Iasmina – Do you know Jesus?

I was born in Romania, 1993. My father was a Pastor and a church planter. He would go into villages and tell people about Jesus and then form churches out of those small groups. He always sought to follow God in his life. Growing up in that environment, you learn a lot about God. You get cocooned in Christianity.

At six years old, my father had a call from the other side of the world. Perth, Western Australia to be precise.  Bayswater Romanian Baptist church asked him to come and pastor for them–a major migration by anyone’s standards. However, when my father senses something is from God, he does it. Within months, we were packed up and headed for the other side of the planet–a whirlwind adventure.

In Australia I was a bit of a novelty at first. I couldn’t speak English. I suppose that ostracised me, so I remained in my own little Christian world: family, church, Christian schools. I was quite reserved and withdrawn.

Eventually, I started to blossom and come out of my shell. I got more involved in the church my father was leading, and on entering my teens, I became the consummate “Pastor’s Daughter,” involved in everything from the worship team to leading youth bible studies. I suppose the equivalent would be one of those seemingly perfect students who annoy us for their diligence and commitment. Ironically, we also realise they do not have a clue about real life. That applied to me perfectly.

I had never been baptised either. My family was not pushy about their religion. They would tell me this is what we do and believe and you have a choice to be part of it or not. So baptism never really occurred to me, even as a Pastor’s daughter. I remember someone in the church telling me to hurry up and get baptised as Jesus was coming. I ended up being baptised more out of coercion rather than commitment to Christ.

When I did get ‘dunked’, I came up out of the water and can honestly say I had a euphoric feeling of cleansing, inside and out. I never gave it much thought after that.

Attending a private Christian school, wearing the uniform, and singing in church all looked peachy. Inside, however, I knew something was amiss. One day, I had a vivid dream. I heard God tell me to go to a particular public school.  I was given the name of the school and knew exactly where it was. I won’t mention it, but needless to say, it had a rough reputation. I told my parents.

They were totally supportive! My father even said if God wants you to go there, then go. Just imagine your parents accepting your decision to leave your pristine private school to go to a questionable public school on nothing more than a whim and prayer. I was pretty sure now that this must be from God.

I entered the school and sought out the Chaplain. I approached her and said God wants us to pray for this school. I think she nearly fell off her chair. She agreed and so it began. Each week we would meet and pray for the kids, sometimes as they fought outside the door. It was surreal.

At around 17, I had a real turning point in my life. I started to really question my faith. Is this all real? I am the child of a Christian Pastor. My whole world is Christian. Has this just been forced on me and have I accepted it blindly without question? These thoughts whirled in my head. Slowly I stopped going to church, I quit reading my bible and I also no longer prayed.

I would go to church off and on just to make an appearance. My friends noticed. One jokingly called me a heathen because I hardly attended the services. This hurt me; however, it caused me to really think.

On a night out with some friends (mostly non believers),one of them wanted to throw a bottle at a passing car. Another said, “Hey don’t do that Iasmina is a Christian?” I immediately replied, “No I’m not”. That night, I went home and sat in my room wondering what I was doing? I wondered what I believed. I prayed to God for the first time in six months. I remember it clearly: “God if you are there, if you are real, you need to show me that you are.

The next day, I went about my normal life without giving the prayer any further thought. Two weeks later, I was in a horrific and traumatic car crash.

The car I was travelling in was T-boned and ripped in half–literally. The back section and passenger seats went one way with me and the driver was spinning out of control in the opposite direction. Everyone told me, “God protected you.” I still refused to believe. The driver’s mother said that the two front seats were the only section that had not been damaged. Her words were “An Angel’s wings surrounded you both.” Again, I dismissed it all. God isn’t real.

My whole body, as you may imagine, was badly bruised. My Clavicle bone was also badly misshapen, possibly broken. That night, I prayed to this ‘imaginary’ God, again, reluctantly: God, if you are real, heal me. The next morning everything seemed worse, including serious whiplash. That night, I prayed again, but this time sincerely and in the name of Jesus Christ.

I awoke the following day to discover every bruise gone. Not a mark on me. Large bruises do not disappear overnight. However, the pain was also gone from my clavicle. I revisited the initial doctor who had examined me after the accident.

When he saw me, he made a confession. He told me he was a Christian. I had not known this. He then said he knew God had healed me. He even told me that as a Christian doctor he had seen this sort of thing before. Meaning miraculous healings. My clavicle was no longer out of shape either. It was perfect. Not even a hair line crack.

Today, I study to be a nurse. Yes, a nurse! I am back in the worship team, but in another church where I am not the Pastor’s daughter (I prefer to avoid the attention to be honest), and one thing I know without doubt–  Jesus is real. The question is – do you know He is?