There were seasons throughout my childhood when we were sent to vacation bible school and occasionally Sunday school if there was a church bus in the neighborhood. But Jesus was a character from the bible just like Adam and Eve and Noah.

At fifteen I ran away and was placed into county care due to circumstances in the home. Two years later I was back in the home, shut down, barely functional. A local church was sending ministers to the house. I was sent to youth group. At the end of the meeting we were told to bow our heads while the youth pastor asked people to raise their hands to give their lives to Christ Jesus. I did not.

This same pastor drove me home and asked, “Why didn’t you raise your hand?” The short of it was I told him I couldn’t make somebody my Lord when I didn’t know for sure they were the real God. I asked him how he knew for sure Buddha or Allah wasn’t God. How did he know Jesus was in fact God? He said, “You just know…” I said, “Well, I don’t just know.”

As despondent as I was, I wasn’t dumb enough to agree to something I didn’t truly believe.

Soon after all this I was so dysfunctional I couldn’t go to school. I slept for weeks. I was suicidal and wrote a letter to “Life” and asked what was to become of me. Would I be dead in six months? I couldn’t get out of bed. I was ruining my senior year and unable to graduate. How could I go on living? I contemplated killing myself every minute that I lay awake in my bed unable to move. And just when I was ready to do it I discovered I was pregnant. But since I couldn’t kill the baby, I knew I couldn’t kill me either. So, now what was I going to do?

The church put me on a plane to Oklahoma to put the baby up for adoption. Long story short, it was in the room the Christian host family prayed over where I felt strongly I must keep my baby. Despite the church’s anger with me that I was soon to be another unbelieving, ungraduated welfare statistic having a baby, they eventually surrendered to my decision and put me on a plane to come back home.

When my baby was eight months old I was still a mess. I had an apartment but all I did was feed the baby and sleep when she did. Other than that I didn’t function. Seeing she was growing quickly and soon to be a year old, I knew something had to change because she would be sleeping less and soon I wouldn’t get away with not functioning anymore. I wanted to die. I dreadfully regretted not giving her to a healthy, functional family in Oklahoma so that she could have a good life – and I could have killed myself as planned. And then… It happened.

In desperation I cried out, “God, if you are real, SHOW ME! And show me WHO you are! I don’t know who to believe is the real God! Please, if you are real, send YOUR ministers to my door. If you don’t, I will give the baby to someone and kill myself!”

Now, you must understand that I lived on the 3rd floor of an apartment building. In all the months I lived there nobody once came knocking on my door. Until the day after I asked God to show me Who He was, that is.

I’m not kidding. No sooner did I say that there was a knock at my door. When I opened it and two Christian men stood there eager to tell me about Jesus, I was floored. I had to pick my jaw up off the linoleum before inviting them in. And though what they told me sounded much like the info I compartmentalized about the Jesus character, suddenly Jesus Christ was very real to me! I could somehow see His Majesty and how He literally wanted to reconcile me to His Father and make Him my Father as well! I was so broken by this comprehension that I told the pastors no, I couldn’t receive Jesus as my Savior. They asked me why and I told them I didn’t deserve it. I was too ashamed and unworthy. Their faces lit up as one of them cried out, “That’s what makes you able to receive Him – knowing you are a sinner!”

It didn’t make sense – yet it did! And that’s when I said yes… to Jesus.