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Born Again – George

Come, let us join Christ in the wondrous golden field of flowers!

The Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth is my God and Master and I am His servant, George. Glory be to the Lord Jesus Christ who showed me mercy and delivered unto me the precious and perfect gift of eternal life in Christ Jesus. I write this text to serve as a documented testimony to the power and glory of the One True God. I pray that I might be given the words that will be pleasurable in His eyes and that they might encourage His sheep to know that their time is coming and that there is much to look forward to.

I was born on November 13th, 1992. Friday the 13th. To a loving mother and father, they would tuck me in bed. And above my head on the wall was a crucifix with a figure of “Jesus” that one sees in paintings, watching over me every night as I slept. I wandered through adolescence and was spoiled as an only child. I would be given gifts and toys with very little resistance from my parents. I even remember being thrown a wonderful birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese, with all of my preschool friends and classmates being invited.

I had the childhood that any young boy would want. Yet there was an undercurrent to my adolescence and upbringing. It would make itself known loudly by interjecting every Sunday of the week where I would find myself in a plain looking room with rows of red chairs lined up next to each other: church. My father had been going to a non-denominational church since his 20s and, having met a previously-Catholic woman in my mother who claimed to belong to Jesus Christ, wanted to raise me in it. They would bring me and sit me down next to them where the congregation would sing hymns and read from the Bible. The elders in the church would take turns leading its members in prayer and the breaking of bread and drinking of wine.

My religious upbringing manifested in the same way that the Christian subculture in America has been instructing its members to worship for the past few decades: pray every day and read your Bible. I would pray before my meals and before bed. I did not read much on my own time, concluding that I could learn from my church. During the summers, my mother and father would send me to Bible School, a recreational program where the children would engage in the same activities as church as well as more kid-oriented ones like water balloon fights. I engaged in all of this out of obligation and instruction, but running around with the other kids and doing art projects with them as a child was fun. One day I experienced a moment with my father which would shape and mold me with fear and misunderstanding for the large majority of my life: I walked into his room and there he was, reading his Bible. My dad was my hero and I always loved to spend time with him. “Dad, what are you reading?” I asked.

“Mmmm….I probably shouldn’t show you this, but here,” he said. I leaned over and looked at the text. It was the passage about the unpardonable sin, where the Lord Jesus Christ rebuked the Pharisees and told them there would be no forgiveness in blaspheming the Holy Spirit. Fear settled into me and I hurried out the room. As I lay in bed readying for sleep, a barrage of blasphemous thoughts came battering into my mind like a storm of arrows raining on its target. The horrifying reality sunk in: I had damned myself by committing the unpardonable sin and I was damned for all eternity. Fearful and sad, I chose not to say anything to my father and went to sleep. For the next 10+ years, I quietly struggled with fear about the unpardonable sin under the assumption that I was damned forever. It would most often creep into my mind as I lay in bed alone at night, as a fear of hell would settle in. My experience with the church during this stretch of time is a story for another time as I expedite to God’s glorious redemption of me.

It was in April of 2016 that I met Pastor Pamela Sheppard. I got to know her and she got to know me. She showed me wisdom, guidance, and patience as she worked on various issues that I had in my own soul. We built a great relationship as she taught me about God and what it is to be a Christian. We spoke on a weekly basis for the better part of the next 4 years. One of the first things she taught me was that I never had really committed the unpardonable sin and that in my early 20s I experienced a false conversion. For those who do not know, a false conversion is a fraudulent born again experience wherein the recipient is shown heavenly things to make them think they are born again, yet they are actually are not.

Pastor Pam and I dealt with a myriad of spiritual issues: intrusive thoughts, fe