This time last year I couldn’t care less about God or what he wanted for me. My head filled with lies, I was angry at him for making me sick and taking things I cared about away from me. I lived for the world. Although I was a Christian, I did not practice my faith at all. I stopped going to church when I was 19 and really had no desire to return.
About seven months ago I was hospitalized for the third time for depression. However, it was shortly after that when I became very ill with suicidal thoughts. I had a plan and I had an intent to carry it out.
Thankfully, God wasn’t done with me yet. I had known about Covenant Church for a few years but didn’t start officially attending until last summer, when I saw a post about it on a friends Instagram page. I started out by just attending every once in a while. I would show up, be very careful not to make eye contact with anyone, slip in and slip out quietly, and avoid talking to anyone at all costs. Then, when things started to get really bad in my head, I began to attend more frequently.
One particular Wednesday night in December, the lies in my head became extra loud. They are always there, even now. The thoughts that tell me that I’m not good enough, no one loves me, I deserve to die, etc. Usually I can just tune them out, but this night it was bad, and I became very depressed. I was at the point where I knew that if I was left alone, I probably would have done something to hurt myself. I remembered hearing about CLife groups at church and, in desperation, I looked them up. Amazingly there was one that met right by me on Wednesday nights and it was led by one of my old friends. So, doing my best to suppress my crippling social anxiety, I went so that I would not be alone. Shortly after that I reached out to a pastor and started counseling. With his encouragement, in January of 2017 I began attending Covenant Church weekly.
With the accountability of my new church family and Celebrate Recovery group I have been slowly realigning my life with the plans that God has for me. Although sometimes it’s difficult I do read my bible regularly and spend time talking to God. I’ve learned how to set aside my pride and ask for help when I need it. I have learned how to fight the lies in my head with scripture and prayer. My anxieties have calmed enough to where I have been able to develop relationships with other Christians, the people who will build me up and encourage me to keep growing in Christ.
Here I am, now, in the present and I can say that I am in a good place. When I look back at seven months ago, I can’t even believe that that is where I was. I have come so far in such a short time and I know the only way it could have happened is with the power of Jesus within me. I am a product of my past but because of him I don’t have to be a slave to it. I had to let go of myself to embrace his love. He extended his offer of grace even when I constantly turned my back on him. These past seven months I have learned that I am indeed broken, sinful, and undeserving of love, and yet he chose me to be his child. And because of this, the least I could do is dedicate every part of my life to him. He is helping me realize who I am in him, and who he wants me to be. I am called to be his hands and his feet and even though sometimes I do a terrible job, he is forgiving, and compassionate, and extends to me every good thing I do not deserve.
I have realized that the pain I have gone through was necessary so that I could be molded into someone God can use for his great purpose. I still mess up, continually. I am not good enough or worthy enough to be called his child. However, I don’t have to be because the one who is good enough paid the price for me. To quote my favorite rapper, “He carried the cross on his shoulders so I wouldn’t have to carry the past on mine.”
The love of God and the grace of God is not contingent upon what I say or what I do. I am imperfect, but in his name I am perfect. I am broken, but in him I am whole. He was calling my name even when I wanted nothing to do with him. He cleansed me of my past and now I can live with him forever. I will serve him, he who is good, he whose love is more extravagant than I could ever comprehend.
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