Ever since I was little I have been surrounded by people who trust in God, but I myself knew little about Him. As the years passed, God influenced me through other people who read the Bible to me, spoke about Jesus and the love of God, but still I did not let him into my world. I was on a path, but all the while I was lost, weak and inconsistent, despite the fact that I occasionally experienced some good times.
Then there came a time when I could not handle things by myself anymore. It was horrible for me. I was depressed and couldn’t find happiness anywhere anymore. I did not see the meaning of life and everything that was happening around me.
My mother, seeing all of this, asked my cousin Boris to call me and talk to me (he always tried to help me to know Jesus). He told me which verses from the Bible to read, how to pray to the Lord and a few other things. I had already tried it all but nothing helped, - I could not find a way out. But I listened to him anyway, and then I felt God's love and strength. My prayer was heard, and I had a smile on my face.
After that experience, there was a time when I had a good relationship with Jesus, and then I became like that seed sown on the rocky ground or sown in the thorns. It really bothered me that I couldn’t completely renounce - that I was not strong enough to resist sin, so I began to beg Him to change things. Then a heavy struggle began, but as the love and grace of God are great, He did not leave me alone but spoke to me through his Word.
This went on for years, but I was still not willing to let Him into all parts of my life, I was not ready to answer God's call for fear that I would not succeed in following Him, that I was not worthy. In the autumn of 2010 I officially decided to follow Christ and then again at a Hillsong concert, but I still could not make the decision to get baptized because I thought I could not take that step to change my life and shape it in the way that the Lord wanted.
And then at one service at Radićeva everything changed. In my heart and mind I made the strong decision: to submit my life to the Lord, - for Him to guide me, shape me and change me!
One wonderful experience with God which strengthened my faith happened at a STEP Weekend in Brdovec. There were about twenty students there. We hung out, talked about God and prayed.
On Saturday morning, after contemplating our lives and our roles in the church, Momir told us to write our expectations and prayers to God down on paper. We did not need to show it to anyone but to simply write our prayers to God. This is part of the prayer that I wrote:
“..I pray for strength, for your love to work in me and that I would be able to give it to others. I want your unconditional love, not expecting any return, not afraid of loss. I pray to see the true values in life. I want to learn to live with You and others, to let You lead me and to stop being afraid of what will happen. That I can just love and let myself be in your hands to shape me because that is what I need. Change me. Lord, only You can do it, because You can do everything. You are love and love changes everything..”
That prayer was a key part of my weekend and something that I meditated over and wanted so much for it to be answered. We finished the prayer and during the day we did some other things. In the evening, Josip Lončar visited us, who often visited STEP that year and talked about different topics from the Bible. He prayed with us for gifts, healing, reconciliation, and so on.
During the prayer that he led that evening, he spoke of various things that pertained to the people that were present. As I listened to him, I was constantly thinking and wondering if any of the things he was talking about was intended for me, but I was not sure. Among other things, he said, "Jesus hugs you."
At that moment I felt a hand on my back. At the same time, Joseph said: "Now Jesus is putting his hand on your back."
And then he said this key part that was linked to my morning prayer: "I give you my love, you do not have to be afraid, and I give you my strength ..." At that moment my heart began to skip. And Joseph (who of course did not know) continued to speak Jesus' words: "Calm down, your heart will not burst. I am here." At that moment I was crying, but not with sorrow but with the happiness that flooded me.
The answer to the prayer I had prayed in the morning came so quickly. As I prayed I thought it would happen one day, - that the answer would show itself over time. But it happened that same evening! And the feeling I had at that time I simply can't describe.
God really loves us and is here for us.
Only with Him does everything gain meaning and only by walking with Him through my life do I truly live and enjoy our relationship, our friendship. Now I know that I am able to follow Jesus, not by my power but by His, for He will raise me when I fall - He is my meaning and purpose.
I thank Him for that.
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