As a young and passionate Christian woman who is currently enjoying the benefits of Christ, I can look back at a time when things weren’t always like this. Growing up, I was fortunate enough to be blessed with a prayerful mother who was diligent towards the things of the Kingdom of God. As a result, I grew up in church, and had a passion for Christ from a young age. Whenever there was an invitation to receive Christ at the end of a church service, I was at the altar awaiting prayer after accepting Jesus into my life for the umpteenth time. Things were great and life was worth living. Although my childhood was filled with certain travesties, I had the peace and joy of the Lord for the most part.
However, as I grew older, things didn’t always stay like that. At a certain point, my family’s commitment to church dwindled and so did my sense of peace and joy. No longer was I living in my own bubble, but instead I was rudely awakened to the dark realities of life. Certain events occurred within my family that completely stopped our attendance at church for a few years and began the slow but impending downward spiral of my life. During my years at secondary school, my mother made several futile attempts to rekindle my family’s zeal for Christ but her pleas fell on deaf ears. Instead of turning to the source of my former peace and security in my time of need, I instead decided to nurse my own wounds in private, which as anyone can assume, only resulted in isolation and a low self-esteem.
Throughout my high school life, as I drifted further away from God, I developed destructive habits and insecurities that I didn’t know previously existed. I dealt with anxiety and deep depression. Looking back now with a more mature mindset, I can see that it all could’ve been avoided if I had taken the leap of faith and trusted God to deal with my problems. Thankfully for me, God is great and merciful. In my time of anguish, God remembered me and slowly began drawing me back to Him, my first love. In my final years of high school, the Holy Spirit impressed on me to attend a youth meeting my cousins attended and that began my journey back to Him. From there, Christ strategically placed Spirit-filled believers at different seasons of my life and a desire in my heart to personally know Him and to not be conformed to living apart from Him. However, to be honest, my journey back to Christ had many unexpected twists and turns.
Many times, the enemy placed situations and people in my life that caused me to deviate from the right path and even question the will of God for my life, but by God’s grace I remained faithful and returned to Him. For as it is written in the book of Isaiah 43:1-2, “But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.”
Because Christ has redeemed me and claimed me as His, He ensured that whether through hell or high waters, I rededicated my life to Him and repented earnestly of my wrong doings. I can wholeheartedly say that making the decision to choose Christ and to live for Him instead of myself has shown its rewards. Now, I have a firm sense of self, peace, joy and purpose. Even when I go through trials in life that question my faith and threaten to shake my foundation, I have the assurance of Christ that things will be better sooner or later. Although I don’t know God’s exact step by step plans for my future, I do know that He has plans to prosper me. So, through a life of surrender and obedience, I am striving daily to keep God at the center and to glorify Him through everything I do.
If you are reading this and for some reason you hate God, and you feel alone, know that He is constantly loving you. He will turn the situation around. Therefore, choose God as He chooses you.
It could be said that I grew up in the church, however, my heart was not entirely in it.
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