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I was 31 years old, unmarried, and living in a high-rise apartment in downtown Chicago. I was experiencing professional success and making good money. To top it off, there were plenty of eligible bachelors to date. On the outside everything looked great, but on the inside I was insecure, overly critical of myself, and judgmental of others. I was searching and wanted fulfillment. I began to think if I got married everything would be okay.
One of the young men I became friends with was a Christian. He was one of the most solid people I had ever met. He shared his faith with me and gave me a Bible. Joe tried to get me to focus on Jesus. I tried to get him to loosen up and have a beer. Our friendship grew, and we began to date. He was so different that I knew he was the man I wanted to marry and have a family with.
Joe tried to get me to focus on Jesus. I tried to get him to loosen up and have a beer.
Then Joe ended our relationship. All my hopes of marriage were gone. I was broken to the core. I took time off work, and with nowhere to turn I began to read the Bible. I read it from cover to cover, from morning until night. I could not put it down. Then I got to the story of Jesus Christ. I understood that He died on the cross to save me so that I could someday be with Him in heaven. I realized He was the only way to peace. I started confessing my sins. It took days. When I was done, a calmness that transcends all understanding came over me. I was free. I was changed from the inside out. I no longer felt I had to look good on the outside to please others. I knew God loved me, and he gave me a new love for others. I began to see everyone as a precious child of God.
Joe and I were engaged a year later; now we have two boys. Sometimes I am tempted to struggle with how I appear on the outside, but then I remember Christ’s love for me and regain my inner peace.
Never underestimate the power of your story!
Telling our stories helps others to know us better and gives them a real-life picture of what it looks like to personally experience God’s grace—telling them how being a Christian is not about what we do, but what God did for us.
What story could you tell?
Visit our Stories page at wheatonbible.org/Stories and share your story of how God has changed/is changing your life!