Sitting here reflecting on my 22nd year, I am in awe of the work God has done in the process of changing my life, and I want to share with you a summary, as soon as I let you in on a disclosure. As I live from day to day, I find myself telling people bits and pieces of my story, but I want to let you all know, my story isn’t truly MY story; my story is merely a chapter in the story God is authoring for His glory, which He has been writing for thousands upon thousands of years.
Now that we have this understanding, I can continue on. Last year on December 3rd, 2014, I ended up skipping church because I was way too drunk to go. Was this the life I envisioned for myself? Oh, not at all, but it was what I believed would give me solace towards the end of my 23 credit hour semester and continuing on through my final semester of 18 credit hours.
Reflecting back, I can now identify that my life was built on lies, some of which were the following:
LIE: My worth is found in my success in my classes (along with life overall).
LIE: Acceptance is found in others’ opinions of me.
LIE: Suck it up, I’m fine, put on a face and turn to earthly desires for comfort.
These lies continued to be my shaky foundation throughout my final semester of my undergrad, but let me tell you, faulty foundations fail.
Come summer, God completely grabbed ahold of my heart and made my life His own. My earthly foundation started to crumble and God worked on making Himself my solid foundation. You see, I finally came to a point where I had nothing to lean on except for God, so I prayed that He would change my heart and use me for His glory.
Let me just tell ya, God answers prayers.
I had no idea what was coming for me or exactly HOW God was going to change me, but He did, and His way and timing couldn’t have been any better. I’m not saying that summer was easy by any means. It was FAR from that! This past summer I was challenged in ways I had never been before, bringing me to my own personal hell but in my weakness discovering Christ’s redeeming love. I firmly believe suffering and trials test your faith, but are opportune times to grow.
Now, God has brought me to a place where I can rebuttal those previously mentioned lies with truths:
TRUTH: My worth is found in Christ, and Christ alone (Luke 12:6-7).
TRUTH: Christ already accepts me (Romans 15:7).
TRUTH: Comfort is only found in the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).
After summer, I found myself at a place of not knowing what my future held, but knowing that as long as I trusted in God and His plan for my life, everything would turn out okay. Well, it is definitely okay! I am now working three part time jobs (and loving them!), all the while praying God uses me as a vessel to reveal Himself to others in my life.
What are my plans this year for my birthday? The eve of my birthday I sat through two services at church because there is that much to learn about God’s character, and today I will be working all three of my jobs then hanging out with my family.
I am still not at all where I expected to be in life on my 23rd birthday, but I can confidently say that I am in a better place than where I would be had I not learned to lean on Christ this past year. I thank God for allowing me to experience the trials that bring me closer to Him. It is still a daily journey to continue learning God’s character while trying to deny myself in order to fully submit to Him. I fail time and time again, but Christ is the perfect savior.