Mary-Jo Waterbury

Wenatchee, USA

When God found me...

Growing up, my church taught me the beautiful message that there is a loving God who wants a relationship with me, and that because I’m sinful and separated from him by my sin, He sent his son Jesus to pay the price of my sin which is death so I could be forgiven. My mom told me many times that all I had to do was believe this and that I would have a relationship with God that would satisfy me completely. That sounded really nice, so I tried my hardest to believe by trying to better myself and be more successful at everything I did, especially in sports, school and church, hoping that if I did good in everything, God would want a relationship with me, right?

Well I became very good at almost everything I did, but I never experienced a relationship with God and became disappointed but also angry at everyone who told me the Bible was true, so I left the church and pushed them out of my life. I became very independent and was convinced that Christianity was just another religion and that I could find this satisfaction I was looking for on my own in the world. I truly believed this until the winter of 2015.

I met a very loving Christian family and went sledding with them a few times. We had such a great time, but beyond that, I noticed that their family had something that I didn’t have… they we’re so satisfied with their lives. They had this constant overflowing joy and happiness that I wanted in my life, so I got to know them. Through our conversations, my heart opened up to the possibility of the Bible being true again because they believed it was true.

On the third day of talking with them, I was sitting alone in a mall parking lot in my car. I was just thinking about what I believed and if the Bible could really be true like they believed, and out of nowhere, something moved my soul and I felt this immense happiness. Tears of joy began streaming down my face because I was experiencing the joy and happiness their family had! And nothing really made sense to me in that moment besides that everything in the Bible had to be true, because I was experiencing the joy of God’s Spirit that the Bible talks about. That was my first personal experience of God.

Since that moment, my life and understanding of God and the Bible have been radically transformed. I think one of the most important understandings I now have is that only a relationship with God can truly satisfy our needs and desires. God knew I couldn’t find satisfaction on my own and He was waiting for me to realize this too, so I’d stop looking for it on my own and consider being filled and fully satisfied by His Spirit. Now I know why I never experienced him before…I was trying to earn this satisfaction from God by bettering myself, when Jesus has already finished all the work that needed to be done for me to be with God already. That’s why all it takes is an open heart and mind to believing the Bible is true and let me tell you, that’s when God sweeps in, satisfies you beyond what you’ve ever felt and completely changes your life. Thanks for reading!

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