1. My search
In my early teens, I started to realize something seemed to be missing, not just from my life, but from life in general. A song fragment went, “Is that all there is? Is that all there is?” and that resonated with me. So when I got out on my own at college, I started a serious search. I tried drugs, meditation, reading mystical writings, throwing out all the do’s and don’ts I was raised with, you name it! Nothing lasting came of any of it. Great experiences always melted away, and I was back to that emptiness. So after three years, I just gave up and put my energy into studying to get my degree in social sciences.
After I graduated, my planned next step of training as a social worker unexpectedly fell apart, so I looked around for a job. One afternoon I went to the head of my department at college for a job reference, but I ended up being given a cultural anthropology research assignment in the Caribbean. Wow! It should have been fun; instead it was really hard . . . and lonely. BUT, as part of the research, I had to go to churches and observe what happened there. (I had to laugh—I’d avoided them for years!) After a while, I decided to get a Bible to carry to church like everyone else did, and this led to the next step in my abandoned search.
Long story short, one day I sat down on my bed with the Bible and randomly opened it. I was blown away to read words that were like a text message just for me in my search. They hit a bullseye in my heart. I won’t bother to share them because they wouldn’t necessarily do the same for you. That’s the point. They were just what I needed to hear at that time.
I read more over the next few weeks, and the book kept doing that! I didn’t know what was going on, but I wrote some of the “text messages” on cards and stuck them on my mirror because they were so encouraging. Reading them actually made a difference to my state of mind—they were really powerful! So I started a personal research into Christianity, because my pre-conceived ideas weren’t matching this new stuff.
It turned out that Christianity was very hard to understand because of all the jargon and gobbledygook. I really wished that someone would explain it simply without the jargon, but no one could! I would have given up, but I had to know why the Bible was making a lasting difference when nothing else ever did. Eventually “the lights went on” and I actually found what I’d been missing all those years. It wasn’t at all what I’d expected.
So, if you are interested in exploring, I’ve written the simplest explanation I can come up with, using plenty of quotes from the Bible so you can get a taste of it. See if you can put aside the ideas you already have about God and take a fresh look. You can treat what you’ll read as just information, because that’s all it is unless you decide to pursue it.
May you find what you’re searching for!