Are you wondering, “How do I find God? ” Here’s how one woman, Karen did–and how it changed her life.
By Karen O’Connor:
Image: DigitalArt / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I could feel my heart pound as I opened the door to Dr. Brady’s suite. It had taken all my courage to make this counseling appointment. Within minutes Dr. Brady ushered me into his office. I took a deep breath, and then rushed through the chronology of events that led to our meeting.
“Eighteen years ago I married a man I adored,” I said, “but from the beginning we were never close as a husband and wife should be. He’s very private. I feel alone. So do our children. He earns a lot of money, but we’re always in debt. Now there’s another woman in his life, and he wants to leave. What should I do?”
Dr. Brady pulled his chair forward. “I don’t have the answer,” he said slowly, “but there is one. You’ll find it as we work together. It may take some time.”
“I don’t have time. My husband is going to leave. How can I make him stay?”
“You may not be able to,” he said. “But you can discover what’s right for you and your children. We’ll focus on that.”
As I continued my work with Dr. Brady he asked about my spiritual life, what I knew about God. I didn’t see what this had to do with my troubled marriage.
Over time, however, Dr. Brady showed me that the hole I felt in my soul had been there all along––even before I married my husband. I had been raised in a legalistic home and church, where rules were more important than relationships. I was told what to do, and I did it. Once again I expected that same formula to work: Find out the rules for putting my marriage and family back together and follow them.
The harder I tried to appeal to my husband and calm my children’s fears, the more apparent it was that I could not do this on my own power. I couldn’t think straight. I couldn’t reason. I couldn’t even pray. I was spiritually bankrupt. Then I realized that discovering the truth about myself would mean nothing unless I also discovered the truth about God. Dr. Brady was right. I needed spiritual truth.
I stopped counseling and embarked on a two-year journey that took me up one spiritual path and down another. I tried every kind of church service and self-improvement seminar that came my way. I read books, listened to tapes, prayed the best way I knew how, and finally joined a Bible study at the suggestion of a new friend. I remember being struck by the Gospel of John–the message that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I began studying the Bible in earnest.
Then one morning as I was returning home from a walk, I realized I had come to the end of myself. I sat down right where I was and sobbed.
“God,” I cried out, “who are you? Where are you? I want to know you. Do you care anything about me?”
Seconds passed. Then ever so gently a stream of familiar words came to mind. “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). I jumped up and whirled around. I was hearing this truth in a new way. “Jesus Christ is the way to God!” I shouted. No higher power, life force, or spiritual guide had offered me such assurance.
Everything was new in that moment. I was no longer a victim of my husband. As the Bible says, all have sinned and all fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). I knew that included me. Until then I had never taken these words to heart.
God had made possible, through his Son Jesus Christ, complete reconciliation with Himself. Just as animals were sacrificed in payment for sin in ancient times, Jesus became the sacrifice for my sin by His death on the cross (Hebrews 9:13-14). He took the sins of all humanity on Himself so that everyone who calls on His name might be made right with God, and by His resurrection be assured of eternal life (Romans 10:13).
I had not seen myself as a sinner before because I was too preoccupied with the sins others had committed against me. But that day I knew I needed forgiveness as much as anyone. I asked Jesus to forgive my sins and to be my Lord and Savior. “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life (John 5:24). I began my new life that day.
The answers I had looked for did not come in the way I had hoped. My husband left and did not come back. Christ came and has not left. He saved me and set me free.
©Karen O’Connor. Karen is an author, writing mentor, and frequent contributor to the Finding God Daily blog. Visit Karen on the web at www.karenoconnor.com, on Facebook or follow on Twitter: @karenoconnor
If you, too are wondering “How do I find God?” visit Godtest.com.
Do you have a testimony of your own? Feel free to live it in a comment! We’d love to hear how God changed your life.