Melissa (not her real name) was a self-proclaimed atheist when we first met her. She felt there was no God because if there was, He would have done something about the terrible injustices and pain she had experienced in her life. Melissa came to the group a skeptic; she arrived with fears, anxieties, and shattered dreams. You see, as an atheist you believe there is no God; thus, you have no one to believe in but yourself. But we all know we are incapable of fixing our circumstances in our own strength, because many of us have tried. Melissa was in that place when we first met her. She was dying inside to her emotions, and had no avenue left to turn where she could receive help that actually worked.
As Melissa journeyed with us, we were able to share with her that God is a gentleman, and that Jesus (whom He sent) is a complete representation of his Father. We shared that God does not force Himself on people, but that He instead allows them to come to Him whenever they are ready. The people who had hurt, disappointed, or wounded Melissa had not been listening to God at the time. God had offered them the same opportunity to know Him that He offers each of us, but they had said no. Consequently, they had spiraled off into a lifestyle that was hurtful, for when we act in opposition to God, we will often wound others.
Over time, Melissa began to realize that Jesus was not mean, disinterested, or weak, but that He had been waiting to meet her and heal her once she understood His heart for her. Soon after, Melissa entered into a relationship with Jesus that has changed her dramatically. She now brings her cares, joys, and fears to Jesus, and receives back His comfort, peace, and perseverance for her situations. A few weeks ago, we were privileged to witness Melissa enter into baptism as a way to declare publically that she is a follower of Jesus Christ. Melissa has come to know Jesus as alive, active, and fighting for her.
God created us for eternal companionship with Him – not just here in this life, but eternally in heaven where the relationship is continued. Jesus came into the world for one purpose: to restore our relationship with His Father. Jesus says, “I am the way the truth and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.” Melissa has found this to be true.