God pursues in his own timing.
During these updates, you’ve heard me use phrases like “left the faith” or “left the church.” Perhaps a better phrase would be something like, “she has not yet reconnected with God and the church.” Although many young women who are in this season of life would say definitively that they are never returning to the faith, sometimes God has other plans. Throughout these interviews are woven stories of God’s pursuit – young women who were quite certain that Christianity was not for them, only to be pursued by God so ardently that they could not help but return to the God who loves them. And this gives us hope.
“B” is a 35-year-old who was raised in the faith. She says that “it was more cultural than spiritual with our family” and when she emerged into adulthood she jettisoned her faith. About two years ago she said she felt a change; she began to see God lining up circumstances in her life and making himself visible to her. For example, she read an online article that deeply impacted her: “for some reason I found this article on some man who had had a near-death experience, and his description of the experience, being pulled up by Jesus, feeling absolute and indescribable LOVE … I don’t know. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.” Shortly afterwards, she became close friends with a Christian woman who shared her own salvation story. “B” said, “I cried on the way home from speaking with her. I still tear up thinking about it. I just haven’t been the same, since. I feel like I broke through to something and found God.”
“C” is a 31-year-old who was raised in the faith, but explains, “I became agnostic starting in college and continuing up until about a year ago.” At that time, “C” was hospitalized for three weeks for anxiety and depression. “C” continues, saying that the experience “made me re-evaluate everything in my life. It made me realize that I wanted to have a better relationship with God. I’m getting to know him a lot better. I pray daily and read the Bible every other day for an hour or two. I also appreciate his handiwork in nature more now too.”
These hearts changed because God pursued them.
I know that many of you are praying wholeheartedly as you wait and hope for a young woman to return to the faith. Perhaps she’s your daughter, or a niece; a friend or former classmate. I hope you’ll feel freed and encouraged by this truth: it’s not up to us. We’re not going to win them with convincing arguments or good books or cajoling. But God, through the Holy Spirit, will win them with his love, in his timing. While there’s life, there’s hope. Praise God.
Keep hoping. Keep praying. Keep loving.
Kristi, for WeConnect