I grew up going to church and saying all the prayers of the church’s teachings. I went to Sunday school. I always believed that God was present in my life, I think from the moment I was born. I never doubted God. I always believed Jesus was the Son of God, who died for my sins and was resurrected.
But I wanted more from this religion. A deeper understanding and a deeper relationship. I craved something holy that didn’t change according to the direction the world was headed. “Society is gravitating this way now so let us bend our teachings” is how it seemed. I needed security, acceptance and a best friend. My religion wasn’t providing that. There were so many rules. I felt so much guilt for breaking the rules, because I was human. I didn’t understand why I needed to confess my sins to another human being that was the same as me, sinful, yet they had the power to forgive me.
In my teen years, the church was playing songs from Dallas Holm’s album “His Last Days.” These songs were all about Jesus’ last days on earth; His betrayal by Judas, His indescribable sufferings on His walk to the cross, His mother Mary’s pain, and why Jesus was going through all this pain…because He died to take away the sin of the world…my sins. My sins that caused Him all this pain. As I walked up to the altar on Good Friday, I was heaving with sobs, at how I caused Him to suffer. It killed me. I was so sad and ashamed.
I reviewed all my sins and asked for forgiveness; these very sins that hurt Jesus so badly and yet He forgave me, by dying on a cross.
That day and experience was eye opening, but not life changing yet. My mom was very adamant about our religion and I did not have the courage to share how I really felt. I loved her and didn’t want to hurt her. But I wanted more. I did not want any barriers between me and Jesus.
I made some really poor choices for a few years after that. Part of it was leaving home, trying to grow up. Part of it was, due to my family’s dysfunction, not even knowing that I had choices, as a counselor analyzed. It was like, these bad choices are all things people just do, part of life…what makes soap operas interesting.
I didn’t want to be “interesting.” I wanted God to be proud of me.
God opened up all the doors for moving into my current state of Arizona. HE shut the doors quickly on my old state of Pennsylvania…dwindling of friendships, no romantic interests, uninteresting career and even when I was physically moving, there was an ice storm that lasted through many states as my parents and I made the journey.
When I got here, God immediately surrounded me with Christian friends. They guided me to learn that a personal relationship with Jesus could be obtained. I went to Christ’s Church of the Valley for a codependent’s meeting, as I had some issues with codependency.
They constantly referred to the Bible. I was so thrilled because all the answers I needed were in there and it wasn’t going to be rewritten according to society changes. It spoke truth to me. They said it was God inspired, that it is the Word of God. And I saw that.
God provided me with a good career out here also. This job connected me with many new Christian friends who helped strengthen my walk towards a personal relationship with Jesus, my Savior.
I only wanted Jesus and HE guided me right to Himself. I personally confessed all my sins again and am so glad He knows what is in my heart. And He still forgives me and loves me, despite my sins.
He continues to bless me with Christian support and my wonderful church and Bible studies. And a marriage that I cherish.
I had been having trouble lately, questioning my spiritual walk. I questioned because 1) I am not seeing the fruits of the Holy Spirit coming out of me in abundance, especially patience and gentleness and 2) My same sins, like pride, continue to pop up. I guess I’m thinking why am I not a walking, breathing testimony for Jesus, where it is so evident how much He touches my life. Am I just not seeing how much I’ve changed from my old self to the new. Or haven’t I changed much throughout the years?
Through Bible study and searching gotquestions.org, I’m finding that many Christians go through periods like this. So far, I know I need to ask God to prick my heart as soon as my sins appears like pride, anger, unkindness, mean thoughts, lack of patience, self absorption, and confess these and ask for forgiveness, for Jesus’ sake. Gotquestions.org says it is a good thing that I’m recognizing my sins and is proof that the Holy Spirit is working and I’m to cooperate with what He is doing.
I know God will continue to prune me and mold me, as He has been doing all the years of my life. Please pray for me that I am fully open to Jesus calling and to lessen or rid me of my sins that block this. Thank you!
May God bless your day! If you need prayer, please let me know. God loves our prayers to Him.