Hx Part 3: From Saul to Paul

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.

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7 Comments

Filed under About Me

7 responses to “Hx Part 3: From Saul to Paul

  1. I wish you well in your journey.

    *thumbs-up*

  2. Kelly M.

    This blog (so far) has been a true account of your spiritual journey thus far and I’ve found it interesting and enlightening, if not a little disappointing. Although truthfully the disappointment is coming from the part of me that believes what you once believed: that one has to be weak-minded and gullible to believe in any organized religion. I, however, have a hard time thinking of you in those terms, so perhaps I shall change my mind. At any rate, reading this has opened my eyes a bit about who you are and how you think and feel. I would love to get together sometime to talk about all of this and, I hope, get to know you better.

    While reading a series of science fiction books once I was struck by an idea there regarding the transformations we all go through throughout our lives. I don’t remember the exact quote but the idea was that every time we change we become an entirely new being and are foolish to think that we are the same person after each transition. It is true that with every transition we humans go through we struggle to incorporate or integrate who we were with who we are, bending and molding and merging things in our minds until we find an explanation that fits when it’s entirely unnecessary.

    I guess my point is that this history reads as though you’re looking back at your life through rose (or Jesus) colored glasses and creating a narrative that eventually leads to your “inevitable” choice of becoming Christian. I used to do that as well. I now choose to look back at my life simply as a series of transitions with no special significance or “through-line” to hold it all together. I have become who and what I am today simply because I have lived and made choices just as you have lived and made choices. I place no judgement on those choices because it is not my place to say who or what is right or wrong. I wish you well in your life and your spiritual journey. You are an amazing person.

    • SB

      Thank you, Kelly.
      As I have been reading the Bible I have found there is a lot of talk about becoming a “new creation” in Christ, there is also talk about forgetting the past. Maybe by trying to incorporate who we were with who we have become we are holding back the true potential of that transformation. Perhaps it would be better to just let go and become what it is for us to become.
      You’re absolutely right about looking at my past through tinted glasses. However, there are things in my past which I haven’t yet written about concerning my medical history, events that I should NOT have survived, and events leading to treatment that was far more than coincidence. When I was Wiccan I saw it as the gods or that Universal Energy that connects us all. Now that other events led me to believe in Christ, I see it as YHWH the Father and Creator. What I’m trying to say is that it would seem I have always looked my past though tinted glasses, I simply changed the tint.
      I don’t regret any of the choices I have made regarding my spiritual journey. We never stop changing, we never stop transforming, but I feel that there is a “through-line” in our lives, and that is God (or whatever Higher Power you choose to call it).

  3. Thanks for writing this. Until tonight, when Christy mentioned to me that you were a Christian now, I didn’t know about this new turn in your spiritual journey. It sounds like a very important journey for you, and I’m glad you are on this path that speaks to you. It’s always troubled me that I’ve known so many Pagans who have such views about Christians and Christianity, although again I know many of them have been through a lot of pain and ostracizing at the hands of such people. People can be cruel, no matter what their religious position. In any case, I respect your calling and hope this journey helps build your soul. Peace, Brother. — Christopher, member of Ár nDraíocht Féin: A Druid Fellowship.

  4. SB

    Thank you, Christopher! I am not surprised you didn’t know sooner. I try to keep a low profile, not that I am ashamed, but that I was afraid of being “that guy”. Also I don’t criticize people of other faiths and try to convert them.
    Thank you also for understanding that this was a “calling”, I didn’t know what to call it, but when I read your comment it was like a light bulb turning on!
    I have found that some of my Pagan friends support my choice, and others don’t mention it one way or another. Maybe they, like you, don’t know or they are just too darned polite to say anything. Either way, I am somewhere that feels right and that is enough for me.

  5. Pingback: Hx Part 2: From Wicca To The Void | My Progress With God

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