After I became a Christian, things did not get easier. I think that is the common thought. Good things happen to good people kind of thing. Honestly those type of Christians really miss out on what it is all about. They accept the fact that Jesus died for their sins but never live their life accordingly. They just live life as normal with the belief that He is. Well, I have news for you even demons believe in God.What happened to the scripture: Present yourselves a living sacrifice?! That is how it is supposed to be. We see what God did for us through Christ and we are to follow by His example.
My first step after giving my heart to God was giving up everything. As Jesus told the disciples to do: “Follow me.” This required the disciples to leave all. They left their families, they left their homes, and they followed God. Just as a newly married couple leave their families and cleave to one another and become one.
I went to visit my uncle in another state and afterwards found the perfect opportunity. I know God was calling me to it. There was a tugging at my heart. When my family was returning home, I decided to stay. I left all at this time. I stopped communication with old friends and all who did not seek Christ (even in my family.) I lived in a new state. I started over. I made people upset. It was hard. It did NOT feel good in any way. It truly was a dividing between my outer man and soul.
And thus, God had a clean slate… Well, so I thought. I thought that being as I had started out fresh on the outside I thought it was. Then God began working on the outside. I went through numerous struggles where God brought me to the end of myself. He showed me all my ugliness. At the same time he would show me how beautiful He was. It was in this space of time (over three to four years) that I truly came to know my nature and came to know His (though that process is never-ending). I fought with depression, anxiety, loneliness, and more than I can name. I lost many things but I would gain something spiritually. This was one step deeper. This was the division between soul and spirit. God was spiritually circumcising me. And trust me that did not feel good either.
After graduating from college, I can say I thought I understood God – how the Christian life worked. But once again, God decided to show me yet another level and just how much I did not know about Him. However, before I go on, I must give the back drop:
Being God found me at an earlier age, I happened to still be for lack of better words: pure. I had not yet even had a boyfriend. When I got saved, it was no joke. I wanted all of God or nothing at all. So I grasped on full force. I felt this desire in me to remain pure until marriage. Now I do not mean just “Don’t have sex until marriage pure” but PURE – no kissing, nothing. My fantasy became that I would marry my first boyfriend – that I would save that title for him. I, by God’s grace, made it through college. I cannot tell you I was perfectly innocent. I flirted and had male friends, but I never dated anyone. Now if you recall, I do have a limited amount of Christian family. When I say the word Christian – I mean all-out for God, not just nominal. Anywho, I strove in spirit that the person I met all would be in agreement.
It came to pass that I met a guy. He was attracted to me so I explained my desires upfront. I was not interested in a relationship but I would definitely be his friend. As time passed, we became very close. I was ecstatic to have a person I could share God’s word with. I had been studying by myself and with my family for years – having someone to share it with felt more amazing than I can explain. Nothing makes me happier than to see that excitement in someone’s eyes as you speak about your God and Savior. Time continued to go on, and we grew closer and closer. My family liked him. Everything seemed as if it just had to be the one. It was obviously what he wanted. At the time, I was in a confused place. I had lost someone dear to me abruptly in a way that did not quite make sense to me. I was hurt and I looked for comfort in this relationship. I fell in love with the idea of love. I became so blind. Without even truly praying what was God’s will, I followed mine. Sure I said a prayer here and there but did not truly listen. After the relationship continues, we became engaged. I thought I was so happy. But then on my bed at night and in the quiet, I was in agony. God seemed distant. I cried and sought Him as to His will. I think God was hinting all the time – thus the struggle- but I was in denial. And now I had gotten myself to a place where if I backed out now I was truly going to hurt someone. It felt as if I was being ripped in two. The struggle became more real than I can explain – almost like I was wrestling with God just like Jacob- I kept telling myself I did not know what God’s will was. But the truth is it could not have been that way if it was God’s will -God would not have felt so distant. More and more I could see that my partner did not love God the way I did. He was not willing to give up everything I had for God. We were in different places. Let me explain, in the words of another and greater than I, the seriousness or marriage:
Now it seems perhaps going a long way to say that is God’s thought about a marriage relationship, but it is. The marriage relationship according to God is this, that the wife joined to the husband receives, participates, in his life and she has but one life – that is his; one interest – that is his. She comes into line with him. How important, therefore, in a decision of this kind to be quite sure that that is what God is going to look for, and we have got to see that that is possible. I do not want to diverge to a homily on the marriage relationship, but this is God’s idea – one life, and the other being altogether yielded up to that one life, being governed and dominated by that one life so that they are no longer two lives, but one. That is God’s thought because it is a reflection of this higher relationship between Himself and His redeemed, between His Son and His Son’s Bride; assimilating Christ so that it is one Life.” – Theodore Austin Sparks
So ladies, when you marry a man, you are agreeing to live his life with him. I believe this wholeheartedly. Two become one. I began pondering this. Am I willing to give up how I am living for the way he is living? No! Because I want to ever be growing in the Lord. I want to marry someone who loves God more than me! That he will be dragging me along – not the other way around. So even thought this man was perfectly good physically; spiritually it just could not be. This fact led me to the most heartbreaking, difficult decision I had ever been through. I broke my best friends heart and lost him. At times, I look back and think – If only we had stayed friends, what would have happened? But these are things I can’t dwell in. I have to look to Christ and trust Him even through my failures. I have to cleave to the fact that his blood has covered my failures. It was the aftermath of this relationship that brought me to that next step afore mentioned.
I had to learn how to look to Jesus. Yeah, you probably thought I knew how already, huh? Well so did I. But truth is I didn’t know what those words “Look to Jesus” really meant. Looking to Jesus is not just thinking about Him – it’s not thinking good thoughts – it is not singing hymns. It is saying “Lord Jesus I am nothing but in you I find my everything.” It is putting Jesus in every situation. Bringing Him into every situation. When I got attacked with how unworthy I was due to my past, I clove to how worthy He was. Learning this, to do this, did not come easily my friend. It was learned by trial and error. Every time I did not look to Jesus, I would mess up. Until it had to become my norm. Now I have not perfected this mind you; no one has – otherwise they would probably be raptured right up. But we all struggle with this. Seeing ourselves outside of Christ. We are to see ourselves in Christ – We can do all things through Christ. We CAN do ALL things through Christ. And this was the time in my life I learned to look to Christ. Now I have given up many things for Christ – my lifestyle, hopes, dreams, ambitions. This may seem a sad affair. But let me tell you it is only sad if you know nothing about what I have received in return. I have Jesus Christ! I am His and He is mine. He has become my lifestyle, hope, dreams, and ambitions. I can safely say I may have lost what I thought to be love, but I have found my true Love. And if I remained single the rest of my life, I would still have joy. So be it. Because he can more than fill that hole.