Though I was taught about God growing up, it wasn’t until I was 16 that I truly gave my life to the Lord. It was the worst year of my life, and then it became the best.
My first “serious” relationship had just ended and I was hurting. On top of that, I felt like I had absolutely nobody to talk to or care about me. During these several months, I felt a literal, empty ache in my chest constantly.
I was crying one day because I didn’t only feel that nobody cared for me, I felt that I knew it. In the middle of those sobs, I heard a voice inside say “Jesus cares about you.” But I brushed it aside and thought, “Jesus cares about everybody, that’s just what he does.”
Surprisingly, I got invited to go to church with my aunt that night. It was a small service in the basement of a church with about 25 people. I sat in the back row, feeling hurt and lonely. I started to sing along and call out to the Lord inside. I began to feel His presence surround me and fill me with His peace.
The pastor was going around praying over and prophesying to individuals. I prayed inside and asked if God would please have him pray over me.
Just when I thought the pastor was done, he made his way over to me and prayed with me, saying the exact words I had been repeating to God all night. “We ask that you heal her really, really quickly.”
When he was done, he looked at me and said, “He told me to tell you He loves you very much and He cares about you even when nobody else does.”
My heart exploded with love and sheer awareness of His realness and His presence.
I remember sitting in the bathroom at a cookout after that, just looking around in amazement that God was actually real! It’s like everything literally seemed more bright and beautiful.
I’d love to say nothing else bad happened after that, but I quickly fell back into worrying about my ex not liking me anymore, and the joy and God-focused thoughts wore off.
The depression grew worse than before, as I began questioning my identity and whether or not God was real. Because if He isn’t then how do I get through any of this? And what do I have to live for?
Needless to say, God gave me faith to press on and seek Him with all my strength, and very quickly He continued showing me in more miraculous ways that He is absolutely real!
Though these miracles boosted my faith greatly, it wasn’t them that brought me out of depression and despair. It was the fact that I had to cling to Jesus, constantly praying and hoping in His word, instead of my own emotions and confusion.
I remember thinking, “Am I ever gonna be able to stop thinking about Him all the time? When can I go back to the old me?”
But that’s the very thing about it. It’s about becoming a new creature, being born again and transformed into His image. The old me would have brought me back to a bad place. Where all the misery and lies were.
It’s about a true relationship with Jesus Christ. It’s not a pray-it-away, one-prayer-takes-care kind of thing. It’s a moment by moment, day by day relationship in which you depend on Him and the power of His Truth to keep you walking freely.
He’s brought me so far and been so good to me, that I just want to live for Him, glorify Him, and help others know Him.
And that’s what I hope to do with my life and with my writing.