By every outward metric, Heather George of south Texas was a devoted Christian. She attended church regularly, her Bible was impressively highlighted, and she was the vice president for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at her university.
But one thing was missing. She didn’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ. She didn’t even know she could have a relationship with Him.
“I became a Christian at Vacation Bible School when I was eight years old, but nothing really changed,” George said. “Everything I did was outward and works based. It was all about being a good daughter, not going to parties, not drinking, not being with boys. I looked like an all-star Christian, and I thought that was what faith was.”
After she graduated from university, she began her career as a teacher and coach. She continued her involvement in church, even leading women’s Bible studies with some of her colleagues. But her faith was impersonal, works based, and exhausting.
Then, when she was 26 years old, the women’s ministry group at her church began to study Experiencing God.
“I signed up to do it, and it opened my eyes to the Holy Spirit,” George said. “I had obviously heard about Jesus and read about Him, but I didn’t realize I could have a relationship with Him.”
George said that as soon as she began studying Experiencing God, her entire worldview changed. She said she felt as though her heart was opened and the scales had fallen off her eyes.
“It was like the parable of the blind man. Jesus put that tar in his eyes and finally he could see.”
She began reading her Bible, having regular quiet times, and journaling. But this time, she wasn’t just completing a task or fulfilling an obligation. She was spending time with someone she loved and knew personally.
Her transformation led to major changes in all areas of her life.
“I was dating someone and had a crisis of belief, because that gentleman was not a strong follower of Christ,” George said. “So, I realized I needed to stop seeing him. The way [Experiencing God] talks about God speaking to us, for me it was just so clarifying that He was saying to me, ‘I have something else for you. I don’t want this for you.’”
George heeded the Holy Spirit’s guidance and walked away from that relationship. She is now happily married to someone else. They have two sons, age eight and 12.
She and her husband are small group leaders and have gone through Experiencing God four or five times.
“[What makes the study so powerful is] the care the authors took to explain things that seem to be fundamental,” George said. “There are a lot of people walking around our churches today who are just like I was. They’re church attenders but don’t understand the relational aspect and have never been discipled.”
George said she is hoping to help people have the same transformational experience she did. She said she didn’t even know what she was missing until she took the Experiencing God study. But now that she has truly experienced God, she can’t imagine going back.
“I’m so grateful Experiencing God was written, because it helped me understand who Jesus is, the love relationship that He has with me, and the fact that He speaks to me. His word is alive to me now because of Experiencing God.”