My bright blue colouring pen colours the sky behind my drawing of mighty pillars stretching into the sky. I regularly attended Bahai Sunday school, and in this class we were asked to draw what we thought heaven would look like. I didn’t really know, but I gave it my best shot!
Growing up in a Bahai family I always considered myself religious and a person who acknowledged a creator.
However, the creator never really felt tangible. He was an energy, I was told. When I probed more, I got the answer that he was just a mist. That was a disappointing answer. I felt a distance from God.
To get closer to God, I was told, I needed to be a good person, but not any good person… a good Bahai.
I followed religious practices of abstaining from alcohol and kissing prayer books if I ever accidentally dropped one.
I remember making the bold proclamation during a Bahai Summer School to my other zealous young peers at the time: “I shall never ever drink alcohol.” Boy, I thought to myself smugly, how could God ever turn me away now?
This smug assurance did not last very long. When I got to University I was offered a beer. I took it with both hands and didn’t look back.
Soon I started to find myself finding security in relationships, smoking weed, and alcohol. I was failing my Degree, and alienating those around me. Worst of all, the shame of not being the “good person” I had thought I was, actually broke me.
I felt the shame of being a bad Bahai. It was too much to bear.
But at that time, I recalled the preaching of my father who told me about Jesus Christ. I was told that Jesus’ burden was light, and that he promised to give me New Life. I wanted this, but not enough to stop all that I had enjoyed doing. I prayed to the Lord to give me a clear sign that Jesus was truly God. He gave me that sign the very next day through what I can only describe as a Holy Spirit infused encounter with a lady the next day. This lady told me about her love for the university’s Christian Union and also her passion for Jesus.
New faith in Jesus
I came home that day and gave my life to Jesus. I no longer desired any of the weed or alcohol I once had, and the Lord truly delivered me from it.
Life isn’t all sunshine and roses now, but Christ promises he is always with me. I can testify that is true.