My Story of Faith
My name is Clarissa Wiles, and this is my story. I grew up in a Christian family and attended a Methodist church. I was baptized Methodist as an infant and grew up believing in Christ. I was a regular attender throughout my school years and would go with my parents when I visited them during college. I had always felt that something was missing. Something that I did not get from family and friends, sports, or school/studies. I tried to fill this void with selfish things.
Recently, I felt myself becoming someone that I did not want to be. I realized then and there that I could not live this life by myself. I could not do it on my own. I realized that He had been reaching out to me all along and had finally “reached” me. I felt an overwhelming sense of relief as I prayed that he forgive me of my sins, take my guilt and shame, and come dwell in my heart. I prayed that He would have others see Him in me.
Since then, everything has changed. I see Him in everything around me. It may sound cliché, but the sun shines brighter, as if it is shining directly on me. I feel Him with me and I am thankful.
I have also had an intense longing to learn more. I want to read and study on His word and share His goodness with others.
In a book that I was reading, the author said some things that really resonated with me. In the modern world, many people believe that Christianity is the sum of the good deeds that you do in your life and that if your good deeds outweigh your bad deeds, you deserve to go to Heaven.
The author counters this with the assertion that Christianity is NOT about your deeds, it is about Jesus’ deeds. When you repent of your sins and ask Jesus to dwell in your heart, you are reborn. Your slate is wiped clean and replaced with Jesus’ perfect life. When God looks down on a believer’s heart, He sees Jesus’ perfect life, not your sinful one. This was a HUGE relief for me. As a deep thinker, I could not wrap my mind around the fact that I did not have to do anything to earn this salvation. All I had to do was believe.
Jesus did all of the work for us! He lived the perfect life and died our death on the cross to save us from a sinner’s life without God. This is how much He loves each and every one of us. All we have to do is REPENT and BELIEVE in the gospel, and then we get to REACH out to non-believers to share His word and help bring them to life in Him.
Before Christ, I wanted to live a selfish life and believed that if I truly repented, I would not be able to indulge in the things I once did. This is not the case. Once a believer, it does not mean that your will never sin ever again. Once Jesus dwells in your heart, you turn away from sin, instead of towards it.
Looking back, I felt that since I grew up in a home that went to church and believed in Jesus and God, that I was a Christian. I called myself a Christian even though I did not act like one. I tried to make up for my sins through good deeds instead of acknowledging that I was a sinner and that I needed God. I know now that I AM a Christian and I will either meet Jesus when He comes back for all His followers or when I die and go to Heaven. I want others to know salvation through Him. There is nothing that can keep you from His promise, other than yourself. He did ALL the work. All you have to do is believe in Him. Remember, REPENT and BELIEVE, and then REACH others. The steps are simple and so is the decision to choose life with Jesus. Fill the emptiness in your heart with his undying love. There is no better time than now! Please don’t wait to ask for forgiveness. God is waiting for you to choose an everlasting life with Him…