When not believing is a constatation, not a choice (part 1)

Sara is my sister(-in-law). She was raised Christian, but a few years ago she faced the fact that she no longer believed. I asked her to write her story down to see the other side…when the story doesn’t go like you think it will. I wanted to hear how she had gotten to this point. How she had faced her doubts and what she did with them.

Ex-christian. A terrible word, but that’s what I am. Naomi asked me to write down how I came to this point. It’s turned into a long story. I tried to keep it short, but it stays quite long anyway because I want anybody reading this to be able to follow the whole process. I don’t want to make all too big jumps.

Normal doubts and questions

As a teenager, I very naturally had my doubts. Do I want this life, as a Christian, where I will never be like my classmates? Do I want to be the outcast that believes in God? I doubted because of my?gigantic?need to be liked. To be like everybody else. Besides that, I also had?substantial?questions, the typical ones like: “How can God be […]

Healing after depression

You can read part 1 of Sara’s story here

Around my 16th birthday I glided into a depression as a result of emotional abuse. This time was unbelievably dark and hopeless. It is strange to think how sickness can alter a person. My parents and sister were at an utter loss what to do. How do you relate to a child/sister who does not see even a glimmer of hope and who doesn’t seem to appreciate your help or your presence?

Although I was surrounded by people who loved me and who would have a really hard time if I were not to be here anymore, it got more and more difficult to get through the next day. Sometimes people say ‘Committing suicide is so selfish!”. And I have to admit I used to think the same way.

But isn’t it terribly harrowing that people sometimes just can’t face life anymore, in spite of the presence of family and loving friends, and that their help and support doesn’t even soften the pain?

The fact that sometimes, people don’t see a way out anymore, sometimes because of depression, and decide to take their own life…

I have been on […]

The story of Jesus and me ~ by Bethany

Bethany Grizzard : Imago Dei. Jesus Follower. Dreamer. Beat Photographer. Avid Reader. Adventure seeker. Travel junkie. Art lover. Advocate for justice. Lover of people. You can visit her at duoimagery.com

 

I starting knowing Jesus when I was really young. Both my parents are passionate Jesus followers and as their greatest gift to their children, they introduced him to us. It was subtle and sweet, just what a child would be able to understand, and by the time I was only six years old I discovered that I wanted him to be my friend. It was at Christmas time, and we were celebrating advent. We would light a candle and read part of a story, talking about what Jesus went through to rescue us.

?I remember it so clearly. I was taking a shower and about to jump into my snuggly Christmas pj?s when I realized I wanted to tell Jesus he can live inside of me. I came out and told my parents and they helped me ask him to, and I know from that moment he did.

Being so little, my relationship came in stages, but I?m glad it did. You never get to really know someone […]

What faith is for me

I have seen some documentaries and read articles that try to explain God and the Bible scientifically. Prove God is real. I think they are all very interesting and love learning new things, facts and discoveries. But in the end it still comes down to faith. I’m not saying they are doing a bad job. They’re doing great. But in the end, we as humans can’t prove much about this Great, Majestic, Awesome God that we can call ours!

I can’t physically show Him to you. Pull Him out of the closet where I keep Him in a box. I can’t show you the ark of Noah and prove it’s that, and be a 100% sure. I can’t show you a sneak peak of heaven and watch God creating a human being in the Garden of Eden, out of dirt. I can’t go and do that with you.

And in a way, I think that’s quite logical. Why should I, a tiny little human being, like a half drop in the ocean, be able to explain God to you? If He’s really the all knowing, Alpha and Omega, Beginning and End, Awesome God I […]

The impossibility of not believing

I grew up in a Christian family. I’m grateful for this, because I heard the gospel from a very young age. However, you could say that the downside of this is that it becomes something you think is normal, and you don’t really let it change your life. To me, Christianity was more about religion (following the bible rulebook), than having a relationship with God.

Then, as I started growing older, I started to make friends outside of Sunday?school. And they all seemed to think God was lame!! Here is the thing about my story? I never doubted God. I knew?He was there. I knew this in my mind but also in my heart, soul and emotions. I just doubted whether I wanted to follow Him because it was not a cool thing to do.

So for a couple years I lived the double life. Being the good Christian at home, while at school I would just avoid talking about anything that had to do with God. I didn’t act like I had any morals, either. I still believed God was real, and felt guilty about this, but in the end I never did anything about it.

Around […]

A baptism gift

Every time I open my bible, which I try to do daily, I see this note:

It’s a message my grandparents gave me along with the bible. They sent this bible to me when I was baptized. We were living in Minnesota at the time, so they couldn’t be there.

They wrapped it up and taped a note to it and sent it over. But I loved it so much, and I wanted to be reminded of who I got it from and see the precious message inside each and every time I open my bible, I glued it in.

For those of you who can’t read Dutch, I shall very kindly translate:

“Congratulations to Naomi with her baptism. May this Bible be a daily reminder of your grandpa and grandma in Belgium who love you very much”

My grandparents don’t believe what I believe. But they support me in believing it and hope my bible is a daily reminder of them. There have been times where it was the only reason I did open my bible.

And even now, although I open it to meet my Father, ?and hear His […]

More like my Father by meeting His Son

Happy to introduce Becky. She has a passion for God , love for people ?and vision for Belgium . She works part-time for the Christian youth organization?BREEZE.be?and studies communication at the university of Leuven.

I would almost start by saying that my story is not really that special. But then I stop. A meeting with Jesus that isn’t special, isn’t that impossible?

Like so many, I was raised in a Christian home. I am so grateful to my parents for the special way in which they gave me clear limits and still allowed me so much freedom. I have never felt boxed up in the little Christian world. The opposite, in fact. It has been the place where I have found myself and now, I see it was not really me but mostly God through me.

I could tell you about dozens of camps, weekends and youth nights that I went too. And undoubtedly, they all helped build me into the person I am right now and the ideas (or theology, if you will) I have right now. On one of those, I raised my hands and prayed the prayer to let Jesus into my […]