“We have a special guest with us tonight,” the leader of Michael and Violet’s Bible Study group announced several days later. “Our own Ms. Pomeroy from Counseling Services has joined us, and would like to share a few words,” the man told everyone before sitting down at the far end of the conference table.
As the woman rose to her feet, Michael recalled his own conversation he’d had in the food court with her, and the testimony that had followed. Now, as she began to speak, he wondered what God had been doing behind-the-scenes.
“I’m sure many of you have heard the rumors around campus about me being an atheist,” Ms. Pomeroy began, “and, I hate to admit it, but those rumors were true. I didn’t believe in God, or, I should say, I had stopped believing in God – that He actually existed,” the woman clarified.
“But tonight, I wanted to actually come here and testify to all of you, that I’ve had a change of heart. I do believe in God now, or, I should say, again. And I’ve come to encourage all of you to never stop believing in Him, like I had,” the woman declared.
“But let me back up a little bit,” Ms. Pomeroy stated. “Let me tell you a little bit about what happened in my life that’s brought me to this point where I stand tonight.
“I had actually been brought up in a Christian home having been taught by my parents from the Bible. I actually had my own personal relationship with God at the time, and everything was going great. I thought I understood how God worked in people’s lives, and it all made sense to me.
“Then, one day, out of the blue, I had a friend who was killed in a car crash. There had been no warning – one minute she was alive, and the next, she was gone. She’d been sideswiped by a tractor trailer who had veered onto her lane of traffic.
“I was devastated. I had lost my best friend, and, all of a sudden, nothing made sense. How could a loving God let that happen? How come He didn’t stop it? How come the driver of the other vehicle survived with only a few scratches?
“I thought it just wasn’t fair. I thought surely I must’ve been mistaken for all the years I had trusted in God. I thought I knew it all, at the time, and what I knew led me to the conclusion that God didn’t exist.
“My own logic told me everything I had believed in must have just been fairy tales told to me by my parents in order to keep me out of trouble. My own understanding led me to believe that they’d just wanted a means of controlling me by getting me to believe there would be serious consequences if I messed around with sin, and that I’d fallen for it hook, line, and sinker.
“After my friend died, I thought I’d been enlightened to a different reality; I thought you lived, you died, and that was it – so why stress out about sin? So, I rejected everything I’d been taught and I rejected God – no longer believing He even existed.
“I spent many years living my life however I chose – and I ended up miserable and alone – not able to open my heart up to love anyone fully since I wasn’t allowing God’s love inside my own heart.
“But then,” Ms. Pomeroy said optimistically, (looking at Michael) “God sent someone to talk to me. Someone who didn’t realize it at the time, but who gave me just the words I had been longing to hear for so long. He spoke words of truth to me in such a loving, nonjudgmental way that I couldn’t help but receive them into my heart.
“God’s love broke through the walls I had put up. God’s love broke through all the barriers of resistance and disbelief I had erected. His love broke through it all, and He gently drew me to Himself.
“I began to believe again. I began to be enlightened to the reality that God really did exist after all; that all I had been taught growing up wasn’t just fairy tales – it was absolute truth.
“And the truth was, I needed to open myself up to believe that I didn’t know it all; I couldn’t understand it all. I was only a mere human being – but God was God. He was in control.
“I had to come to the realization that – even though God could have miraculously prevented my friend from dying on that day, He didn’t for a reason – and I may never know what that reason was – but His reason was still for a greater purpose. I had to simply trust that God really was – and is – a God of love.
“He doesn’t take away our free will and the choices people make. He doesn’t prevent all tragedies from happening all over the world because of people’s bad decisions and sinful behaviors.
“I had to come to the realization that I could never understand it all or figure it all out since God and His ways are so much beyond my understanding, like I said. The reality was, I had to humble myself and accept who God was – my creator and the One who sent Jesus to die for my sins so I could have a personal relationship with Him.
“Now, like I mentioned in the beginning, I want to encourage all of you here: don’t stop believing; don’t stop trusting in God, and never give up hope for your friends who are still lost.
“It has taken a long time for me to come back to God; to come back to having a personal relationship with Him. I had to recommit my life to Him, and basically start all over again.
“But, that’s okay. It’s never too late to come back to God. No matter how old or young you are. He’s always waiting with open arms to receive everyone into a loving relationship with Himself. I am living proof.
“My parents had trained me up in the way I should go, and here I am, many, many years later, and the scripture from Proverbs 22:6 I just spoke of has proved to be true; ‘Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.’
“Again, I am living proof,” Ms. Pomeroy declared, sitting down next to the Bible Study leader, thankful that she could now testify to the Lord’s faithfulness in always keeping His Word.
“That was quite some testimony Ms. Pomeroy gave,” Violet commented to Michael the next day as the two shared lunch together at the local cafe’.
“I know what you mean,” the young man sitting across from her agreed, “it was such a surprise seeing her there in the first place, and then, when she spoke, I was even more amazed,” Michael told his girlfriend.
“It was so encouraging to hear how the Holy Spirit enlightened her to the truth she so needed to hear,” Violet mentioned. “Then, once she believed the truth by faith, she was set free from the lies of the enemy, and she was able to begin her life again, really,” the young woman pointed out.
“That definitely is the key … faith,” Michael now said. “When we have the faith to believe God, and to take Him at His Word – even when everything doesn’t make sense, we are able to live our lives in peace – confident that He is in control,” the mature believer stated.
“And what she said about her parents teaching her … it’s like they were imparting to her a legacy of faith,” Violet remarked.
“Exactly,” Michael agreed enthusiastically as the couple finished eating their soup and oyster crackers, “that’s exactly what her parents, and our parents, are leaving us with: a legacy of faith.”
(end of chapter five)
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