‘My faith is strengthened by a wealth of evidence’ Caitlin Chodakowsky shares
I will never forget some of the interesting conversations I had with fellow university students on the campus lawn when I boldly asked them, "What do you honestly think about God?"
Some responded Christianity was a crutch for the weak, illogical and irrelevant to life today or just something that people clung to because of family ties.
While God seemed to be someone they would perhaps visit in church at Christmas or Easter or an unknown force they prayed to when they needed something, my experience had been something completely different.
To this day I clearly remember committing my life to Jesus at age six after a vacation Bible school program explained what this meant and I finally understood why my parents lived like they did.
Even as a young child I knew if Jesus was willing to die for me so my sins could be forgiven and He could offer me a free invitation to heaven, nothing could stop me from accepting it.
The conversations I later had at university seemed strange because they challenged everything I knew to be true in my life.
When students mocked me openly for my faith in Jesus, I wondered how they could think Christianity was a crutch for the weak.
When they told me belief in God was irrelevant and illogical I wondered whether they had studied the Bible for themselves or had just come to those conclusions from hearsay.
This got me thinking about why deep down I really believed what the Bible had to say about God and Jesus Christ.
My curiosity led me to talk more with people from different religions and study different sources that discussed the validity of the Bible, the account of Creation and Jesus' death and resurrection and other key issues that seemed to divide people.
I was amazed at the wealth of compelling information I found to support my faith in Jesus and realised that I did not have a blind faith but one built on accurate historic and scientific evidence that even many well-known and respected atheists could not refute.
Suddenly my faith felt like more than just a personal conviction.
I cannot otherwise explain the sense of overwhelming peace that helped me through some of my toughest life struggles, like immigrating to Australia, my mum's diagnosis of breast cancer and my dad's sudden paralysis from Guillain-Barré syndrome.
I do not know how I would have come through these situations had I not been able to put it all before God and know that He always has my best interests at heart even when things do not make any sense to me.
There is a compelling case for faithTransitioning from university to working as a journalist for Challenge, I have been amazed at the incredible stories of faith from around the world that we have been able to publish.
My faith has been strengthened since realising that I am not the only one who has had a true-blue, real-deal personal encounter with Jesus Christ.
If I were to ask you what you think about God today I wonder what you would say.
In a court of law the physical evidence and witness accounts would make a compelling case for faith.
I hope my story inspires someone out there to investigate, question, search and hopefully find for themselves what I and many others have already – the hope, peace and joy that comes from knowing God personally through Jesus Christ and accepting the salvation He offers to those who trust in Him.
It really is a life-changer.?