I had officially come to Christ over ten years ago, but it wasn’t until 2013 that I felt such a huge impact in my life. An impact that only could have come from Christ.
When I was younger we went to church, were baptized and confirmed, so I had knowledge of Christ and who He was and what He represented. I did not deny His existence, but I did not fully commit at the same time. As a teenager I was going through a lot at that time and my focus unfortunately was on me and my pain. I lived without confidence, extremely low self-esteem, bitterness, resentment and a whole lot of anger.
I felt boxed in and suffocated. I was screaming but no one heard me. As a result, my life for the next several decades was filled with an over-abundance of hurt and an anger that was ready to explode at any time. I was opinionated, arrogant at times, and so eager to wound with my words. I thought I had the right to feel this way, but I did not realize that I was being lied to all along. I began a food addiction out of my pain and loss of my mother. It became a vicious cycle that drained me emotionally and physically became exhaustive. It added more fuel to the fire. Every day I lived with the judgment of others, carried way too much baggage of past hurts, and trusting others was not an option for me. As my health started to fail I felt all was caving in around me. I needed help but was too proud to ask for it. I spent all of my free time working either multiple jobs or overtime to support myself and my food habit.
I lived this way until 2006 and then I “blew up” and demanded to know why all of this was happening. I was so insolent and clueless at this point, but I did get an answer and it was startling to say the least. His answer “knocked me off of my feet” and showed me how out of place I was by questioning God. I asked to be forgiven for my behavior, but though I constantly prayed I failed to let it all go. I clung to my hurt, I did not fully get rid of my anger and I was at times still arrogant. Needless to say I was still not there. I did not get help for my addiction nor did I reduce the stressors that made life so hard. I think secretly I wanted to keep punishing myself. I knew God existed, but I did not fully believe that I was forgiven.
Fast forward to the latter part of the year 2011. I had begun praying for a change in my life and again that prayer was answered. Due to the economy I was laid off from my job and given a whole new outlook on life. I kept telling myself that I would find a job and that it would all work out, but then the trials came and it was a downpour. I became sick again and was hospitalized, I was released, but still had to constantly visit the doctor. I realized that these issues were not going to be healed quickly and in some instances, ever. I went to interview after interview and still did not get the job. But God had already stepped in only I did not see it at first. From 2011-2014 I went from no work opportunities and plenty of new health issues, but with every obstacle He provided for me. Food came from loved ones and co-workers, my landlord did not evict me, but rather went above and beyond for me, I stayed in contact with co-workers and I started to go to a bible study group. I had received so many blessings that I was overwhelmed and I prayed to someday be a blessing to others. I was humbled by all of this. In 2013 (though unbeknownst to me at the time) I went to the Good Friday service at my church. I
was beyond moved and cried during the service. That Easter I was exhilarated and felt like I could walk on air. His presence was so strong and I wanted to be baptized again. This time as an adult who is aware of why I wanted to make this statement – this profession of faith. I had invited family and friends to my baptism and it was another day that I felt an abundance of joy pouring out of me. I had made the best decision of my life.
How has it changed me? Even though my baggage did not fall off immediately – it did fall off. I learned how He was present throughout my whole life and I just had to be awakened. I started to faithfully tithe and found myself handling my finances in a more managed behavior. I fell in love with the word and now I am immersed in several devotionals because I want to learn and understand, but also want to respect my Lord and be faithful to His word. I have released a lot of my anxiety and I am able to realize my triggers and remain even-tempered. My life is much more positive and I am able to finally cut those past ties and be there for others and meet someone else’s needs at the same time. I want to lift others up and not wound. This conviction is so strong within me and I never want to be the person I once was.
Am I where I want to be? No. I still struggle with food addiction, but I see things much more clearly and able to (by staying in His word) reason things out better. I am slow to anger and eager to learn how I can serve Him better. I have a purpose and that is reason enough for me to continue on down this path.
We all have an opportunity to seek the Lord and learn all we can about Him. We need to realize this is a commitment and an investment. He saved me from myself and I want others to be saved as well. Take a moment, read a verse or two, visit a church (a loving church (like mine Victory Baptist Church in Mendota, IL) who serves our Lord and remains firmly planted in His word), seek out others for fellowship and put all of your trust in God. When you pray sincerely to Him, He will hear you and He will answer you. Keep in mind His answers will come at His appointed time and from this you will learn the meaning of patience. This was the best decision I have ever made and I gladly thank Him for leading me to Him.