Jennifer H. - Lebanon, OH
I have been a Christian since I was very young and was blessed to grow up in a Christian home with parents who loved God. My Dad was the Pastor of a small, very legalistic, denominational church and I attended church every time the doors were open along with attending our Christian School. “Church” was the only life I knew. I was genuine in my personal decision to accept Christ and had the assurance that if I died I would go to heaven, but during that time I had no idea what it meant to truly have a very real, personal relationship with my Heavenly Father. I didn’t realize it, but I was coasting on the coat tails of my parent’s faith.
As many “PK’s” do, I made some very poor choices through my teen years and hurt a lot of people and I’m so very thankful for God’s forgiveness and grace! After moving away from home, I would occasionally attend another legalistic church but it was much more out of a feeling of obligation than a desire for an intimate relationship with Jesus. Once our sweet baby girl was born, we decided to make our ‘faith’ more of a priority and started attending regularly. Over the years and through our geographical moves, we have attended churches with great people and God loving Pastors that we believed preached the truth. In full disclosure, I always felt like although I appreciated the messages and always tried to apply something new that I’d heard, I felt confident that I had pretty much heard all that there was to learn – after all, I had been a PK, right? Please know I never want to dismiss or minimize the incredible gift of God sending His son to die for MY sins and provide an eternal home in heaven, but salvation from an eternal damnation was the extent of what I believed was purchased at the cross. I knew there were different beliefs out there, but was raised to believe all other doctrines were wrong.
Four years ago, at the age of 40, I went to the Dr. for a strange pain and was sent for testing. I was shocked to receive a call that I had a very large mass on my cervix. My entire life I had been taught that God *could* heal, but I also believed that God punishes and causes circumstances in our lives to teach us a lesson. Given some of the decisions I had made earlier in life and the pain I had caused others, I accepted that this must be true. I believed my only hope was to BEG God to spare my life.
It was during the dreaded time of waiting for biopsy results that I reached out to a client of mine that had become a friend. I knew she was a Christian, and I didn’t want to concern my family until I had results, so I shared my situation with her and asked if she would join me in begging God for my healing. I remember her reply: “If you are a Christian, you’ve already been healed – God wants you well.” Those words were life changing and sent me on a new path. She then introduced me to a teacher that had a series on “God Wants You Well”. For days, I watched his teachings on the internet and initially found myself very skeptical of what he was saying because it was so different than I had been taught all my life, but I was desperate to believe. I was amazed as he was able to substantiate everything he was teaching with Scripture! How had this PK been in church all of my life without ever being taught that Jesus died not only for my salvation, but for my healing, my prosperity, and that I had authority as a believer? The Christian life is meant to be an abundant life on THIS earth! I then prayed and told God that I was desperate to know the WHOLE TRUTH and I would accept whatever it was as long as I knew it was truth. He gave me an overwhelming peace that THIS teaching was the truth and it set me on a journey that I’ll be on for the rest of my days on this earth. I’m excited to say, I received my healing from this mass and after a month, it was completely gone – Glory to God!
Fast forward a few years now and we’ve been studying these truths on our own while continuing to attend churches that didn’t teach all that Jesus has already provided for us. Thankfully, due to a Bible Study we attended last year, we were introduced to Faith Building Church and Pastor Anthony. WOW!!!! We knew from our very first visit that this was a very special body of believers and that Pastor Anthony is the ‘real deal’ and committed to preaching the WHOLE TRUTH about the good news of the Gospel. To say that we have grown spiritually during these last 7+ months is a major understatement. Every meeting is like drinking from a fire hose – it’s awesome! There is such an incredible freedom in truly understanding that God loves you regardless of what you do FOR Him and that He isn’t keeping score – He just wants a genuine, loving relationship with us! One thing we’ve noticed at FBC is that people attend because they WANT to, not out of obligation. We give because we ARE blessed, not to be blessed. With these shifts in attitude, God has the ability to do far more in our lives and those we touch. We are so thankful for our Pastor, Worship Team and authentic body of believers at FBC and cannot wait to be part of all that God has in store as we continue to listen and follow His leading – personally and collectively as a church!