I looked for God when I was younger. However, nobody was there to answer to my questions.
I knew that I missed something but I didn't know what. I didn't understand who God was and I turned away from Him. He scared me and represented an unknown world.
My father was an atheist and my mother attended church. When my mother stopped going, I didn't try to learn more about Him.
I always had a complicated relationship with my mother. Things became worse during my teen years and I started to have eating disorders and skipping meals.
I didn’t have any control on my life. If He existed, where was He?
When I was 16, my mother got sick. She was hospitalized and operated on several times during 2009-2010. Today, she's always on treatment and will have other surgeries.
In September, I came to Montpellier University for my studies and I met Cru’s team in November.
I had a lot of discussions with Jeanette, a Cru staff member. I started to question myself about God. For example, why would people like Jeanette live in another country just to proclaim the Good News?
Moreover, there is this joy which emanates from Christians. I wanted to know where it came from, and all the testimonies from atheists who changed their minds.
I thought: there are 2 options: everybody is wrong or He really exists. I read More than a Carpenter by Josh McDowell. Jeannette challenged me to question myself in my heart to know if God was real.
Some days later, I spoke with Jeanette about that. But I wasn't ready to accept God in my life yet. I was scared: it was so incredible, new, debilitating.
There is a verse in the Bible which affected me at this time, Revelation 3:20: “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.”
I knew God existed and was here, but I didn't want Him to be in my life. Nevertheless, God is obstinate and one week later, I told to Jeanette that I accepted God in my life. I had prayed and recognized Jesus as my Savior.
This was my prayer: “Lord Jesus, I need you. Thank you for dying on the cross for me. Forgive me and purify me. Now, at this moment, I accept you as my Savior and my Lord. Make me the person you want me to be. In the name of Christ. Amen.” It's an excerpt from More than a Carpenter. I realized who He was thanks to Bible studies, my discussions with Jeanette and this book.
God wasn't a shadow terrifying me anymore. But this doesn't mean all my troubles have been resolved.
At the beginning of this year, I started skipping meals again. I was frustrated because I couldn't follow all my classes; it was too much with my 2 majors of Chinese and Journalism. So I stopped my Chinese major and I focused on Journalism.
Now, it's easier to keep control of my bad habits. I skip meals less often whereas it was impossible for 4 years. When I saw this, I did a new prayer to let Jesus control all things in my life.
It's unbelievable seeing all things changed in my life. Jesus helps me a lot. Now, I can talk about my troubles whereas it was unthinkable before. I spoke with my parents who didn't know about my eating troubles.
Each day, my relationship with Jesus grows. Praying helps me a lot in my relationship with Him every days. Even my family says I have changed and that I'm happier and radiant.
Of course, all isn't perfect. My mom is still sick, I'll always have eating troubles and there are sometimes moments of doubts.
But the difference is that now, I know that God is with me, I really have a new life. When I've bad moments, I try to remember that Jesus loves me and wants the best for me.
Marélie Coulon is currently a rising sophomore at Université Montpellier III Paul Valéry in France.
When we put words to the hard parts of our stories, we can give those around us a new picture of who Jesus is.
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