I was led to Christ by my grandma when I was ten years old. However, it took me nearly a decade to truly understand what it meant to have Jesus in my life and to walk with Him daily.
Through the power of Jesus, and my acceptance of His grace, I was saved. But through the manipulations of the enemy, and my own sin, I began to believe lies immediately after Christ came into my life.
I believed crazy lies like there was only so much room in heaven, and that accepting Christ as my Savior from my sins wasn’t enough to secure my place there. I believed heaven would be “full” when I got there.
I developed a strong fear of death — something that shouldn’t exist because Christ paid the penalty for my sins and I had to nothing to fear now that He was in my life. This fear was crippling to my walk with Him.
I began to fall away from the gift graciously given to me. I grew to no longer rely upon God’s power and strength, but upon my own. I was responsible for my strength, satisfaction and self-worth.
It got worse in high school. I put my reliance in the relationships around me. I invested time and attention into friends and teammates. I sought to be “perfect” for them. The best friend, wisest council, best example, and strongest athlete. I wanted people to rely on me. I wanted to be their “best friend.” I sought respect, affirmation, and love from others.
I would imagine relationships and conversations in my mind and would create “perfect friendships.” I would expect all that I imagined to become true. Each time I did this, I experienced disappointment. It made me feel like was on a wandering path to nowhere.
When I went off to college, I continued to seek out the “perfect relationship.” College was a fresh start. I could find the perfect relationship I was looking for. I did find it — just not from the source I expected.
As freshman year began my life took a turn I wasn’t expecting. My identity as student athlete was gone. My life as I had always known it was changing.
There was no specific moment, or special event that led me to feel it, I just knew that something in and around me was changing. Kind of like the feeling you get when you think someone’s following you — but this was a little less creepy. 🙂 I felt something stirring within me. I knew I was being pursued. I began to feel differently about myself. For so long I was lost, disappointed, and dissatisfied. But, somehow, I knew that if Jesus became part of my life again, this pride, sadness, loneliness, and constant disappointment would go away. Soon, I began to accept, and even welcome, the pursuit.
After a decade of disobedience, the Lord never let me go. He led me to women stronger in their faith to teach me and help me grow. I began to ask questions, and I learned more about Him. I read the Bible again, and I learned that my purpose was to serve and love — not the other way around. He provided the love I was searching for.
The lies of death and of heaven planted deep within me were broken. Before, I was lost, wandering and unsatisfied with life. Now, my life is no longer on a wandering path but on an adventure led by God — the way He always wanted and intended it to be.
The “perfect relationship” I’d been looking for was already mine. And the beauty of Jesus, my perfect Savior and friend, was that even when I lost sight of Him — He never lost sight of me.