Believing In And Believing Him

By Christine Prato-Coleman

I’ve heard stories of people who encountered Jesus on a supernatural level, those who have heard the audible voice of God, and even some who have hit rock bottom and the mighty arm of God lifted them out of a pit. Those testimonies give me goosebumps and a lump in my throat. They are often powerful enough to convert the heart of the worst sinner, addict, or unbeliever. 

But what if you’re like me?

I can’t say that God revealed Himself to me in one specific, supernatural way. I can say, however – without a shadow of a doubt – that He has come alive in scripture and made Himself known to me in profound ways.

I can attest to divine incidences, which I call Divincidences, where God absolutely aligned a happening in my life that solidified my belief in Him. A culmination of these events has given me every reason to know He is who He says He is, The Alpha and the Omega, the LORD God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation 1:8)

Where It Began

My thirst for God started at a pretty young age. I will never forget pleading with my mother that I wanted to receive communion with the rest of the congregation instead of having the pastor simply pray a blessing over me during the communion celebration.

My sister, who was two school grades ahead of me, received communion, and I was persistent that I should be eligible too. One of the clergy at church, while skeptical of my full understanding of the significance of communion as a six-year-old, agreed. If I sat with her and explained why it was so important to me, she’d consider me a candidate to join in the celebration of communion ahead of my class. 

I remember reviewing the questions she provided and having my mother help me to fully understand the doctrinal answer for each one.

Regardless of the rules and regulations of the particular church I grew up in, I was determined to not only recite the information, but understand it.

The following spring, I received communion a year ahead of my class, but it was just the beginning of my search for the one true God I believed with in all of my heart. 

Growing In Faith

In moving from Brooklyn to Long Island, God made sure to plant my family in a church that would not only increase our knowledge and our faith in Him while also positioning my parents to become leaders. 

Their leadership role allowed me to learn about The Father, His Son, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and experience God’s presence. With weekly youth meetings in our home, I had the chance to fellowship with other Christian friends and participate in activities that strengthened my relationship with God.

I attended a Christian Awakening weekend where the Holy Spirit filled me to the brim. It was very clear to me that a relationship with God was more powerful than practicing a religion.

From Believing In Him to Believing Him

As I moved through life, building on what I knew about God, I was challenged to move from believing in Him to believing Him.

I gave my children all my parents gave me and then some. But it wasn’t until I had a particular experience with my then-teenage daughter that I understood the difference between believing in Him and believing Him. That’s when miracles became evident. Daily. There were so many that I was compelled to document them all in the book – Just Believe: Every Summer Has a Story.

His grace was so present in our lives that it spilled over into the writing of each chapter. The experience not only changed the course of our lives, but it also changed us.

Steps Ordered by the LORD

While detailing each Divincidence of this incredible time in our lives, I noticed a parallel between our story and God’s word. Every time I dove into God’s word, He revealed a little bit more of Himself to me. My steps were most definitely ordered by the LORD. His word became alive and active and His faithfulness was unprecedented. 

The Testing of My Faith

Soon after, the proverbial rug was pulled out from under my feet, and I knew it was time to walk my talk, if not just for me, then for my children.

God hadn’t just lavished us in His favor the years prior – He was preparing us. He was preparing us to walk through difficult times with praise on our lips. I will admit that I do not look back fondly on the inception of that time, but the way in which God got my family and me through was nothing short of miraculous.

He didn’t deliver me from the pain and heartache we experienced for those years, but He never left me. He provided supernatural means to help us survive, and when there seemed no way to turn things around, He made a way. He gave me hope, and He gave me a future, just like His word promises.

God is in the Details

Our God listens. He listens to the big requests and the small ones. Here’s how I know.

On my sixtieth birthday, I received three things that I secretly prayed for. I did not expect any of them. In fact, one of the gifts was an illustration of Jesus that I saw in an online listing of a home that was for sale in our neighborhood.

I never saw anything like this illustration, but my excitement turned to disappointment when my cousin referred to the illustration (which I shared with her via text) as “Hollywood” Jesus. I was embarrassed to have even mentioned that “it” spoke to me and dismissed the idea of the print altogether.

A day or two after the wonderful celebration of my birthday, my daughter's neighbors walked across the street with a bow tied beautifully around a framed picture of (Hollywood) Jesus… Yes, that very same Jesus! The husband and wife individually testified that God asked them to gift the picture to me. Imagine my surprise!

Never has anyone witnessed a little Italian lady run, shout, and ugly cry at such a gesture. Jesus knew my heart and answered as only He could. That beautiful image warms my heart whenever I enter and exit my home, proving that if you delight yourself in the LORD, He will give you the desires of your heart.

Revealing a Very Real God

God is real whenever a song comes on the radio, answering a question or concern I’ve prayed about.

He is real when I’m struggling with something and my phone rings, only to have the caller say, “Hey, I’ve been thinking about you.” He is as real as can be when I sit still and allow Him to sit with me. Or when I’m overwhelmed with gratitude or overcome by grief, and His grace carries me through.

When I can unequivocally confess that I am the righteousness of God through Christ and realize that nothing I could ever do could earn me that place, but only through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross and my belief in Him.

So, for those who have had an aha moment where God made Himself known and for those who witness His majesty and power in the simplicity of a sunrise, I consider all of us truly blessed. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.

Collective Partner Headshots (3)

Christine Prato-Coleman is an author, speaker, and student of the Word. She and her daughter, Desirée, authored the true story Just Believe: Every Summer Has a Story, a book about adventurous faith that includes a scripture-based tool for young women and mothers. On a mission to serve the Kingdom of God, Christine strives to lead young people to Christ and empower mothers and daughters to deepen their relationships through faith, friendship, and fun. You can connect with her at @justbelievebook and follow her blog or purchase her book at www.justbelievebook.com.

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