My religious conversion from nominal Christianity to living Christianity is a continuous process that began on Easter weekend when I was 11 and hasn’t stopped. In fact, it probably won’t stop because God’s work in human beings and the world at large is a process with changes that are already in place and changes that are yet to come.
I don’t have an emotionally gripping testimony. Actually, it’s pretty average. My early childhood experiences of church involved my mom making me attend Mass every Sunday. Most weeks, I only tolerated it because she promised to take me to McDonald’s for lunch afterward. The most fun part was when they told all the kids to come forward and go down to a room in the basement for a Bible lesson oriented toward children, but I did feel a little strange in that setting because all the other kids knew each other and I was the odd one out.
Fast forward a couple years. My mom decided to switch to a non-denominational church and I was old enough to decide whether or not I wanted to go with her. Thus, I only attended church twice a year (on Christmas and Easter). One Easter, the message finally got to me. God cared enough about the pain and darkness of humanity to become a human in Jesus Christ and take all the punishment for sin that we would otherwise receive. That night, Christianity became something real and relevant. I believed because it suddenly made sense and I knew that my life would be different.
Christianity hasn’t made my life easier. It never promised to. It also hasn’t made me the most sanctified person in the world. I’m still a flawed human being. What it has done is show me that there is a reality greater than myself at work in the world. I am not the final frontier of all knowledge and truth, but I have an important purpose within a diverse body of believers. Because of Jesus, I have been free to experience genuine community with others, but I have also dealt with a significant amount of internal struggle and doubt that has ultimately made me stronger. Most often, I have to sacrifice the safety of my comfort zone in order to experience blessings beyond my wildest dreams. The difficult part is actually sucking it up and taking that step outside of those safe places.