Personal story time. I have always had a bumpy relationship with my faith. I always believed in God. I believe He is the truth, the way, and the light. I believe His word is true. But I am not perfect. I have had doubts and I have had times where I really didn’t want anything to do with Him. I wanted to ignore the fact that He is my Father and knows what is best for me. But as of lately I have decided to be bold and choose faith.
I grew up happy in a church as a kid spending every Sunday in Sunday school and going to bible study or youth group every Wednesday night. I volunteered to help with the children’s choir, I helped with the dance group, and I knew every book of the bible. I went to church camp and did VBS during the summers. I did all the things you should do to be “a good Christian” as a kid. But I had doubts and I didn’t understand a lot of what I was reading and being taught. Then big things happened in my life that rocked my beliefs.
In 2009 my Nana passed away and I blamed God for it. I blamed Him for making her sick, I blamed Him for taking her and I blamed Him for making my heart hurt as badly as it did. I didn’t want to pray to Him or worship Him. How could I? I was young and I had never known such loss. I wanted nothing to do with Him at all. I stopped going to youth group and would do anything to avoid paying attention in church or volunteering somewhere else so I didn’t have to sit through services. I was hurt, mad, and lost.
Around 2012 we moved to Florida and my mom got a new job and of course, it was at a church. This was an amazing opportunity for her and to be supportive we started attending the same church she worked at and slowly we got involved there too. I started to love God again and I actually wanted to be there. I wanted to get to know God better and the youth group there really allowed me to do that. It was a small group but we became like a family. I asked to start a small group just for the girls to get together and talk and grow closer to God and I loved meeting with them. I really started to feel like God was on my side. That was until the church closed a few short years after we started coming. It was a quick closure and suddenly I no longer had a “home”. I again blamed God and I pulled away. This was the second time I felt like God was punishing me and I was kinda over it.
Here I was again blaming my God for something that happened in my life. I turned away from Him and I didn’t want to find a new home church. I just wanted to stop going altogether. I didn’t understand how for close to three years I had found a place that invited me in, I had friends, I was closer to Him, where I felt at home, could just vanish so quickly. I had it all and it was gone. How could He do this to me again? Why did He want me to hurt like this again?
Looking back I never once stopped blaming Him. I was selfish and childish in believing this was a punishment only for me and I had somehow done something wrong. I never turned to Him to ask Him what his plan was for me. I didn’t call on Him in my time of need. I just turned away from Him and decided I was better off without Him. I didn’t want to know a God who could sit in heaven and hurt me like this over and over. Man was that a shallow, childish way to look at it all. Thinking that everything was just to punish me and that I was the only factor in this equation. My mom urged me to try church again. We came across the church we go to now and started to attend. Now when my old church was closing I was asked to sing “Oceans” by Hillsong United for the closing ceremony and that became my song. I sang my heart out and when I came to the new church that song just happened to be playing that Sunday. My mom and I stood there in awe of the lady singing the same song I sang a few months before and I started to cry. Tears running down my cheeks and I knew I couldn’t look back, I had to surrender.
Hearing this song I took this as a sign. This was my chance to either accept what had happened and ask God back into my life or choose to live a life without Him in it. So as the song goes “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters wherever you may call me.” I surrendered to Him, I let Him back in my life. I stood there singing harder and louder than ever before the tears ran down my face and I knew I couldn’t do this alone anymore. I slowly but surely have let Him back in my life and started trusting Him again.
It is crazy to think that God knew all this was going to happen. He knew this entire time that all the bad things would happen, that I would stray away, and that I would later come back to Him. He knew all this and still loves me. He chose to love me the whole time. I think that right there is amazing beyond words and to potentially have lost that because of ignorance on my part is hard to come to terms with.
I can’t stress how much knowing God has changed me for the better. I can’t express how much His love for me has kept me on the right path. I know that choosing to accept Him in my life again was the right choice. I am lucky to be where I am today. I am not perfect, I know there will be times that I doubt Him or that I feel like God isn’t on my side but I know now that I have to be patient, be mindful. I have to take the bad with the good and learn to pray in the hard and the easy times. I know that I am better off knowing Him than before.