A new passion for life
Christina was at a crisis in her life when she went to see The Passion of the Christ film. She went to buy a Bible, and then viewed an outreach website based on The Passion. Watch her story on this 5-minute video or read it here.
Early in January of 2004 I came to a crossroad in my life. I was living away from my family and going to college. I began to isolate myself from my friends. I remember lying in bed one night and coming to the realization that if I didn’t do something about my life now, I would lose it. I could see that I was stumbling blindly into more darkness. I decided to pack up my bags and move home to my family. I wanted to begin a search for some meaning in my life.
Choosing to move back home proved to be a smart decision. Living with my family, I stopped using drugs. But I still felt worthless. My mind and heart where filled with regret and guilt. About a month after I had moved home I heard about an upcoming movie about Jesus that was coming to theaters. It was a film surrounded by controversy and I quickly became very interested in seeing it. Something, somewhere was telling me to see this film.
Seeing The Passion of the ChristIt’s interesting to think back, because I actually knew before I went to see this film that it would change my life! Growing up in a non-religious home, Christmas was about Santa Claus and Easter was about the Easter Bunny. I knew very little about the Christian faith and Jesus. I knew that Jesus was crucified but I didnít know why.
In early March I went to see the movie The Passion of the Christ with my parents. I have never experienced emotions like the ones I felt as I watched that movie. I was clenching the arm rest of my chair, sobbing, and shaking. What I was seeing was true and I couldn’t deny the compassion that touched my heart. I saw Jesus for the first time on that screen.
I left the theater stunned, feeling numb, overwhelmed and anxious. My parents wanted to discuss the film but I couldn’t. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. That night, before I went to sleep, I talked to Jesus for the first time. I didnít know how to pray. I didnít know anything about God or religion but I knew when I spoke to Jesus that night I felt this overwhelming sense of peace. I cried and prayed and then fell into a deep, peaceful sleep.
Asking questions about JesusThe next day I wanted to know everything about Jesus so I went to buy a Bible. I knew that I could find all the answers to my questions in that book. When I purchased my Bible, I asked the store clerk about church. I wanted to know where I should go and what groups I should join. She was kind enough to give me some great suggestions.
I started reading my Bible in the New Testament with the Gospel of Matthew. I powered through it in seven days! Initially, I had so many questions. As I read I found that the questions began answering themselves.
I was browsing
a website designed around The Passion movie, and I read an article called
“Are you looking for forgiveness?” I certainly was looking for
forgiveness! I needed forgiveness from others and forgiveness from myself. Before I read
this article, I didn’t believe that I could ever be forgiven. I prayed this prayer for the
“God, thank you for what You have done for me. I believe You sent Jesus to die for my sins. I believe Jesus rose again to give me everlasting life. Please forgive me for the wrong things I have done. Please give me a new and clean heart. I invite you into my life. Teach me to do everything You want me to do and to follow You all the days of my life. I pray this believing in what Jesus did for me. Amen.”
Getting to know JesusAfter I prayed these words I felt a quiet, calming sense of peace. In my mind I saw an image of me and Jesus where I was six years old. My long brown hair was braided in two pigtails and Jesus was kneeling down with his arms wrapped tightly around me. He was stroking my hair. I was clinging to him, hugging him and looking up at him as he smiled at me. I knew I had come home!
Before, I had always been on a search for something to fill this empty void in my life. I tried filling it with drugs, alcohol, sex, with whatever I could to get a feeling of pleasure and self-worth. Now Jesus fills that void. After I read the New Testament, and Jesus became the reason and focus of my life, I began to see the world differently. It was as if someone had lifted the veil covering my eyes and I finally understood the truth about what my existence in this life really means.
Faith and freedomFor so long I had thought that Christianity was a means of control, with lots of rules of what you can and can’t do. Yet, it turns out that by giving my life to Jesus the opposite happened and I am finally FREE! I am no longer a slave to sin. Now I have the power to make the right choices for the right reasons, to honor God.
My Dad told me that he had known about my drug use and was watching my life unravel. He had felt so helpless, and at that time he begged for Godís help. He told me that he prayed to God, saying that he would give up anything and everything he owned to have me back to how I used to be. His prayers were answered! Here I was strong and full of joy, speaking about how God had changed my life, full of confidence and love. I was completely transformed. God had answered his prayer tenfold. At that moment he knew that God truly did exist. In a very short time, my parents and my brother have also become followers of Jesus.
Although my spiritual walk with Jesus has been brief, I have complete trust in God. I have exposed my vulnerability and weaknesses in order for God to use me to serve others. I will use my past hurts, struggles and weaknesses to help others as God sees fit. God created me as I am and my history has become part of His purpose. My personality and strengths are a result of His love for me.
Take a look at your life. How would you describe it? Contented? Rushed? Exciting? Stressful? Moving forward? Holding back? For many of us it’s all of the above at times. There are things we dream of doing one day, there are things we wish we could forget. In the Bible, it says that Jesus came to make all things new. What would your life look like if you could start over with a clean slate?
Living with hopeIf you are looking for peace, there is a way to balance your life. No-one can be perfect, or have a perfect life. But every one of us has the opportunity to experience perfect grace through a personal relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Thanks to TruthMedia , the Canada-based web evangelism team, for permission to use this story and video. Christina’s story also appears at TheLife.com.