I have been seeking a closer walk with God lately. I can remember always knowing that God existed. From the time I can recall my first memory, I believed in God. I was baptised when I was 9 years old. Although, I believe at that age, I did not fully comprehend the actual relationship. I was in church most every time the doors were opened until I was about 18 years old. I mostly enjoyed going to church, esp. as a youth because with all the things that were always going on in our youth group, it made it fun and the relationships I formed with people my age was a crucial part of my happiness at that time. I still did not fully comprehend the relationship with God, though. I knew I believed, I knew He sent His Son for my sins, but I guess I did not really grasp what that meant.As some teenagers do, I rebelled and did so hardcore. Even though I attended church regularly, I put on the sweet girl image during services, all the while acting as someone else entirely when away from fellow Christians. I did not do this intentionally, nor did I feel at that time that it was really wrong because I knew God loved me and in my mind, as long as I sought forgiveness, it was okay to do.
Our church was an awesome church with lots of teens and lots of activities and then things started to change. It seemed to me that there were people in our church who started doing some things that in my mind seemed ungodly. There were changes being made and my pastor decided to step down from preaching and for a while did not preach at all. Once this happened we kinda ceased going to church on a regular basis and tried to find the right church home for us. During this time, I graduated from High School and moved in to my first apt. with my best friend. All I had was a mattress the first night I moved and had not even packed all my things from home. I was so anxious to move away from home, I slept that first night on my mattress reveling in the joy of freedom.If I had known at that time what that freedom would get me in to or how that freedom would affect my life later, I may not have made most of the decisions I made. But, such is life (and teenagers)...
I ceased going to church all together. Why go to church and feel guilty about my sins when I could sin all I wanted and there were people there who did not judge me for the life I was leading simply because, well...they were doing it all with me? I will not go in to all the mistakes I made or all the things that happened in my life. Simply because I am not brave enough to allow everyone to read it when I am still ashamed of most. I would love to, one day, to share my testimony with young girls esp. maybe i can be a speaker somewhere that I know no one...lol...
Anyway, slowly i began realizing that maybe my life was a mess for a reason and decided that I needed to be back in church. It started back when I met my future husband and we began talking (not dating) but talking. He was someone I could tell ANYTHING to and he did not judge me. He accepted me for me, shame and all. So I think subconsciously I knew he was the one for me, and wanted to test his faith in God before we began dating, so....I made him go to church with me. Once I saw he was willing to go...I knew he was the one. I enjoyed the services and realized that I had been missing God's word in my life.I believe sometimes God breaks us down so that we have no one to turn to other than him.
Well right when I started going back to church, I stopped again. Things in my life started falling a part. I moved away from home again (had to go back once b/c of lifestyle choices not working out) and being on my own for real this time, I started to notice that I could not make things go right in my life on my own. I needed to be "saved". I sunk in to a deep depression and began having panic attacks, going to bed at 6pm and sleeping until 8. Missing work on a regular basis and crying at the drop of a hat. My poor "future" husband at that time...whew...I know he must love me to have dealt with that. I began praying, reading God's word, attending church and begging for forgiveness of all my faults during my "leave of absence" so to speak. Slowly I began to feel like myself. I was beginning to feel peace and joy and not fear and depression.
Since I married, we have gone to church on a regular basis. However, I still struggled with my past. Beating myself up for the things I did and not letting go of the pain and accepting God's Grace. I felt like a poor Christian, when the whole thing about it is how we are not worthy, we are saved by Grace. Yet, I still did not understand how if I could not forgive myself, then how could God.I love how God loves us. I love how He knows what is best and how He allows things to happen to us and how He gives us needs that can only be filled by Him.
My husband and I went to a seminar for my birthday two years ago, at that time I was thirsting so strongly for knowledge and peace. There were still things in my life I could not let go and things in my life at the present time that I could not understand how God was allowing that to happen. While at the seminar we purchased so many books on relationships with God. While reading one book in particular I learned of the most vital information that until two years later I would not discover. God gave me the desires and feelings in my life that I sought so hard for and could not find because He loved me. He loved me so much and He wanted me to discover that only He could fulfill those needs within me so that I would trust Him to provide for me and so that I would seek a closer walk with Him and not seek the approval of man. So that I could realize that depending on someone else to make me happy or depending on getting selfish desires fulfilled temporarily does not sustain. So that I could spend eternity happy, joyful, peaceful and with Him and His Son.
I know that I have a long way to go and that with each day comes a new desire, a new question, a new longing...I am glad He keeps them coming so that I can remember where I have been and why I can not depend on this world to satisfy me,so that I can continue to seek Him and the closeness I so desire....like the Mercy Me song..."Jesus, bring the rain"... (look up the song, it is awesome)