I don’t know who this is for but God really laid it on my heart to share my story. I hope that it blesses you.
About 7 years ago, I made the conscious decision that I would never enter into deep relationship with God again. I never spoke about it to anyone but I had my mind made up. I still tithed, I still went to church every Sunday and I still fit the description of a ‘Christian’ but my heart was no longer in it. Here’s what happened:
When I was 19, I became really overwhelmed with life and I felt like it was no longer worth living. Never told my roommates, never told my parents, but the enemy had taken control of my thoughts and I began questioning things and considering suicide. Around that time, I took a trip back home to be with my family for the Thanksgiving holiday and that trip changed my life. I was surrounded by family and friends that were completely on fire for Christ. I saw people healed, family members prophesying, I saw all types of signs and wonders and I found something that I had never actually encountered before: relationship with Christ. I knew how to read my Bible, I knew how to find a church for Sunday service but this was the first time that I began to see God as someone worth having a relationship with. It was euphoric. I was literally on a Jesus high. I wanted to tell everyone about Him and this new relationship that I’d found. Everything was perfect.
Maybe a couple months after my amazing encounter, something happened. I experienced hurt and betrayal so deep that it took years to get past. What was worse was that this betrayal started with a prayer. I was uprooted from my home, my faith was mocked, ties were severed and I was completely confused. How could something that was meant to be good (and of God) be turned into something so ugly? I just could not fathom why God would allow me to experience such hurt when I loved Him so much and I served Him faithfully. So I quit. I literally convinced myself that giving my heart to God was way too complicated, way too dangerous and that I’d rather live my life without Him in the center. I turned by back on Him. Fast forward to
a pregnancy, a failed relationship, and a broken spirit later, I found my way back to Him; I found my way back into a real relationship with Christ and it was the best decision that I ever made. Did I still get hurt? Yes. Were things still sticky at times? Of course. But I found myself rooted in His word and He helped me get past every ounce of hurt, pain, and anger. He healed me in ways that I never could’ve done myself because I allowed Him in. If you’re going through a tough time and you’re thinking about calling it quits with God, here are a few takeaways from my story:
Things will get tough!
There’s no way around it. No where in the Bible does it say that following Christ is going to be easy. In John 16:33, Jesus actually tells us that there will be trouble. The great news is that He has overcome the world. He has won the victory so that we too can be victorious. And if we’re being honest, as a Christ follower, you have a huge target on your back. You are so valuable to the Kingdom of God that Satan will stop at nothing to pry you from the hands of God. Don’t give Him the satisfaction. You will get through this! Keep your mind on Him, practice gratitude and forgiveness (especially forgiveness of self) and this too shall pass.
If you allow Him in, He will come in.
God knows that the trouble of life can make us cold and callous, which is why he tells us to guard our hearts. But it doesn’t get much simpler than this: if you allow Him in your heart, He will come in. His word says that if we draw near to Him, he will draw near to us [James 4:8]. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done (or didn’t do), it doesn’t matter how long it’s been since you’ve prayed. If you want relationship with Him and you intentionally seek Him, you will find Him.
You must receive your healing.
When Jesus died on the cross, every forgiven sin, every healing, every thing that can and will be done, was done in that moment. It is up to you to receive it. God wants to heal you from every bit of pain. Instead of pushing away from Him like I did, be willing to go through the tough times with Christ by your side and allow Him to heal you. Open your heart, believe that it is already done, and he will heal you.
God has promised you an expected end.
You know, I left something out. During the thick of it all, God led me to Matthew 5:12 which promises that when you are persecuted you will be rewarded. God blessed me with a new apartment and a brand new car within that next month. I was too busy being hurt and angry that I overlooked my blessings and the way that God had completely changed my situation. He gave me an expected end [Jeremiah 29:11]! Don’t get so caught up in the hurt and confusion of your situation that you miss God working—he’s always working things out for your good.
God has always been there and He always will be. He does not change. Trust in Him and allow Him in—you won’t regret it. Has anyone else felt like giving up? What’s your story?