Everything I Wanted But Peace
Everything I Wanted But Peace
One late night in December 1997, as I was getting ready to sleep, I
started thinking that something is missing in my life. I have everything I
wanted- family, health, house, friends, education and a good job, small
business, even investments, etc- but PEACE. I felt empty. I prayed for
a renewed relationship with God, even better than it was 10 years ago,
before I became consumed in making my dreams come true.
God did not waste time and started answering that prayer in ways that
left me broken in every area of my life and on my knees many times
" Free from Drug Addiction without Rehab"
Within few days after that night, I've met these two brothers in their
30's and whom I've known to be using drugs since their teen years, in
and out of rehab and even prison lately. They came to pick up my sister
in law to join them at their new church. I was surprised to see them
look healthy, peaceful and actually made sense when I talked to them.
They've been free from drug addiction without rehab and very active in
"I am Born Catholic, I'll Die a Catholic"
My sister in law liked what she experienced and joined them regularly.
She even started to invite me. I said no a few times and thought to
myself " I was born a Catholic, I'll die a Catholic." I've witnessed the
changes in her that includes being more patient with her family and her
face seemed more peaceful. With increasing emptiness and trials rushing
into my life, I joined her one weekend. I spent the first night asking
a lot of questions and defending my faith, mostly about why I am not
giving up religious images and praying to Mother Mary and saints. I
remember telling their pastor "I only ask help from saints and Mother Mary
to pray for me. Just like I have photos of people I love in my wallet,
carved images are to remind me of God, saints and Mary. To which the
pastor explained, "Do you bow and kneel before them? If your child needs
something, would you rather have them ask you directly or through
others.¡±? And he added "The Bible says that Satan comes as an angel of light
to fool people to worship him and he is able to perform miracles too.
He is the "father of lies" and he knows that no one will open door for
him if he comes as he is. And only God can be all present and all
knowing and no other, including Mary and saints." He was very patient in
answering my questions and giving me Bible verses, too.
Then when they prayed over me and with me, I felt an overwhelming sense
of joy, peace and God's presence like never before. All day the next
day, I was confused and locked up myself in a room with a Bible. They
left me alone and maybe prayed for me the whole time.
"God if this is Evil, Save Me."
Everything was too good to be true. They were too happy to see me join
them. Most of them slept on the floor while they insisted I sleep on a
bed in a room. They have lots of good food too and they won't take my
offer to help with the expenses. For me actually I observed out of
curiosity and it was too obvious that few of them shared with me their
personal stories to convince me- a retired army healed from cancer, two
husbands freed from drugs and alcohol, marriages restored.
I prayed to God "God if this is evil, save me. You are greater than all
of them combined. But if this is your answer to my prayer, help me
overcome my confusion. I want you to convince me, not them. Talk to me, I
don't want to lose you."
"You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me."
I have no idea where to find answers, not having read the Bible before.
That same day, I believed God led me to these verses.... Isaiah
44:9-20, Isaiah 46:5-7, Exodus 20:3-6, John 4:24, Acts 17:24-25 and later days
led me to more verses. These are all about idolatry and religious
images. What convicted me the most was Exodus 20:3-6 and this is a
portion..."You Shall Have No Other Gods Before Me." The only of Ten Commandments
with punishment attached to it affecting up to 4 generations. For a few
weeks, I did not go to church but destroyed all images in my house and
only prayed to the Holy Trinity in spirit and truth as in John 4:24.
Then, one of my closest friends at work whom I've found out to be a
Christian invited me to her church. I was afraid till I walked in to the
church and felt peace and so at home. The experiences that followed were
just beyond me.
Over the next three years, I lost everything I have -diagnosed with a
heart problem and a breast tumor, lost my family, closed business, most
friends lost interest, sold house, investments dropped, father died,
accidents and ER visits and finally moved to a new job and a new place
where I know not a soul. Before, I asked a lot of "Why me?". But now I
can say it turned out to be the best times of my life. I've experienced
time and time again God's mercy, goodness and unfailing love. Now, in
the midst and through all trials, I've experienced God's peace and God is
restoring even more than I lost. It all started when I asked Jesus into
my life and to make me the person that He wants me to be.
"5 Deadly C's"
I still feel ashamed and uncomfortable when God make me aware of my
sins, weaknesses, and imperfections. But God is faithful to convict, to
forgive and to remove my guilt and unrighteousness. He is still
transforming me from 5 deadly C's- criticizing, complaining, condemning,
controlling, comparing to His 5 P's- praying, providing, praising, being
patient and being present for others. He is also changing me from my self
effort, self promotion and selfish ambition to humility, God-centered
living, listen more than speak, finding good in others and in every
situation. I now guard my thoughts with God's help by choosing what I allow
to my mind- TV shows, radio programs, printed materials, situations,
places. If it takes away my peace and focus on God, I stay away from it. I
also found out that of all the sinners during the time of Jesus, only
the Pharisees were the one he openly rebuked. That my self-righteous
attitude of thinking myself better than others because I followed the law,
not giving up my old beliefs and not putting my faith in Jesus is worse
than the cheating tax collector, the adulterous Samaritan, the thief
dying on the cross next to Jesus.
I also learned that loving God with all of my mind means I need to give
up everything I learned and believed since childhood that does not
agree with the Bible. Yes, including those I learned from my family,
school, books and people who influenced my thinking through out my life.
I also keep short account with God. I confess daily and as soon as I
get convicted of sin. I am now a new creation not slave to sin. It did
not happened overnight but I am more patient and peaceful than before.
"Why They Keep Reading The Bible...Boring."
Before, I used to wonder, "Why they keep reading the Bible? For one
thing, no pictures and it seem boring." And God help me overcome that too.
God has answered a lot of my questions and still do. When I get 4-5
messages on the same subject from different sources in a week, it is not
coincidence. God wanted to show me His truth and reveal Himself more
than I desire to seek it. God¡¯s love for me is without condition or
reservation. He waited patiently for me to turn to Him. No matter what I
have done or failed to do or what I have become from being away from Him,
He still wanted me back.
Testimony submitted to the Breadsite. To submit yours click here.