As a child I was very spiritual. Given the gift of intelligence and insight, I found myself with an ability to grasp the essence of God's worth with relative ease. Growing up in a household that was nothing short of tumultuous, I found peace with God as my protector at an early age. However, as I grew up I strayed away and 20 years later felt that I knew everything, even though I had a longing for spiritual fulfillment of some sort.
About 8 months ago I had a life changing experience. I became separated with my family, started to endure what amounted to be the ending of my life, and then it happened. While I stood on the precipice of the abyss, there was a presence that called me calmly but firmly. What I now know is that it was the presence of God that was there, with his hand stretched out in my moment of abandonment, calling me back.
About 6 months ago I purchased a Bible and started to read it. I recounted my early childhood years and how I had God in my life. How He had provided me with comfort an d protection and a purpose to look towards another day. One of the first stories that God had me read was the story of Job. How fitting. Here is a man that was being tempted by Satan, being removed of everything before him both material and familial. I was very easily able to draw a comparison and understand the purpose of suffering. It was serving as discipline for all the sins that I had committed since I went astray.
So I find myself today, having gone through the entire New Testament and most of the Old Testament with a more in depth of knowledge of what this life is all about. I have a sense of purpose in life, working towards my salvation, as well as hope, confidence, and fulfillment that I lacked when I thought I had all the answers. Everyday the fear of God grows within me and I see it as a gift. A gift of motivation to continue on with my spiritual journey.
I do not have a formal education in the scriptures. I see this as a positive rather than a negative. For me, my education has come from a direct interaction with the Word and God. I am humbled to learn more everyday and have began to see how God communicates to those who have chosen Him. While I have been slapped by him a couple of times along this journey, I can recognize now that it is Him doing it, that He is doing this out of love and that one day I will be reunited with my family. I came across this forum today and I see it as the next step on my journey. As I read in Proverbs 3 "...He will guide you on the right paths." I look ahead at the prize and see this forum as an opportunity to discuss the word, to seek other's counsel, and continue on my journey.
Welcome to TWC. Most of us on TWC are involved in some aspect of music ministry in our churches. We have a few pastors, and a few with no real connection to music. So you will find more about the technical and spiritual side of leading worship than deep spiritual conversations, although we do have some good spiritual talks sometimes.
I'm not telling you this to say you are in the wrong place, but to let you know more of what we are about. Please check out the forums. Ask questions; join in the conversations.
And thanks for sharing your testimony with us. I hope we can in some way help you on your journey.