The question of God’s existence has been a contentious issue down through the centuries. I came to believe and trust in God during my twenties and it happened over a period time. There wasn’t any key moment that I remember thinking, “I now believe in God”. Rather, there came a time when I knew in my heart that I had entered into a personal relationship with God. I mattered to Him and it mattered to me to tune into him.
It’s all Grace
I feel that I am so lucky. With the grace I received, it led me to investigate the possibility of there being a God. It all started in 2001, when I began to feel this urge to go to my local church in Dublin. I arrived, and didn’t feel or think much of it either way, but I was slightly drawn-in by the music. The long and short of it is that I loved singing, so I joined the choir. As a result, I ended up going to mass on Sundays. During the mass I was listening to the word of God, but it was like listening to someone speak a foreign language. I couldn’t comprehend anything that was said and I had no idea what it was about. This was coming from someone who had received the sacraments of first holy communion and confirmation as a child. I had no idea why people went to mass and why they would go every week. I only went their to sing and because I felt this inner sense to go there.
Investigating the possibility that God exists.
In time, the opportunity to investigate the existence of God opened up further for me. I moved to Maynooth to study Music and applied to live on campus. Then, I ended up living in an apartment with four theology students! I didn’t even know what theology was! There were a lot of questions for me to ask during those college years. I was given a few books to read, brought along to a few conferences and I went to a few places where faith and belief were thriving. All along, I was developing a personal relationship with God, I had this sense of wanting to get to know who God was.
A future of hope
In my searching and seeking for God, I was given a gift of a small New Jerusalem Bible. I went online to search for scripture verses to help me on my journey. It was through doing this that I then began to understand the purpose of scripture and how to apply it to my own life. For example, one verse that I used throughout that time was:
I know what plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for peace, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11)
This was important for me because at the time I didn’t believe in a future for myself. I couldn’t see how anything would ever work out for me, I lived in negativity, my mind was full of negative thoughts. My actions and reactions were based on negative thinking. When it came to relationships, I seemed to attract people who would either abuse me, or use me, but no one seemed to be interested in me for me.
Now, here was this written word from God saying “I know what plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for peace, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”
A NEW LIFE
WOW – no one else had ever said that to me! Who else can offer you a future with hope? I took God at his word and trusted in him and began to live as if these words were true. When I felt down about my life, I would read out this scripture verse to combat my negative thoughts.
Stay tuned, more next week!
Song Resources: I Want to Hold Your hand