I Met God

I Met God

 

I wasn’t raised with any particular religious background. My parents taught my brother and I to say our prayers at night, and they never discouraged us from going to various churches with our friends or neighbors. God had always been presented to me as this glorious Being that was so marvelous, so wonderful, so loving, but unreachable. That never made sense to me, and certainly wasn’t attractive. It was like somebody showing me a menu with pictures of all this good food, then telling me that I can’t eat anything. However, it was nice sometimes to meet with different groups and hear about God. It always made me feel good afterwards, but there was never anything solid that drew me to continue on.

I moved to Austin in 1992 to finish my degree at UT. In the Fall of 1993, I had about two more semesters of school left. I couldn’t wait. I wanted to move back to San Antonio so badly. I hated Austin. I was tired of being on campus. I missed my friends, my family, and the people in Austin didn’t know how to drive! Like all seniors in college, I was being faced with many major decisions all at once. Questions like where to live, where to work, how much money I wanted to be making, when I should move, and so on. It was a bit overwhelming, and eventually this caused me to question all areas of my life. There was really nothing wrong with my life. I had worked hard all through college, and I was very excited about finally graduating. I had good roommates all through college, a good relationship with my family and my friends, I didn’t really have any material needs, and I knew all this would work out for me — it always had. Yet there was still just something missing in me.

At the beginning of that Fall semester I was handed a tract from a group called Christians on Campus. The tract was titled, “Vessels for Filling.” As I read it, I had never heard of such a thing. It said that we are vessels, or containers, that are made to contain God and express God, much like a glove expresses the hand that’s in it. That was news to me! I had never heard that before, but it sounded good. Could this be the answer to the emptiness I had been feeling inside? It made sense! I had never really known God, so that could have been why I was so empty! I was still skeptical, but I decided to go to their Bible study on campus to find out more about God. If these people had the boldness to say we could actually express God — they must mean business!

I really expected to find more of what I had found before, which was only superficial talk about God, with God at a distance. But when I was sitting in that first Bible study, I realized these people had something I had never seen or heard before. They had the riches of God and I was sitting there just enjoying it! It was deep. I had some knowledge of the Bible, and everything I heard was in line with it. I felt like I had struck gold. Not only did their knowledge of God and the Bible impress me, but there was a real care among this group of Christians. They didn’t just let me come to the meeting and slip out the back door anonymously. They got to know me. They actually wanted to know me. It mattered to them that I was there looking for God. They wanted to make sure I found Him, too. It was here that I finally met God.

As I began to open up to God and meet with these dear Christians, eventually the lack in my being was gone. I no longer felt the need to retreat back to San Antonio in such a hurry. All the restlessness I felt through the situations I was faced with was settled and I had peace, a peace that comes through developing a relationship with God and other Christians who want to know and experience God in their daily lives.

 

Paula J. Dempsey

 

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