Hurting. Broken. Insecure. Dependent. Lost.
Those are just a few of the words I would use to describe my life before I knew Jesus. I spent a good percentage of my younger years feeling like there was something missing, and looking for whatever that something was in all the wrong places.
I grew up going to church. I grew up believing in God and Jesus. My mom and I would regularly attend our local non-denominational church, I went to Sunday School every Sunday and I was even a part of the children’s choir. By the time I was old enough to make the decision of whether or not I wanted to go anymore, my visits became few and far between. Every week turned into once a month. Once a month turned into only on holidays. Only on holidays turned into never.
Once I got to high school and became more of an “intellect”and “rebel”, I started to view Jesus as less important. My faith became something that if I couldn’t see it or prove it, then why bother believing it? If the Bible wasn’t logical to me, why read it? In an attempt to “find myself” throughout my adolescent years, I kept Jesus in the back of my head – rarely ever giving Him a thought unless I was in desperate need – and found myself partying often, drinking a lot, and indulging in behavior that matched all of the cool kids. Being a part of a ‘crew’ meant you either did as they did or you did your own thing, alone. I yearned to please people. I craved the approval, attention, acceptance and love of others. If I wasn’t chasing a new school crush, I was looking for a new best friend. I wanted these things so much that if I went a day without them, I felt empty.
I can’t say that my life was in shambles. For most of it, I was happy. At least happy in a worldly sense. I had friends, a pretty active social life, a boyfriend in various stages or at least boys who gave me the attention I craved and school always went exceptionally well.
But something was always missing. There was a darkness that loomed over me day in and day out. This darkness resulted in me feeling uncertain of myself, regretful of the decisions I was making and feeling like no matter how on top or happy I felt, I would always return to the sadness. I often found myself in bed at the end of a long day with no one to talk to (despite having a lot of friends – go figure) and crying myself to sleep.
And my testimony began in that very stance. Hopeless and in tears.
As I look back, I realize that all the pain I’ve endured – friendships that ended suddenly and without cause, boys who no longer found me special enough to stick around and a sense of identity that was null and void – I see how every bit of it led me to my knees in surrender.
I never have to feel hurting, broken, lost or insecure ever again. Those are no longer words that connect to my identity now that my identity is found in Christ. That’s not to say that my past doesn’t creep in every so often trying to find it’s way in to break me down but now that I live for Christ, all of my burdens are at His feet. There’s nothing I can ever endure that He hasn’t already taken care of on the cross.
I’m still very dependent. But it’s no longer on people or things. I now strive to depend only on Jesus, the only one who stands close and never turns away. The only one who is the Prince of Peace and King of my Heart.
I’m not that broken girl anymore. Though I may be an adult now trying to navigate the hardships of day to day life – still trying to figure out my purpose and calling, I can rest easier than I ever have. I now live a life no longer trying to please anyone. Instead, I welcome fellowship as a way to build God’s kingdom and point people to a life of much less stress, anxiety, pain and fear. I no longer chase the things of this world or feel a yearning for the things I don’t have. My identity is in Christ. My faith, my hope, my joy, my love, my future, my life is in Christ. In Him, I have been set free and made new – receiving more than I could have every asked for or deserve. All other beautiful blessings that are guaranteed to come my way are mere bonuses.