Monday, October 3, 2016

From Pagan to Chrisitan

Originally written on 2/6/16

When I’m trying to make my mind up about something, I typically search the interwebs to help me find information on both sides of a decision.

Sometimes my searches are not satisfying.

I identified as Pagan from the time I was a senior in high school, until just before I turned 32.
In thinking about making the switch from Pagan to Christian, I was unsure of myself.  I searched the internet for others who had made the journey before me.  While I found some information on those who made the switch, it was typically only a few sentences on a forum someplace.

I was craving a much deeper discussion than what I was finding in my searches.

So, for others thinking about making the switch from Pagan to Christian (or for those just wondering why on earth someone would even think about switching!), I want to give you the discussion I was looking for.

I also want to shed some light on things that Christians did that I found weird (or just didn't understand) when I was still Pagan.

Ultimately, I made the decision to follow Jesus after an encounter in love, an encounter with community, and coming to terms with two issues that were gnawing at me.

In winter of 2014/2015, I was dating a man named Paul, who was Lutheran. We lived about a half hour apart, and one day while driving home from his house, I discovered a Colorado based Christian Radio station called Grace FM.  When I first started listening, I was mainly interested in what they were saying about the culture in Jesus’ day.  As I continued to listen, I started to wonder, is this stuff for real?

One night I was looking at Paul, who I loved dearly (and who is now my husband!), and I thought to myself ‘if he goes to heaven and I don’t…. I don’t like that idea’.

It was that thought, that we might not be together in heaven, that inspired me to keep listening to Grace FM, and start looking a little harder at Christianity.

After a few misses, I found a church in May 2015 that resonated with me. I can (and will) write a whole post about The Pursuit Church and what it means to me, but for this post, let’s just say I found a place that welcomed me for who I was, and was full of really authentic people. It was like God knew I needed REALLY fertile soil to be planted, and so he led me there.

And then there were my two hang ups, the things that kept me from taking that step of belief:

11. What are people going to THINK?!
I was so adamantly against Christianity for so long, that the thought of telling people I was considering Christianity as my new life seemed…..ridiculous. I kept playing the conversations I was going to have with people over and over again, and I couldn’t wrap my mind around how to make that conversation work. One day, I realized that my decision to follow Jesus would have ETERNAL ramifications.  Once I started thinking about things on an eternal basis, I stopped caring what people here on earth thought.  I realized it really only mattered what GOD thought of me.

   2.  I’m too BAD for salvation!
We have all done things we regret. I personally have made a ton of mistakes. I have hurt people I cared for. I had spent my whole adult life pretty much marinating in sin. How could I come to God, unclean as I was? During the time I was thinking about converting, I was listening to a Grace FM fairly often. In a one week span, I had heard on Grace FM multiple times that salvation is not something that is earned, it is something that is given.  That there is no reason to ‘clean up your act’ before coming to God, that God meets you where you are. Once I heard, for the umpteenth time, that salvation isn’t earned, I started to believe it.

If I had to sum up in one word how I decided to go from Pagan to Christian it would be LOVE. There was no amount of logic, no amount of arguing, and no amount of guilt that ever could have moved my decision along. My decision to follow Jesus was about LOVE.

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