For Thanksgiving break, I planned a trip out to Seattle, Washington. As the date of my trip arrived, I did all of the mundane things we do to prepare: I packed my bags, finished my classwork, and made sure to get a great night's sleep. I had even woken up a bit early the day of my departure, and I had time to go to the bookstore to look for something to read during the long flight.
It takes about eight hours to fly from Fort Myers, Florida to Seattle, Washington. I know that because I tend not to enjoy flying, and that trip is the longest continuous flight I've taken thus far in my life. Reading is the one thing that helps calm my nerves during take-off and landing, so this was a very important part of my preparation.
He answered my call and, being flippant, I asked him what sort of book I ought to bring on my flight. I waited for him to suggest the Bible (Hah! I had him now...) when instead he suggested a book by C.S. Lewis called "Mere Christianity". What? C.S. Lewis? My mind reeled a little as I lifted the book from the shelf. I liked Lewis... and the book seemed unassuming, the title amusing, so I added it to the Nabokov I had picked up and headed for the checkout.
It takes eight hours to get from Fort Myers to Seattle. It takes eight hours to read Mere Christianity from cover to cover, twice, if you're a quick read and you're motivated enough.
I got off the plane in a daze, distracted from the excitement of being in Seattle by thoughts of the book I just consumed. I remember sending a text to my friend, asking why he'd do such a terrible thing as to suggest this book when I'd have to wait a week (a week!) before I could get home and talk to him about it.
Needless to say I survived the week, trying as hard as I could to put the book out of mind. As soon as I got home my friend and I went out for coffee. He brought with him a bible, and we spent hours discussing this and that point as I learned my first few verses of scripture. He showed me that faith does not necessitate leaving your intelligence at the doorway, and he introduced me to the gospel through facts and logic. I left confused and mentally exhausted, but eager to hear more.
As the semester continued I found myself tagging along with my friend to a small faith-based discussion group, and then later I found myself working up the nerve to attend a meeting of his church. I found my anxiety unwarranted, as everyone I met that afternoon was as friendly and welcoming as he had been. More intrigued than ever, I kept attending.
After I graduated, I found all of my plans to move on and move away from home had dried up. Uncertain of what my future would hold, I remained in Florida to wander the strange new path that lay before me. I continued to attend church, learning about Christ and the gospel. Finally, one chilly night in February 2010, I was baptized by that same friend who first opened my mind to Christ in the coldest pool I think I've ever voluntarily entered while surrounded by members of my new church family.
C.S. Lewis may not have been the first to say it, but his repetition of the sentiment in Mere Christianity is appropriate. Sometimes, “the longest way round is the shortest way home.” I accepted Christ as my Lord just before my 24th birthday, having been pulled out of an adult life that was full of sin, proving it's never "too late" and we are never "too lost" to be reached by him. He had orchestrated nearly a lifetime of events to bring me to that freezing cold pool, and in that moment I finally found everything I had been seeking.
It's funny to look back, just two years later, and put it all into words. More amusingly, I'm typing this while sitting right next to that same friend that recommended Mere Christianity, who later baptized me, and who earlier this year became my husband! God’s plan for me has been full of surprises and blessings, and there is not a single day that passes that I don’t thank him for the journey.
That wraps it up for my testimony. Now that I've described my past, I'm looking forward to sharing with you the new things God is revealing to me every day! I'll leave you with a challenge; have you thought about your testimony recently? If not, I recommend spending some time this week considering the way that God brought you to where you are today.