Hi folks, I’ve got a very special treat for you! A friend of mine (we’ll call her Jane) has agreed to guest-write a few posts for the blog. Jane has been through quite a bit in her life, and we both hope you will find her experiences educational and uplifting. Take it away, Jane!
It all started the day I said “I need a Savior”.
See, I had accepted Christ as a little girl. I prayed. I believed. I even witnessed here and there. I knew God had my back. I knew Jesus, His purpose on Earth, and what the Holy Spirit does for our lives. I could talk to you about all the ways God had been there for me in my life, even into high school and through college where it seemed I had lost the path. I would still check in from time to time for a “God, are you still there?” moment. And when the “Yes” answer came, like I knew it would, I checked right back out again.
Yet still, on this particular day, I was screaming on the inside. Pleading and begging. “God! I NEED You as my Savior!” Like I had never before believed in Him.
Some of you may think I hadn’t really accepted Christ when I was little. That isn’t true to me. I am a firm believer in the “once saved, always saved” club. And whether or not you believe that, well – only God can be the true judge of my heart during those years.
What is important, what is MOST important, is what I have learned in the time since that particular day.
Before, I had my beliefs. Before, I thought I had all the components of being a true Christian. But what was missing, what I’ve since learned I didn’t have for all that time, was true Faith. I had faith. I just didn’t have Faith. That deep down, Christ-following, Christ-driven and Christ-obeying FAITH.
I wish I could tell you finding that kind of Faith is easy. I can’t. It has been a long six years since that particular day. It has meant losing friends. Not really making any new ones. It has meant making extremely painful choices. It has meant being judged by society and by my family.
And in the past two years my life has become something that looks nothing like it did before. Nothing like I ever thought it could or would look like.
The psalmist’s rants have taken on new meaning. The idea of ‘picking up my cross daily’ bears real weight now. I have wrestled with God and with Satan, not winning with either of them.
God is systematically taking away my Self-identity a bit at a time. More often than not this process leaves me scared, confused and lonely.
As depressing as all that sounds I wouldn’t trade it for my life. I have real belief now. I see real change in myself, as slow as it might be. Lessons learned have meant something; they usually stick and have transformed how I see those around me. I have hope even when that hope is so small I wonder if it’s really there. Some days I can’t feel that hope, but somehow, each day, I keep going anyway.
I hope you enjoy reading about my experiences in the posts to come.