smile I’ve ever experienced. I’ve been filled with God’s presence and overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit before, but this was on a whole other level. I felt weightless and out of my body almost. I continued to read what came next and was in complete shock and awe of what I was reading:
“Life can get hectic and extremely stressful. Our responsibilities and commitments become more than we can handle sometimes. We have tests to do well on and standards to live up to. It seems like we have rubrics for everything. We stretch thin to accommodate for the pressures of life and the expectations of us, and we eventually reach our limit. Once this happens everything just seems to get very tough and hard to handle: school, jobs, relationships, friendships, or whatever the case may be. Our stress levels rise, and we start to break down and feel weak because we think we can’t ever do anything right. This is ok because we have someone strong to lean on: God. He is here for us and wants us to rely on Him in times of stress and need. He cares for us and wants us to be ok, and only true peace comes through trusting and relying on Him to take care of us when we need Him to. As Christians, we need to remember this. When we are going through a rough time, we need to remember to turn to God first, to rely on Him to get us through, and, ultimately, to do our best with anything that comes our way. With God’s help, the pressure we are under can be significantly reduced.
-What are you struggling with? Turn to God and spend time in His word. He will help you out. “
WOW. All day I’d been talking about how I wish God would just show me one final sign to prove his existence and relationship with me. Sure enough, he came through. Everything I had been worrying about and saying that whole day, this message described. The next half hour was indescribable. I can honestly say, it was a pure, 100% spiritual, whole-heartedly connection between God and I. It was at that time that the past five months all came together, and I realized: GOD IS REAL, HE REALLY IS LOOKING DOWN ON ME, HE REALLY DOES HEAR MY PRAYERS, AND FINALLY: HE DOES LOVE ME AND KNOW WHAT’S BEST FOR ME. I sat in complete awe and disbelief of what I was experiencing. It was like an out-of-body experience. My mind was completely taken out of the equation for those thirty minutes or so. All I could feel was the most powerful force from deep within my heart and soul. It was a complete spiritual realm that was unlike anything of the physical world. It was at that moment that I realized God knows me and my heart better than I do, I need to fully trust him, get over my doubts, and know that HE IS GOD. I felt like I was on drugs or completely drunk, and it was better than either of those two feelings. This wasn’t in my head, but totally spiritual. It was unlike anything I’ve ever encountered. God was speaking directly to me, and he said:
1) I AM REAL. 2) I KNOW WHAT YOUR STRUGGLING WITH, QUIT QUESTIONING ME AND TRUST ME WITH YOUR LIFE. 3) I DO HEAR YOUR PRAYERS, YOUR’E NOT CRAZY. 4) THIS IS ME SHOWING YOU I AM REAL, I DO LOVE YOU, AND I WANT ALL OF YOUR HEART. 5) CONSIDER YOUR FAITH STRENGTHENED, NOW QUIT DOUBTING AND LISTEN TO ME. AND FINALLY, 6) I LOVE YOU, AND I HAVE THE BEST IN STORE FOR YOU. Wow. I’m still shaken up because what I experienced was so powerful. I felt like I was coming down off drugs and sobering up later that night and most of the next day too. I was without a doubt in the direct presence of my creator God and he was without a doubt speaking directly to me. He IS God. I can’t do justice any of what happened, words can’t explain who He is and what He showed me that night. It’s more than my mind and thoughts. There’s a living soul and spirit inside of me, and God showed me a small glimpse of his power and glory. It was a defining moment in my walk with God and hands down the most powerful encounter I’ve ever experienced since coming to Christ in April. I’m done doubting. God answered my prayers and requests and hit me like a freight train with Himself to forever wash away my doubts.
After that moment it makes complete sense to me now why so many people can doubt God’s existence: We are so disconnected from God and we try and figure everything out with our minds. Well, our minds are nothing in comparison to God. And it completely made sense during that experience, only from a true spiritual realm can you understand that God is real and can he fully connect with you. He is the creator, and we are the created. I don’t see the pancakes I made for breakfast figuring me out. Anyways, I had to get this written and out for people to read because God showed me that He is real, and Jesus was his son. I still find myself wondering why God chose me to transform my life and encounter his love, but my mind can never figure God out. There’s way more going on in this world than the human eye can see, and I will never forget that night; and finally, with everything I am, I can say to anyone I know for a fact Jesus is who he says he is. Now it’s time to go make disciples of all nations!
One last thing, I came across the following the next day reading God’s word and it does a good job explaining what I experienced:
1 Corinthians 2:6-16
“Wisdom From the Spirit”
6We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature, but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 8None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9However, as it is written:
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him”— 10but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 12We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words.[b] 14The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgment: 16″For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?”[c] But we have the mind of Christ.
God Bless, PEACE!