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Share Your Story: Christine

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Christine Stevens-van Eijsden experienced God in a powerful way through a time of online prayer with one of our prayer ministers. She shared her testimony (below), and we hope it encourages you as much as it did us!

I was raised by wonderful Dutch parents who were agnostic, and, even as I absorbed their worldly view, from a young age I was always interested in God. As an adult I practiced yoga and theosophy, and sat in Catholic services with my extended Irish-American family.

For decades, I joined in singing hymns and psalms with a shape-note group. Shape-note singing is an early American acapella tradition: sitting in a square singing 4-part harmony (trebles, tenors, basses, altos) in an uninhibited fashion. Some people call it the “heavy metal” of singing. It’s certainly not choral, but earthy and moving.

These singings and the fellowship with my shape-note singing friends led me to be baptized in 1996. I then was invited to join a group of Evangelical Christian women, who wanted to make sure that I understood that Jesus was Lord, but also their other beliefs like yoga is of the devil, and the devil causes miscarriages. It felt exclusive and pushy and I declined their company. I felt they would judge my atheist parents and my upbringing.

After that, it took many years of macrobiotics, motherhood, working as a Montessori preschool-K guide/teacher and surviving breast cancer, to again feel my heart radiate when I meditated, and to be deeply moved in singing. Gratitude was my guide and I kept focused on the Lord’s Prayer and practicing how to forgive my “enemies.”

In summer 2023, I was drawn to read Lee Strobel’s book The Case for Christ, and was struck by the interview with Greg Boyd. I looked up more information about Greg and Woodland Hills. When a church does not shy away from addressing abortion and includes people who experienced it and then loses thousands of parishioners, I see courage and love. So I started watching the online sermons and found that everyone involved in the sermons is really compelling. How amazing is that?

My parents were World War II survivors, and the shadow of the war stuck to my sensitive nature. Looking back, I can see that I had many periods of low-grade depression during adulthood. In Fall 2023, I looked at the ongoing depth and growth of human suffering around the world, and I couldn’t take it anymore.

One Sunday, last October, I asked for online prayer help after church. I could barely speak to tell them what to pray for. The prayer person modeled to me a personal, intimate dialogue. They spoke to God straightforwardly, repeatedly sharing in the sorrow, and I learned that day that giving our grief and pain up to God, in Christ our Lord, is the only way to be at peace.

Afterwards I made one step: to give myself over to Jesus Christ. The weight of sadness, grief and sorrow lifted—then came a feeling of liberation. I recognized it’s true: Christ is King.

I have felt a transformation in my body and mind and a peace I’ve never felt before. Now that I gave my heart to Christ, I have a full and joyful heart; it feels like a personal relationship. Every day is an opportunity to learn more about Him, to be with Him and to work with Him in this world. The Kingdom is real and we have to help its establishment by “loving on the world,” as Greg says.

Amen, Christine, and thank you!

Have your own story to share? We’d love to hear from you! Fill us in here.

2 thoughts on “Share Your Story: Christine

  1. Shawn says:


  2. Ruth Ann says:

    God meets us where we are and with such compassion. Thanks for sharing your story!

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