I started Part 1 by saying this is my personal story and conviction. I’m sharing my journey to becoming a Messianic Jew because it has been requested by a few readers and acquaintances. Others, whom I consider friends, may still not even be aware of this shift in my life. I began with my Catholics roots and will continue on to describe my Christian faith.
If you have not yet read Part 1, check it out here: My Journey to Becoming a Messianic Jew.
Next Stop: The Non-Denominational Christian Church
During my teen years, my mom decided to start attending a non-denominational church in the area. The preaching was okay. (Well, I’m sure it was great but to my teenage mind, it was just okay.) I used it as a hangout thing and was never really into it. I don’t remember attending too many services or youth events and don’t know how long we were actually there before my mother and I stopped attending.
At twenty years old, I became pregnant and got married at a Catholic Church that I had never even attended. Two years later, I ended that relationship and went on to live a life that was lacking most biblical principles. In my twenties, I was hurting and confused. I had a decent job, a great education, a son I adored, and financial success, yet there was this void I couldn’t explain.
I had always known about God and thought I knew him. However, I spent a lot of time talking at him and never took the time to sit and listen, let along obey. Like many “Christians,” I believed I was a nice enough person. I worked hard, gave homeless people money every time I passed them, I was a loyal friend, and tried to be a good mother and daughter. However, what I failed to realize was I hadn’t the slightest clue how to be a good mother, daughter, friend, and certainly not a good wife, because I hadn’t been taught that through biblical principles. I was not living the life God had called me to live and my soul was yearning for more.
At the time I was working as a personal banker while pursuing a master’s degree in Education. Though I was getting paid well and enjoyed the stability, I had this crazy idea to quit my job and work for half the amount at an early learning center. Usually, my controlling nature would not allow for that, yet something inside of me was at peace and just did it. It was at the school that I met a friend I could never forget. Her name is Alissa. She was sweet, stylish, funny, and very down-to-earth. There was something about her that just made me want to be her friend (and I was quite stuck up and picky at the time.)
I brought up God one day and Alissa told me that I should visit her church because they were having an event that night. I was quite surprised that she attended church because she wasn’t an in-your-face, overly preachy girl. I visited that night and I knew that it was home. It was beautiful and welcoming and safe. I attended almost every Sunday for the next 4 years until I moved.
Holy Spirit Happenings
Within that time, I had my first true encounter with God. I had had many Holy Spirit encounters prior to that but hadn’t recognized it as such until this point. I had previously described some as “woman’s intuition” or just a “knowing.” I attended a retreat and asked God to reveal some deep truths to me. He gave me a vision of myself as a little girl and uncovered wounds I had buried without even realizing. I was caught totally off guard and knew God had showed me that. I continued through the retreat workshops and it all seemed good and well until the baptism of the Holy Spirit. I hadn’t known what that meant. I saw the Pentecostal preachers pushing their congregants to the ground and this whole dramatic scene unfolding but that wasn’t my church or my pastor. That kind of craziness did not happen here… until it was me falling to the floor.
My best friend looked on in disbelief. She trusted that I wouldn’t fake something like that and wondered what was going on. She heard my cries as I was laying on the floor for what seemed like forever. But she had no clue what was transpiring in my heart. To me, it was as though God himself were opening my heart and taking out all the hurts, mistakes, offense, and sin that I had piled on high. Each time I was able to identify the thing (lies, depression, adultery, etc.), envision him removing it, and then cry out in worship as I felt freed from it.
Afterwards, I was literally shaking and had this strong desire to run to release that energy. It’s still an inside joke with friends that when the Holy Spirit hits, I can run any distance. I also kept repeating “thank you, Jesus.” It makes me think of the angels crying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.” I could imagine they can’t help themselves in His glorious presence. Well that day, I got a beautiful glimpse.
It was in that church that God lead me to my current husband and gave me a new family. We married two years after I dedicated my life to Christ and we relocated to Florida two years after that. I was over-the-moon excited for my new journey but was heartbroken at leaving my church home and spiritual parents. I trusted that God would lead me to a church I could call home just as he did before.
Read Part 3 of My Journey to Becoming a Messianic Jew here.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to share them in the comment box below or email me directly at [email protected].
For other faith related articles, you can visit our Faith First page. If you would like biweekly encouragement and prayer right to your inbox, be sure to subscribe below.