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Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.
1 John 5,1

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Finally, I´ve found Jesus

Marie Utíkalová

…my conversion didn´t happen from day to day but it was a long process that haven´t finished yet.God is able to use any material to make its instrument out of it… Finally, I´ve found Jesus
 

The beginning of my conversion started at the time when I began attending the secondary school at the age of fifteen.I was brought up in a Catholic family.I went to church on Sundays.I considered myself as a believer although I gradually stopped believing in God.

We didn´t speak about God except going to church on Sundays and critisizing the priest´s sermon.We didn´t pray together.Later on, when I started thinking about life and about its meaning I didn´t know who was right if the Communist ideology that had been drummed into our heads since the early childhood or if it was right what we were studying in the religious education.I stopped believing in God because I was unable to accept the fact that God is good.Why there are so many sufferings and evil in this world and why we´ve been living for so long in the communist tyranny – at that time I couldn´t imagine that it could have ever finished and I refused to believe in God because I didn´t want to be scared.I was often afraid of something but I didn´t know what it´d been.All I could remember was the atmosphere of fear that predominated when the communists were in power.I stopped believing in Satan because I didn´t want to fear him and consequently, Jesus´s sacrifice on the cross seemed to be pointless.Thinking in this way I finished with God and was looking forward to being of age and not having to go to church.My parents wished us to go to church with them on Sundays ( I´ve got a brother and a sister ).

 
At the age of fifteen I started going to the dance parties with kids from our village and at the same time I kept on going to church so that my parents shouldn´t worry.Sometimes it was dull there so I began to have a couple of drinks in order to get going.Sometimes I drank more than I could carry and sometimes I could feel that contradiction between my life and what I heard in gospel on Sundays.However, I didn´t have the strength to stop drinking and going to dance and I felt my split personality.Although I didn´t believe in God, I found it wise to obey his words even though it wasn´t God´s words but only human words for me.
 
  
 
When I went to nursing college two girls in our class were believers and happy.They weren´t ashamed for their faith at all.Once the teacher asked them to tell us why we commemorate the Chrismas and they started talking about Jesus.At that time I thought I was a believer and although I went to church on Sundays, I lived my own life.All of a sudden I remembered:“Jesus“ I have heard it somewhere.I felt ashamed for being a believer but I don´t know nothing at all.I wanted to become a believer and I wanted to learn more about Jesus.I began looking for the answers to my questions in the spiritual literature.My father had  some biblical stories from 1947 hidden at home so I read it.Just at that time the Velvet Revolution started and this was the end of communist regime and arrival of freedom.The spiritual literature began being sold which hadn´t occur till that day.I continued to look for God in my life – I´d go to church on Sundays and on weekdays and I read the spiritual literature and at the same time I went to the dance parties with my friends where I drank a lot and sometimes I made a blunder.Sometimes I was in good mood because of consumption of alcohol but sometimes I had thoughts and feelings of absurdity and pointlessness of life.One time having these thoughts at the dance party I went and I didn´t even know where. I wasn´t thinking at all where I walked but out of the blue I could hear a strong and clear voice: “What are you doing here?“ I stopped and turned around to find out who was talking to me but the ripple of people´s conversation, who were at the dance and were sitting on the banks, was remote and unintelligeble while this voice was strong and close.I had to agree with him and I decided not to drink anymore but as it wasn´t possible for me to quit drinking there I stopped going to these dance parties.First I made a firm resolution not to go there for two years.It was very difficult for me because all of those who knew me kept asking me what had happened to me and why I didn´t go the the dance parties anymore.I was still tempted to go to the dance but I wanted to keep my resolution.At that time I continued to read my spiritual literature but it was a very difficult period because there was no prayer meeting in the place where I lived and that was what I needed so badly.After two years I wasn´t tempted to go to the dance anymore but I longed for the congregation of Christians who´d be brothers and sisters to each other, one big family.I was looking for some people in my parish who´d have had the same longing like me.At that time a group of children and young people started meeting up.There was a choir where the rythmical songs were sung.I hadn´t had any previous experience with groups like this.I didn´t know what to do.This group wasn´t what I´d been looking for.It was only two years later in 1994 when there
 
 
were found about six people in our parish who prayed together and read Bible.We also received Jesus Christ as our Saviour and tried to live as a family of God´s children.This congregation´s developped in the same way as every man develops.The members changed but the congregation and the desire to meet Jesus are still alive.Spiritual retreats, charismatical conferences, the course Filip and Congregation, youth meetings as well as this congregation, reading of spiritual literature – Scripture and biographies of the saints helped me to draw the strength for the weekdays.They were kind of oases in the desert of my life ( I sometimes felt like “spiritual drug addict“).When you find yourself in a large gathering of the people who´re thinking in the same or similar way as you, it seems to you that everything is easy and simple but then you have to fight your own laziness and indolence at home in order to meet your obligations and good resolution.The best thing is to offer your day and all your life into God´s hands every day so that He may lead me show me the way think in me speak act and use me in the way He wants.
 
My conversion didn´t happen from day to day but it was a long process that haven´t finished yet.God is able to use any material to make it´s instrument out of it.
 
God is also adressing you:But you, O Israel, my servant,
       Jacob, whom I have chosen,
       you descendants of Abraham my friend,
 9 I took you from the ends of the earth,
       from its farthest corners I called you.
       I said, 'You are my servant';
       I have chosen you and have not rejected you.Isaia 41,8-9
But now, this is what the LORD says—
       he who created you, O Jacob,
       he who formed you, O Israel:
       "Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
       I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
 2 When you pass through the waters,
       I will be with you;
       and when you pass through the rivers,
       they will not sweep over you.
       When you walk through the fire,
       you will not be burned;
       the flames will not set you ablaze.
 
 
 3 For I am the LORD, your God,
       the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
       I give Egypt for your ransom,
       Cush [a] and Seba in your stead.

 4 Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
       and because I love you,

Isaiah 43,1,3-4

 

Marie Utíkalová, Mezice

 

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