Until the age of 13, I grew up in a Baptist church. Where I was also baptised at that age. Although it wasn’t without controversy, because I was considered too young.
Not much later, my parents – and I too – switched to an ultra-dispensationalist sectarian movement. A movement that is pro-Israel, believes everyone is saved and accepts only Paul’s 5 Prison Books as authoritative for today. At the time, I learned to study mostly independently and to look at the texts in their original language. As a result, I did not understand why this movement could claim that the Torah would apply only to Jews and not to all humanity.
Although I learned a lot about Judaism, partly because I led and made the singing services in response to the Parshot, deep in my heart I doubted whether this was the right way.
Easter in particular was for me – for years – a chain of doubt. That whole story just didn’t add up, but what didn’t add up. After all, a person needs forgiveness of sins; we sometimes make a mess of things. On the other hand, why should someone else clean up that mess for me? Shouldn’t I do that myself?
Then came an incredibly difficult period in my life. A period when I wanted Hashem to do certain things that He did not do. From my perspective, that was unfair – I was a believer, trying to live as well as I could – and He did “nothing”, a silent heaven. Until one day, as if struck by lightning, I understood why He did nothing. His doing “nothing” was the greatest gift He could have given me, because it saved me from a tremendously great sin. A sin I probably could not have learned to live with.
When I realised that, only then did I understand how great He was and that I wanted to serve Him, and only Him. But it did not yet solve my “Easter problem”.
My grandmother died when I was very young, but she had something special. So I decided to go to “her church”. A heavily reformed church. I approached the pastor with 1 main question – how does a person get forgiveness, and linked to it my questions and doubts I had about J’sus. I never got an answer.
At the same time, I posed the question about forgiveness to a rabbi. He took all the time for all my questions, and the extraordinary thing was, I felt he was telling the truth, even though I didn’t understand everything he said right away. He awakened my soul.
Then everything gained momentum. I came into contact with Rabbi Tovia Singer. From my ultra-dispensationalist background, I knew by heart all the texts he named from the New Testament. And all the pieces of the puzzle immediately fell into place. All these years I had been trying to make a puzzle, with the puzzle pieces upside down. Everything I had been taught was the exact opposite of the truth. That’s how I came in contact with the Noahide Code an the 7 Noahide Laws.
I will always be grateful to Hashem for His silence, it made me see His goodness. Who can resist His goodness.
My promise to Him, that I wanted to serve Him, led me to take off my messianic necklace on Shavuot and put on my necklace of Torah. A very important turning point for me. A year later I was allowed to take my Noahide vow through Zoom, and exactly another year later I was allowed to confirm it in Jerusalem by the rabbi’s whom I respect so much.
I feel, no, I am a blessed person, grateful for every blessing He gives and for everything I’m able to do for Him.
Thank you Yoeri for inspiring me to share this part of my story.
By Angelique Sijbolts
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