“Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (Jn 3:7, 8)
This is my testimony: I was born in Romania, a Communist country at that time. We were told that God does not exist. We were told that ‘religion is the opium of the masses’. This is the communist ‘gospel’. I believed it! I preached it! I did not see a Bible with my eyes before I came to Nigeria with my husband and two children in 1980. I told everybody that I am an unbeliever. I took pride in being an atheist. I did not deceive my husband saying that I am religious. He knew that I did not believe in God. He used to attend a church in Nigeria before coming to Romania to study medicine. But now, none of us attended any church. In Nigeria, some of his old Christian friends mocked him for marrying ‘a Moabite’. I was learning English, so I did not understand every word they spoke. But one day I asked him: ‘what is a Moabite’? He said that I should not mind his friends; that they do not understand.
My husband and I became very successful as medical doctors here in Nigeria. We made money and fame. Some of my patients ‘prophesied’ to me that I look like a born again. Others said that I look like a pastor. I told them that this is an insult and I rebuked them openly. Oh… Thank God for grace!
I became saved thru a crisis conversion in March 1986. It was after this miraculous event that I read the Bible for the first time in my life. Before then, I did not know what is called ‘sin’. I did not believe in a holy God that could be offended by my sins. I thought that even if God exists He is too far and too detached from me. I thought that my sins (even if I had them, but I was not sure of that…) are my own business and not His. I had my own idea of what is good and what is bad and I judged myself and others based on my principles. I was my own ‘god’ and I invented my own righteousness. Looking back I can now see my foolishness!
I remember the first time I read the Bible. It was Genesis 1:1. ‘In the beginning, God…’ I could not finish the sentence… My encounter with the Word was terrifying. To me, the Bible was like fire! I did not see any good thing in it! The Bible took it for granted that God exists! God? Who is God? I just came face to face with God, the creator and the judge of mankind. I just discovered that this holy God hates sin. The Holy Spirit started His peculiar work in me. For the first time in my life I saw myself as a sinner in need of salvation. I tried to ignore the Word of God. I fought it! I argued with it! Losing ground, I tried to change myself and become ‘religious, like the Nigerians’, so that maybe God will be pleased. For the first time in my life I agreed to go to church. These fake ‘cosmetic’ changes impressed some Christians but did not bring peace to my soul. I could not impress God! I could not deceive God! That was terrifying! I discovered that my greatest burden, my nightmare, the heaviest weight on my soul is sin! The Holy Spirit convicted me of sin! The fear of God descended on my soul. I was scared to death! I hated to live and I hated to die! I was arrested by this Holy God and I saw no way of escape! I was frustrated and angry. ‘For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of God’ (Rom 8:20). In the past I was what you call an optimistic person. But now, a cloud of darkness, a form of depression descended on my soul. Every day I thought that I will die and go to hell. All my ‘communist’ arguments, all my good deeds and all that I stood for, suddenly became useless to me. I needed something else, a new hope to cling to, but I saw nothing near me… Like a dying man in the ocean of God’s judgment, I saw no help in me or in anyone. I came to the end of myself. I know what Jesus meant when He said on the Cross: ‘It is finished!” I, Lia Leigh was finished!
Suddenly, the light of God shone in my heart…I saw Christ Crucified praying for me, forgiving me… I believed that His Blood was shed for me, even for me…Is this story too good to be true? It may be so, but the grace to believe the impossible came on me…The Holy Spirit flooded my dying soul, His resurrection power fell on me… and… and… I became saved!!! I became a child of God! God did not reveal to me the hope in Christ until the Holy Spirit finished His work of conviction. Weeping comes before joy! To arrive at eternal life I had to pass thru this terrifying path called the valley of the shadow of death. I did not know how to pray. But God helped me to believe! Glory!
Dear reader, Jesus died to save your soul! Salvation is a miracle. Going to church, reading the Bible, paying your tithes, praying or worshipping God is not enough. You must be born again by the Holy Spirit! A miracle must happen! Money cannot buy it and man cannot give it to you. The devil will fight to keep you blind and foolish. But God is greater than all! Oh, the wisdom and the power of God to lead on, from frustration to hope, from death to life, from grave to glory! Praise the Lord! Jesus Christ is Lord!
PS: In the picture, me at about 17, in my parents house. I was an unbeliever then but looking ahead.. Who could have known? Please encourage me and others testifying how you became saved!