On March 5th 1972, at the age of 13, I made a decision to follow Jesus, and told him so. That wasn’t exactly the language I would have used at the time, but that’s what was happening. It was actually a rather low key event – there were no mystical firework – but it must have stuck, because it changed the course of my life.
Of course, I had no idea just how challenging or all- encompassing that commitment would be. I didn’t know myself very well and I didn’t know God very well. But everything has to start somewhere, and for me, that was the start of a life of conscious discipleship.
So thank you God for the past 45 years. Thank you also for my Dad whose gentle challenge brought me to that moment.
Nicole Cliffe tells the story of the work of God in her life that resulted in her moving from atheism to Christianity:
I became a Christian on July 7, 2015, after a very pleasant adult life of firm atheism. I’ve found myself telling “the story” when people ask me about it—slightly tweaked for my audience, of course. When talking to non-theists, I do a lot of shrugging and “Crazy, right? Nothing has changed, though!” When talking to other Christians, it’s more, “Obviously it’s been very beautiful, and I am utterly changed by it.” But the story has gotten a little away from me in the telling.
As an atheist since college, I had already mellowed a bit over the previous two or three years, in the course of running a popular feminist website that publishes thoughtful pieces about religion. Like many atheists (who are generally lovely moral people like my father, who would refuse to enter heaven and instead wait outside with his Miles Davis LPs), I started out snarky and defensive about religion, but eventually came to think it was probably nice for people of faith to have faith. I held to that, even though the idea of a benign deity who created and loved us was obviously nonsense, and all that awaited us beyond the grave was joyful oblivion.
I know that sounds depressing, but I found the idea of life ending after death mildly reassuring in its finality. I had started to meet more people of faith, having moved to Utah from Manhattan, and thought them frequently charming in their sweet delusion. I did not wish to believe. I had no untapped, unanswered yearnings. All was well in the state of Denmark. And then it wasn’t.
Read the rest in Christianity Today magazine here.