I would love to say I was raised in faith and that I held tight to it. That in all life's storms I turned to God and His Word to navigate. My walk with God has not been an easy one. It has been filled with bumps and walls that I put up.
I struggled so much with being happy. For the life of me I could not come out on top of things or just be ok. When I was about 16 I lost my uncle. My world was shattered and my faith was so broken. I felt an overwhelming anger towards God. I had grown up without my parents and now this. I in no way could cling to faith and no part of me wanted to hear what God had to say.
It wasn't long after that my life took a turn. I left home and fell back into addiction. I have tried putting into words the pain that happened during that time. Such a debilitating sadness where with all my heart I wanted to end it, but I couldn't muster the energy to even do it. I remember laying in a nasty hotel room with my belt around my neck and just dreaming of being found. Of the relief of it being over. Not being able to hurt anyone anymore and not hurting myself. I wish I could say that was rock bottom, but it is far from it.
That period was full of drugs, emotional abuse, and witnessing things I wish I could forget. To me God wasn't real. Sometimes I think I was so angry with God that I wanted to find the furthest place from him. How far can I fall? I know you wont catch me God so let me keep going. I know you have forsaken me God and I can prove it, because you still aren't here and I'm only further from you now.
Then something happened that is not so common. I got clean. I moved home. I went back to school and worked so hard to graduate on time. I stumbled so much in between then and now.
I wish I could say when I got clean that I turned to God and thanked him. In some ways I did, but it wasn't until I met my husband that I truly accepted God into my life. It was a non eventful time hanging out on the couch when Adam turned to me with tears and said "I'm worried about your salvation, because I love you and I want you in Heaven with me." It shook me to my core. It felt like for the first time a Christian, who in my experience were some of the most hateful, looked me in my eyes and cared. He showed my Christ's love.
Of course it wasn't some quick turn around. Nothing in my walk with God has been quick and easy. It hasn't been revealed all at once. Piece by piece I drew closer to God. Then when my church shifted to a new Pastor my walk with God became a run. I immersed myself in God's Word. I found myself following on a path in scripture that was marked out for me. God led me from scripture to scripture to tell me my past and why I should not fear my future.
I made it out from that darkness with God's grace. When I pushed further He held on to me tighter. When I felt he was no where near He was all around me.
So many people talk about the state of the world. How far we are from God, but I have been broken. I have even turned from God, and yet I have seen His works time and time again.
I saw His work in my grandmother who never gave up. Who would go to the most awful places to pick up her fading granddaughter with all her belongings in trash bags. I saw his work in a principle who didn't see a lost cause, but someone to invest in. Someone to encourage and take time to push forward. I have seen His work in my husband who called me out on how stagnant I was in my faith. I feel His presence when I walk into church on Sunday. Where I hear His whisper to keep reading, searching, and growing. I see God in the plans he has laid out for me. I see God when I look back at the dark that I came from and stand in the light of Him. I can feel the warmth of God's love where I am at in life, because I know where I have been and I know God brought me here.
I know God's forgiveness and love, because He wrapped me in Spirit and protected me. He pulled me out of sin and despair and even though I had forsaken Him He didn't care. I was still worthy of His love. He still saw me as someone His son had died for.
God's love is all around us. I don't put myself out there much to bring people who don't believe in. I probably should. I try to be that person for the broken. The person that shows them no matter how far they have fallen God has not forgotten them. I hope to be the example of God's love and forgiveness that ordinary people along the way have been for me.
But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18