Personal faith stories are narratives of faith written by Candlewood Church members. These are stories of men and women whose lives have been transformed by knowing about Christ and accepting Him as their Savior.
I was born and raised in Omaha. As I grew into my teen years, I’ve always acknowledged that God or a higher being existed and created everything. Growing up going to a Lutheran Church, I always thought I knew who Jesus was, but honestly, I didn’t even know what he did.
The summer after my first year in college, I went to Minnesota to visit some family, and my cousins all became born again believers. They went to a little church event and invited my brother and I. Looking back, many were reaching out to me.
This one kid asked me, “If you were to die today, would you go to heaven?”
I responded, “I’m not sure. I don’t think man can know.”
He said boldly, “Well, you aren’t going if you don’t know.”
I was so mad and wanted to snap back, but I couldn’t shake the question because if he was right, why did I claim to believe in a God that I didn’t understand?
I started reading The Bible and ran into 1 John 5:13 – “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” This verse flipped my world upside down. I could really know! I had to make a choice, either to give my life to what I already acknowledged or walk away and don’t claim to believe in Jesus. That night at my parent’s house, in the basement under a vent, I prayed, “I’m not sure what I’m doing, but I vow to give my life to you and do everything to follow your ways.”
Six months later, my older brother invited me to a ski conference, and then I went to Candlewood for the first time, and I just felt like I belonged here. This church has allowed me to exercise serving in so many ways.
After 13 years, God has allowed me to see so many miracles, and get to know people who I have known longer than any one outside of my immediate family – brothers and sisters that I can serve with, grow with, mess up with, to receive forgiveness with, get old with, etc. I see God’s perfect love in these imperfect people. These people actually love the horrific person I am. People of Candlewood rock. There is no place I’d rather be.
And after all these years, I still am in awe of God’s love for humanity.
Do you want to know more?
If you want to know more about having a relationship with God through Jesus, check out:
Do You Know for Certain?