I’ve always wondered why are people so against believing in God? What is the harm? What would they lose out of it? Is it not cool? I have no problem asking believers questions like that. My problem is when I get responses like “I believe in Him, I’m just not religious” or “I don’t like thinking that someone has control over me or being wrong on if He is real”. My response is never coming from a judgmental place but in fact an understanding. I’ve been there; I understand those thoughts, that mindset. Therefore, I am not going to preach, I’m not going to speak on how foolish that sounds because we’ve all might have played the fool at some point, in numerous situations in our life. Instead I’d rather share my story:
I’m an overall blessed person. Big family, nice house, great parents who I know love me, and the amount of things I have (i.e. clothes, cars, game systems, etc.) are what some may consider borderline sinful in the indulgence sense. I won’t sit here and lie as if I have the hardest life to live, many people have worse living situations than me, that is recognized. I can sit and brag as if I deserved everything I have, as if I built the roof over my head to keep the rain from caving it in. However, I know, and I’m pretty sure you know yourself that that would be false. So you ask yourself,
“Okay Christany what is the point of this story? It seems like you have a pretty lucky life to me so what do you need God for?” Keep reading…
There are at least 4 important key parts to a human being that effect their behavior in life. Your physical, emotional, mental, & spiritual state of being. 2 out of 4, in my opinion, are NOT as easy to manipulate into how you want them to appear to the public eye. Those two are physical and mental. You can get the newest pair of Jordan’s, the rarest form of gold, the shampoo with the most suds, and you will still be inside the same physical body you were born in. You can be someone who has 15 academic degrees on the wall that come from book smarts while common sense may not be an asset you choose to be a braggart about. I’m not saying mentally and physically you can’t grow and change but they are very matter of fact “you have what you see” factors.
The emotional dimension of your life you cant study for, you cant throw some jewelry on and make look pretty. It is quite in fact unpredictable, and what some might label a “rollercoaster”. There are the good emotions that bring you happiness and peace and other emotions that make you feel sad and maybe even overwhelmed. You can’t predict when your about to experience a loss in your life or even gain. Some people choose to handle their emotions by not addressing them, maybe placing them aside to not have to deal with as if nothing has happened. I’ve heard those people be considered “strong” because they can be offended and seem fine with it until years later when the situation may get brought back to their remembrance and they hold it against someone else. Others can choose to indulge in their emotions rather than ignore them. They choose to base their actions off of the current emotion they might be feeling, for example going through a break up and eating bowls of ice cream and cake while reminding themselves how much that person may have hurt them. You can wake up on the wrong side of the bed or the right side of the bed and you can choose to let it effect your entire day. The main point is emotions are uncontrollable and most times unpredictable, whether good or bad.
It seems for me that a lot of memories that stick out in my life have been memories of loss. Throughout my academic career, before college even came into play, I’ve attended 9 schools. My parents wanted what as best for me and they didn’t quit until they got it. However, I didn’t see that then, I saw the numerous amounts of relationships I lost due to environmental differences. Mentally I was growing but emotionally, hit after hit of putting effort into relationships that didn’t last, I was breaking.
I lost my godmother when I was 3 years old. I wish I was able to get more time with her but I still miss her from the memories I was fortunate to have experienced. However, I was only 3 so the pain of loss didn’t have as much impact on me that I can remember. I went through losing the relationship I had with my sister when I was 10. That I can remember clear as day and was also a hard experience for me. However, the loss that impacted me to want to end the cycle of all these negative emotions I was going through was when I lost my grandfather the same year at 10 years old. That was by far the 1st hardest year/hurt for me and watching the others around me hurt, made me feel helpless. I needed something in my life to be different; I needed to know that something in my life would be constant. I grew up with a bunch of God talk. Everyone around me seemed to mention God at some point, whether it was my siblings or friends of the family, and the list goes. Now at this point I was just sick and tired of feeling like I couldn’t do anything, of feeling like I was the only one who wasn’t rejoicing over something.
So I sat down with my mom and that same day I made the decision to ask God to be my Lord and Savior in my life. Now you’re ready for it right? The story of a huge change, a miraculous difference, smiling from ear to ear. Here’s the catch: nothing happened. I still felt those same emotions, I still went from loss after loss from hurt after hurt, formed relationships with people I felt I learned nothing from. I went through my high school years feeling like I was worse off than how I was and I grew bitter. I was angry with myself, God, and everyone around me. I rebelled way past my character in school and at home, at church. I literally felt like I was fighting everyone and everything by myself, with no one to rely on or depend on because all they would and could do was hurt me.
I pained the people around me during this time in my life and I didn’t care because most of what I saw was the pain that I was experiencing. In the midst of all this, I knew people were praying for me and I didn’t care about that either. I didn’t want to hear, see, or know anything about God because I asked Him to be my Lord and Savior and I felt like He never showed up. It was as if I was going through more trials after asking Him than before. The biggest relationship that was affected was between my mother and me. For those of you who have met my mother, you can see Gods light shine through her and I wanted nothing to do with it. In my heart and my mind I just cut her off, she was just there, another someone who didn’t know me and would eventually hurt me. She knew some of the things I was doing, the times I would sneak back in the house, she’d see the scars on my wrist and as much as it hurt her, she loved me anyway. I’d wake up and she’d give me a scripture, I’d go to school and she would pray for me, I’d ignore her when she spoke but she kept on talking. She would still hug me and tell me she loved me when I wouldn’t say it back, she would still take me out to eat when I wouldn’t say a word to her but stare down at my food. I may have hated it at the time but I realized she was my first real example of Gods love. She was constant, never changing, she never wavered, and she continued to love me passed my decisions and flaws. Most importantly, she never made me feel condemned.
When I told you I asked God to be the Lord and Savior in my life that day, that’s just what I did. I asked Him but I never allowed Him to be until I was actually ready to accept Him to have that role in my life. He showed up but I just refused to recognize Him. As I felt He was the farthest, He was actually the closest ready to save me from myself. You can ask somebody to pass you a glass of water, but if you keep pushing it away once they hand it to you, how do you expect to receive that glass? You have to reach out and take it.
See these relationships we hold dear to us, our boyfriends or girlfriends, our best friends, our family members, they are important people but no human being is perfect. We cant put our faith in them and then be upset when they fail our expectations. You may have been friends with someone since birth and when they hurt you, you were devastated. You may have been in a relationship where you knew beyond the shadow of the doubt that they were the right one for you and they ended up with someone else. You may have woken up yesterday and found out a loved one passed away at an early age. All or none of these situations may be something you have had to go through or currently going through.
Here is my question for you: are you tired yet? Are you tired of depending on things and people when they end up being unpredictable? Are you sick of feeling the same hurt not having any control in what to do about it? You have an option. So what are you so afraid it? If I’m telling you that there is someone who will never fail you, never forsake you, who will ALWAYS love you. Why would you choose to pass up a relationship to have with them? Is it because your ego is too big to relinquish the control in your life? Well despite what you may think, some of you have already relinquished that control to situations your in, circumstances, people, and emotions. All of which are unpredictable.
I got tired, I got weak, I felt broken, I was torn. That was all until I chose to change where I placed my faith. I wanted to have a reliable relationship. Not a relationship where I felt I wasn’t good enough, or that anything I did may have changed how things stand. I needed a relationship where they stood with me the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
If you’re feeling physically, mentally, and/or emotionally weak and frustrated, do not give up! You still have a chance to be strong spiritually. I’m not writing this as a devout Christian looking down on you. I’m not writing this in a tone of judgment, to condemn you, to tell you what is right or what is wrong. I am writing this because I want anyone who is reading this, who is relating to this, to know they aren’t the only ones who have hurt. You may be the only one who is hurting from the situation you’re in but it’s nothing God will not let you depend on Him for if you choose to. If you choose to accept God into your life, not just as someone who is there in the distance, but actually reach out and have a relationship with Him, you will see Him work in your life. Try it, for your sake, not for me, but because you want a change in your life.
Honestly if you can continue going through the hurt you may experience everyday with the people in your life, what is the harm in trusting someone who is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit (psalm 34:18). A person that when you’re at your weakest will not kick you while your down or add on to the pressure but rather gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak (Isaiah 40:29).
I pray today that whoever comes across reading part of my journey I chose to share will see that everyone has a story to tell. I had mine, and cannot imagine what yours entails. I pray that if you choose to work on your spiritual state of being, you begin to notices changes and be more confident with your mental and physical state. I pray that you realize you do not have to live based on the roller coaster of your emotions, but in fact the promises that God has kept for you once you seek Him.
He does not count your good works, or keep records of your sins to condemn you with. He does not have a reward system that He is judging you by but rather a gift He wants you to accept, and that is His salvation. Give is a try…
This is how:
“If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For this is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.”
– Romans 10:9-10