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Name: Ruth Stromquist
Website: bearswritingden.blogspot.com
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Articles written: 9

 About Self
Who is Bear?
Bear is a Christian writer, who loves to write about the Lord and life in the Lord, using fiction, poetry and non-fiction (including devotionals, testimony, and essays).  My name's actually Ruth, and I'm a Christian who has walked in both Pentecostal and non-Pentecostal churches, and am comfortable with both. (To visit me on Facebook, click my Facebook picture.)



Why Jesus in Bear's Life?
I turned to Jesus 18 years ago, when I found out He is real, He is Son of God and full deity as part of the Trinity, and that the Bible is true from cover to cover, and I've never been the same since. He is my joy and my life, and strengthens me daily. "Trusting in Jesus" is the best summary statement I can give for what my life is all about, both online and off. In the 18 years since I first turned my life over to Him, He has not once failed me, not once forsaken me, not once refused to strengthen me whenever I called to Him for help. He doesn't always answer my prayers the way I expect them to be answered, but He always answers, and His answer is always better for me than my own expectations, I've found. I didn't have that kind of reliable help, back in the days before I turned to Him. I was looking for spiritual help from New Age Guidance, from crystals in my pocket, from divination/pendulum use, Shamanism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and a variety of other sources . . . I tried them all. But I found that they all led in circles. Things would seem to get better for awhile and then got worse again (and then would usually spiral down to being even worse than before).
A staunch anti-Christian . . .
In those days, I was a staunch anti-Christian. I disliked Christianity in all its forms. I suspected that anyone who even mentioned the Name of Jesus was a wild eyed fanatic, ignorant, deluded, bigoted, and probably somewhat crazy on top of it. When a nurse told me one day that Jesus was my only hope for any help with an illness that was threatening my life, (because the doctors could do no more), I responded to her that I'd rather die with the illness than call on that "Name". Once, when I happened to run across that Name in a book I was reading, I violently threw the book against a wall of the trailer I was in, just because it had the Name of Jesus in it, and stomped out of that trailer (although it was 3 a.m. and well below freezing outside, and I was stomping out into the middle of a pitch black 40 acre field of farmland). So, when it came to the point that I finally ended up, through some surprising twists in circumstances, yelling to Jesus as the Son of God (not the "good teacher" or "prophet" of the New Age teachings -- but to the Jesus who the Bible quotes, the one claiming to be the One Way to God) . . . I was calling on that Name I had always scorned, laughed at, and disliked in general . . .
Discovering Jesus' claims true . . .
There came a day when I finally went down on my knees and admitted that I was the one wrong and He was the One right, acknowledged my sins, asked forgiveness and asked Him to be in charge of my life . . . I didn't call out to Him because the illness was any worse than it had been that 5 years before, when I'd said I'd rather die, or the two years before, when I'd thrown the book against the wall. No, I called on that Name because of a series of events and circumstances He had woven together in my life, which began to show me that this Jesus of the Bible is actually Who He claims to be. It would take much more writing than this sidebar can cover, to try and explain all those convincing circumstances/events that led me to such a total reversal. But one of those circumstances was my reading the book of John in the Bible -- the very Bible that had always been a stranger to me. I read it from a Bible I happened to run across in a bin of discarded clothing I'd been sorting through a couple of months before. When I started reading the book of John's testimony straight through, in context, and not just parts of it, and "listening" to what Jesus is saying in it, I started seeing more and more who He is -- enough to take a chance on calling to Him for help, finally.
I found He doesn't lead in circles . . .
Well, He didn't instantly heal me, but life started getting better. Not only did I become convinced by the Bible and inner witness of my spirit that Jesus is who He claims to be; but evidences for the reality of His claim continued piling up through a multitude of very real and concrete changes now occurring in my day to day life. Plus, my health did begin improving in some rather miraculous ways. Best of all, I found that He doesn't lead in circles, like all the other spiritual quests always did. I found that His love and truth in my life gave me a real place to stand -- a solid rock, compared to sinking and shifting sand. I found that He truly does live, and is active in the very life and makeup of the believer.
Major improvement in my illness . . .
Plus, doctors were surprised to find that predictions they had made concerning my illness were no longer coming to fruition -- the illness improved in some ways they said it never would. At one time they predicted I'd never be able to live in a normal house again, due to my immune system being so compromised by extreme allergies and sensitivities to "chemicals" that are normal to people's day to day environment . . . ("Chemicals" like laundry detergents, perfumes, gas heaters, plastics, rubber, etc., as just a few examples). They predicted that I'd always have to live some distance from civilization: like in a mountainous area or back in the woods or in the desert, and that I would always have to live in a trailer or other radical alternative to living inside a normal building (like the tiny 13 foot stripped-out travel trailer I was then living in). They said my immune system had been too severely damaged by past events to ever recover enough to allow me to live in a regular building again. (Those damaging "past events" included: a continuous toxic exposure to pesticides over a two year period during my formative teenage years, and extreme malnourishment in my teenage years, just to name a couple.) But within months after turning my life over to Jesus, I was living in the middle of a town, in a building. Although I was still disabled and living a very restricted life, I had improved beyond all predictions . . . able to return to civilization at one level. Now, 18 years later, although I'm still disabled with the illness, and my life is still very restricted by normal standards; I'm living a life much better than what doctors predicted I'd ever have. I'm able to live in a house, usually able to attend weekly church services, do my own shopping, etc. . . . Doctors predicted I'd never do any of those things. In fact, I'm supposed to be dead by now, according to a few of them. But I'm not. Not even close, as far as I know.
Discovering His love for me . . .
But that's not the best part, really. The best part is knowing His love for me, and knowing I've found the right road at last. After testing that road for 18 years, it still turns out to be the road home -- and that safe haven I could never find anywhere else. There are two things I remember most, about that day I gave my heart and life to Jesus at 35 years of age -- three things actually. One was a sudden feeling of standing on solid ground -- of everything around me suddenly being more solid -- like I had suddenly caught my balance after a dizzy spell somehow -- the instant I prayed and gave my life to Him a very real physical shifting took place somehow and everything was more solid. I don't know how to describe it any other way. Not a feeling, but a reality. And beyond words in description. The second thing I remember was a feeling of being suddenly and overwhelmingly immersed in love -- and having that deep witness that He truly loves me. And the third was an incredible feeling of being home. Being warm and cozy home -- like those images of being out in a blizzard and spotting the candle in the window left for you by loving family on Christmas Eve night, and stumbling in over the doorstep with snow flying around you and semi frozen fingers opening in the warmth of the room and ice falling off your coat and being bundled over to the soft easy chair by a fireplace to the sound of cracking logs, and your icy cold wet feet being gently shoved into warm water and a beautiful down-filled comforter tossed over you. That kind of home.
Jesus passes the acid test . . .
Feelings are not the final test of any spiritual experience, of course. The real test is that day to day walk, and finding out Who is really the One who is Truth and faithfulness after trying and testing all sorts of "paths to God". The acid test is walking 18 years with a chronic disabling illness with Jesus, compared to walking about the same number of years with the same type of illness with other "Religions" and beliefs. To say that Jesus passes the test where all others fail would be understating it in the extreme. The best way I know how to put it is by quoting Jesus Himself, as he spoke it in the Bible . . . John 14:5-6 "Thomas saith unto Him, Lord, we know not whither Thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
Other paths to God . . .
All other paths in my life that claimed to lead to God got me nowhere. With Jesus, I'm Home. And so thankful to be Home. I'd never go back again to the times with other religions, other "paths to God", to that life before I landed on that solid ground of reality that is Jesus. Been there. Done that. Got the tee shirt. The other "paths" were like dried up dandelion seed puffs on top of the dandelion stems at the end of their season that blow away with the slightest puff of breath and scatter on the wind . . . something that looks solid but scatters and disperses at the slightest pressure. Whereas Jesus is more like a redwood tree by comparison -- where you look up and up and up the trunk, and still can't even see to the top branches -- where your arms can't even reach around the trunk -- where you could even drive a TRUCK into it, and it hardly even seems to shudder -- it's so solidly planted. The Bible does not call Him a "Rock" and "High Tower" and "Fortress" without reason.
I'll never become a Christian . . .
I remember a stranger (now a friend) came up to me just after I had been to the altar of that little church where I gave my life to Jesus all those years ago, and said "You know, this will turn out to be the best day of your life." I looked at him, smiling widely, and said, "I know that." I said that, even though for the past several months, I'd been signing some letters I'd written with the words, "Just remember . . . I'll NEVER become a Christian . . ."
So thankful . . .
That's been my experience and is my testimony I share with you... My prayer is, "Thank You, Jesus, for all these years . . . for Your mercy and grace . . . for forgiving me and giving me real life . . . and for all those years still to come . . . and thank You Father, for giving Your Son, that all who believe on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life . . ."
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