As I’ve mentioned previously I have only been a Christian or Christ follower for 7 months. After years of denying God and mocking Christians, my life came to a drastic change at my grandmother’s funeral. I now recognize two prior events that set the stage for this change to happen.
The first was about two months before my grandmother’s death; I was at work and happened upon a patient who was watching a Joel Osteen sermon. Now, I had a “natural” distrust of TV evangelists, but this guy was speaking a positive message about recognizing and being thankful for the blessings that we have. His sermon was about changing your perspective, and even though I almost hated Christians on principle I sat with the patient at her bedside and watched the entire thing. Hearing that sermon changed my perspective on Christians. Three weeks later when I worked the weekend again I found myself looking for the channel to find out who this guy was. I now feel that this moment was when the Holy Spirit started to guide me, when I opened up my heart and my mind and became receptive to the possibility that God may exist.
Without going into too much detail, the second incident was a month before my grandmother’s death. I had quit a baneful habit, for the sole purpose of becoming closer to some form of spirituality. I now see that this was the moment I took action and began “working my fields”. This was me stating my intention and standing behind it.
So at my grandmother’s funeral the stage was set. I was standing at the casket in the cemetery and the minister led everyone in prayer. I did as I usually did and bowed my head in fake prayer, and as I was doing that I thought; I wish I could believe. The minister wrapped up the prayer and we all moved off to the side and prepared to leave. In that moment, a single butterfly, that was a remarkable match to my suit, flew around everyone and came to rest on my tie. It fluttered its wings a couple of times and flew off.
Alone, this may have been a coincidence, but with the events of past and my prior experience with butterflies (see From Birth to Wicca) this became synchronistic. I was filled with goose bumps and my mind was working like a quantum computer, I had faith in god again. I wasn’t ready to say I had faith in God, but for once in my life the option wasn’t closed. I shared this story at my grandmother’s service and got a lot of encouragement from others. My dad gave me his Bible (NLT) and I accepted it. I was a little hesitant at first, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to try to read it. Then I found out it had features notes and encouragement from Joel Osteen, the same guy who changed my perspective on Christians. This was on August 13th.
I became a Christian on August 30th. I had been reading my dad’s Bible on lunch at work for about 2 weeks at this point. I started with Genesis and was going to work through in order. On the morning of the 30th I was sitting in my car before work and flipping through the pages of the Bible. Now, this was my dads Bible and it is very well read through, so many of the pages were folded and wrinkled. I have a feeling it had flew off the car seat a few times too. So there I am in my car flattening out pages, and I start to wonder if I would call myself a Christian or not. I decided that I couldn’t because I hadn’t even come close to the New Testament yet, and I didn’t know anything about Jesus. As I’m thinking this and not really paying attention to my hands as I’m flattening out pages I hear a rip, and look down to see a page had completely ripped out in my hands. That page was a reading plan titled “One Year In The Life Of Jesus”.
Synchronicity again, and in that instant I knew Christ was real, and His was the right path for me. If I had never turned to Wicca the butterfly would mean nothing to me. Had the butterfly not turned up at my grandmothers funeral I would still be an atheist. Had I not talked about that experience I would not have a Bible, and I would not have thumbed through it to have a page rip out. If for some reason I found myself flipping through a Bible and the page tore out, I would have ignored it and called it a cheap book. God has a plan, and His signs have a specific time and place. It is for this reason that I believe that my journey through neo-paganism was the path God had planned for me to take (Update: Wow! I forgot that I use to think that God wanted me to journey into the realm of neo-paganism. While as a young Christian I felt this to be true, I don’t feel it is in line with what God has revealed to us about his nature; that he would cause us to sin. I think it was a case of me not wanting to admit that I chose to sin. But God is a personal God and will use personal experiences to reach us. He can even use our sins for good). I feel that had I never become Wiccan I wouldn’t be as effective of a believer. Through Wicca and my studies into metaphysics the supernatural aspects of God would sound ludicrous to me.
So now I have returned to prayers to God, thanking Him for His blessings and forgiveness, I have let go of my anger toward X, and I feel like I have become a better person. I am content, I am happy, and while at times I may struggle I know I am on the right path.