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For My Sake

    Apr 21, 2019 | by Nancy Newbrough

    God has been incredibly faithful in answering my prayers throughout my faith journey! Growing up in England, I did not come from a particularly strong Christian background. However, as a young child I always believed in God and felt I had a personal relationship with Him.

    I then walked through my teens and early twenties at a distance from God. I still believed in Him, but it had very little impact on how I lived my life. After college I became friends with a wonderful Christian girl who invited me to attend an “Introduction to Christianity” course with her. There I learned about who Jesus was, the sacrifice He had made on the cross and what it truly meant to be a follower of Christ. So much of what was being spoken about there made perfect sense to me and made sense of what I already knew about God from my relationship with Him as a child. I believed what I was hearing to be the truth, but I was also filled with doubt and fear, especially what it might mean for me to give up the world and surrender myself fully to God.

    One night driving home from the course, I prayed: God, if this is really all true, please send me a sign! In fact, I prayed for a very specific sign! I asked Him to play me a song on the radio that would be so personal to me that I would know it was Him, without doubt. A few songs went by uneventfully until a song I had not heard since I was a teen started playing. It was a song from a movie that my cousin had burnt onto a mixed CD for me during one summer that I had spent in America as a teen. I loved the song and played the CD over and over through my teen years. It just spoke to me as songs often do.

    I had never heard this song on the radio or anywhere else except in the movie and on this CD. In fact, the version on my CD was special because it had snippets from the movie playing at various parts of the song. Not only did this particular song now start playing in my car, but it was the exact version my cousin had burnt onto the CD for me all those years ago, the one with the movie snippets. I was stunned! It was such a gift from God to answer my prayer so specifically and unequivocally. It was as if he knew that doubt and fear would follow me through my faith journey and I would need something tangible to hold onto during these times. Indeed, I have revisited this memory many times since.

    Despite God’s faithfulness in answering my prayer and my newfound understanding of who Jesus was and the sacrifice He had made for me, I continued to tiptoe forward with my faith, always keeping one foot planted in the world “just in case.” As a result, my faith has been through many hills and valleys over the years. By the end of last year it had reached somewhat of a crisis point. Living with one foot in my faith and one foot in the world just was not working for me at all.

    I prayed once again, this time asking God to help me rediscover the childlike faith I had once had before doubt and fear had crept in. God answered faithfully once again; He spoke to me a lot during the first few months of this year and I somehow found myself signed up for The Fellowship’s Faithwalking 101 class! As I reflected and prayed throughout Faithwalking, God kept highlighting over and over again to me that, while I had always believed in and even enjoyed a personal relationship with him, I had never fully surrendered my whole life to Him or been baptized.

    I struggled with this for a while, trying to understand the reasons why I had never taken this step and even whether it was really necessary. After all, I had had a relationship with Him since I was a child. Did God really need me to make this outward proclamation of my faith?

    One day, I was praying with a friend and asking God to speak to me about this when I heard Him say, “I know your heart. I know who you are, you are a daughter of God. But I need you to know that, without doubt.” His words were so clear and so far from where my heart was at that moment that I knew it could not have come from me! God was not asking me to surrender my life to Him and be baptized for His sake, He was asking me to do it for my sake so that I might live fully into my faith, unhindered by doubt. Shortly after this answer to prayer, I fully surrendered my life to God and I am (finally!) going to be baptized after Easter.

    God has been so faithful in answering my prayers throughout my faith journey so far and I am forever grateful for his grace and patience in doing so!

    Catherine

    But if anyone obeys his word,
    God’s love is truly made complete in him…
    1 John 2:5

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