This post is part of an ordered sequence of posts. If you are new to the site, please click here to start at the beginning.
Now this blog was supposed to be about my experience with Christianity. I don’t know if you noticed, but that last post basically had no mention at all about Christianity or God. There is a reason for this: Christianity, at that point in my life, was still something I just “did.” It was just a part of my routine and didn’t mean a lot to me. I didn’t apply it to actual situations in my life.
In the fall of 2006 this changed. I began to be dissatisfied with the way that I expressed Christianity in my life. It occurred to me how shallow of a Christian I was. It bothered me that during times of worship (particularly musical worship), I was not affected, that it didn’t mean anything to me and I just sang the words without even paying attention to what I was saying. It felt so fake and meaningless and that bothered me. I didn’t want to be fake or meaningless.
I also became dissatisfied with my attitude toward the people around me, the people I hated so much. I felt like an awful hypocrite because I called myself a Christian who “loves everyone” and here I was hating all these people. So I put specific effort into forgiving these people and learning to love them. And you know what I discovered? They actually had crap in their lives too. They didn’t have hunky-dory lives of happiness and joy all the time. This realization was quite significant and made it easier for me to get rid of my feelings of hatred towards them. I began to express myself more socially. Occasionally I’d actually initiate a conversation! It was truly weird. I felt much more confident in myself and was a great deal more happy.
At this point I also began to read my Bible with a flurry of interest. Verses that I’d read hundreds of times before suddenly had meaning that they’d never had before. My prayer life went from a ritualistic mumbling of a few cliches to my ceiling before I fell asleep each night to multiple hours a day. I’d go for walks and talk to God about everything and it felt so good and natural. I felt more peaceful than I ever had in my life before.
I decided to get baptized in the spring of 2007 because I knew that Christianity was what I wanted. I can genuinely say that this choice was not based on peer pressure. I was convinced in my mind and no one could change it. So when the day came, I confidently stood up in front of my congregation and shared my testimony. I was so convinced that this was what I wanted that I wasn’t even slightly nervous about speaking in front of hundreds of people.
These few months were indeed quite good. A lot of healing happened and I learned a great many valuable lessons. But probably most significantly, I found something that gave my life meaning: Christianity. It had become something I thought about constantly. I applied it to nearly everything that happened to me, and it brought a lot of much needed peace into my life.
This describes the first few months of my life as a Christian. The next part of my story is the story of my life as a Christian, after the “honeymoon phase,” if you will…