Marie was raised in a family of Jehovah's Witnesses. After years of following legalistic rules, she came to feel a sense of hopelessness as she tried to earn salvation. At age 32 Marie left this religion and abandoned God, until one day when a small group of Christians introduced her to the real Christ. Marie suddenly felt God running to her.
Marie's True Witness
I was raised in a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I was baptized at 14, and was considered the perfect example of what a Witness teen should be. I spent every Saturday and every day of my school vacations knocking on doors.
Yes, they do give their members cards to prove they are Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I carried one. I truly believed what I preached. I believed all the rules, and all the requirements, even though they were strangling the very life out of me. Over time "following the rules" created in me an empty sense of hopeless worthlessness, a natural result of attempting to earn salvation.
Through a series of events my eyes were opened, and I left that religion at about the age of 32. I discovered that legalistic rules do not reflect the love of Christ. For six years I was bitter and blamed God for everything that was wrong in my life. I thought all religion was a lie.
Something I Wanted
Then the Lord began to set me up to be introduced to the real Christ. I was working at a travel agency. I met several people that came into the agency who seemed to have a certain "glow" about them, but I did not know what it was or what it meant. I just saw these people as being different in a way that I wanted to be, but did not understand. Later I found out they all went to the same "small group," and they all knew each other. I guess that is why they all used the same travel agency.
Anyway, I knew they had something I wanted.
One of these people kept inviting me to his home to visit with his family while they had friends in to discuss God and share a meal. After a year I finally gave in and went. I began to see what being a Christian really means, and what the love of Christ truly is.
Another year passed before I finally dared to risk going to church. I believed I would encounter the wrath of God. You see, Jehovah’s Witnesses teach that a Good Witness should not set foot in a Christian church for any reason.
Instead, I was shocked to walk into the sanctuary and run smack dab into the Holy Spirit. I had a conscious realization of the presence of God in that place!
A Call to the Altar
Shortly after, I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. Then about 3 months later, I was attending a women’s seminar at the church, when the teacher stopped in the middle of the lesson and said, "I have to do an altar call. I don’t usually at this point in the study, but the Holy Spirit is telling me to do an altar call right now." Well, I had been praying for an altar call, and she did not have to invite me twice.
I knelt at the altar and silently began to pray for the Lord to touch me and to heal me of the emotional and spiritual injury I'd experienced growing up as a Jehovah's Witness. I wanted to be close to him. I had only gotten part of the first sentence out when the woman next to me grabbed both of my hands and began to pray for me--for healing. I knew that the Lord used this woman to touch me, just as he had touched lepers and healed them (Matthew 1:40-42). And just as the Lord had sent the angel to Daniel before his prayer was even finished, the Lord answered my prayer before I could even get it out (Daniel 9:20-23).
He Ran to Me
It seemed like God ran to me. He had been waiting since Calvary for me to surrender my fear to him, so that he could reveal who he really is to me.
We serve a risen King--One who is able to heal us, lead us, and love us (Matthew 28:5-6, John 10:3-5, Romans 8:35-39). Will we let him? I would like to challenge each person reading this to walk into the open arms of the Lord and Savior. He wants to heal you and lead you to a truly victorious life in him.