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God is Faithful to Redeem -- a perspective from this born again Christian's ETS experience - 2023

The old familiar comfort of being surrounded by the buzz of an international airport. It reminds me of my young adult years. Traveling the world and embracing different cultures, far and wide. All while living in community with a group of young Christians from various walks in life. Little did they know how pivotal they were to the process of God healing me from broken expectations and feelings of rejection from the church.

I am one of those who chose to walk away from God and Christianity based on my perception of how others failed to show up for me in my season of pain. I left the religion I knew and the God that I thought I loved. The years that followed were met with fleeting excitement and the never-ending chaos of emotional insecurity. I was wrecked on the inside, and longing for a sense of belonging in a world I wasn’t created for. Yet, I would repeatedly try to convince myself and others that I was finally living the dream – a life of freedom. In reality I was pulled into deep spiritual bondage.

Here I sit, eighteen years later in the airport of San Antonio, Texas, as a healed creation of the one true King, redeemed and restored by His grace. There are many places I thought I would end up in life, ideas that I thought were grand while silently seeking relationship with Christ. A labelled Christian hidden among society. Yet, in 2020 God lit a fire under my butt, humbling my pride and calling me out of my spiritual hibernation. It was time to get into the thick of theology and apologetics. I was commissioned to better understand my faith so I could articulate what I believe to those I encounter along this life-long journey.

Fast forward, I just spent the last three days immersed in theological and philosophical sessions at the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) Annual Meeting. This is a place where the best of the best come to share their expertise and engage in biblically enriched discussions. Six months ago, I knew nothing of it. I am grateful that Apologetics Canada (with whom I am an adjunct speaker) invited me to join them at this event. I jumped at the opportunity. During my time in Texas, I sat eagerly at the edge of my seat, soaking up every word from the presenters like a sponge in the desert, finally being immersed in water. I engaged in conversations and took the opportunity to network with Christian leaders, and publishers. Intently listening to their ministry updates and hope for the future.

If you would have told me when I was sixteen that I would end up here, I would have laughed in your face. Deep down I would have longed for the belief that it was possible, all while trying to convince myself that I would never be worthy. I did this with a lot of things, because it was easier to deny myself the possibility rather than be faced with the potential disappointment of rejection or worse – failure.

As I walked among the elite at ETS, my heart praised the faithfulness of my God and the opportunity to learn from other believers that have gone before me. With genuine gratitude toward those young believers that I once travelled with so many years ago. For they helped God rebuild the path that brought me here.

There is no need to worry about where we end up when we follow God. He tends to bring us to the places we didn’t know we longed to be.  When we walk in obedience, He will give us a seat at the table. Whatever season of your faith, I encourage you to pursue right relationship with God. In the midst of a season of doubt, feelings of rejection, or in the abundance of his grace, continue to dig into the truth of who He is. Do not allow humanity to lead you astray. God is faithful, loyal and merciful. He may not bring you to the same place He is bringing me, but that is the beauty of the family of God – we each have a role to play which is intentionally created just for you and just me. Together we make up the body of Christ, together we represent the Creator of this universe. From one spiritual rebel to another – Be bold in your pursuit of Christ and embrace the adventure that awaits.

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