Today is the 1-year anniversary of my experience of being born-again in Christ.
I’m not sure what exactly I thought life in Christ would be like when I became born-again. But whatever I thought at the time, I can tell you it hasn’t been that.
Clearly I hadn’t read enough of the Bible yet to know what I was getting into.
In the back of my mind I think I might have vaguely believed that everything hard would suddenly become easy, and all of my imperfections would evaporate. I think I might have imagined I’d be leaving behind everything that was troublesome or painful or hard or broken, and that I’d somehow miraculously be transformed into an angelic being with a seamlessly beautiful life and instant access to God whenever I wanted it.
The first thing I experienced was a rapid series of supernatural and very clear personal encounters with God. The sudden presence of God in my life – unlike anything I’d ever experienced before – was like an atomic blast. Yes, it illuminated much darkness, but the light itself was almost painfully overwhelming. I struggled to keep my eyes on God despite His blinding light.
What a shock as I gradually regained my balance after those first encounters with God and realized there was still a “me” who still had the capacity to commit the same old sins as before… except now I needed to choose not to.
I’m not really sure what I expected. I hadn’t thought about it all that much. I hungered for a personal relationship with God — that’s all I really knew — and I was thrilled to be getting closer to that, no matter what it took.
Occasionally my Bible-reading caught up with my experiences, and I discovered that Jesus never promised that following Him would be easy.
Looking back over my first year of life as a Christian I can say that I have changed.
- I have read a lot more of the Bible, and have earnestly sought to understand it.
- I have changed how I think about giving to those in need.
- I have changed how I perceive myself in relation to others.
- I have definitely changed in my relationship with God.
- I have recommitted myself to Jesus – several times – each time with the knowledge that this won’t be easy, but that I am furthering my commitment to Him in spite of that knowledge.
- I have grown accustomed to having the Holy Spirit with me at my side.
- I understand a whole new kind of faithfulness which I didn’t even know existed a year ago.
- I am slowly finding ways to forgive those I was unable to forgive before, including myself.
- I see how much further I still have to go in my quest to become more like Jesus.
I am in awe of the God who created everything, and am actively seeking His direction on how He wants to use me to spread the Good News.
My (re-)Birth Day is happy — a kind of happiness I didn’t even know about a year ago.
Please enjoy something sweet in celebration of my (re-)Birth Day today. And thank God for something. I know what I’m thanking Him for today.