I used to look at Christians and “church people” as a bunch of hypocrites and robots. When my mom and brother started going and inviting me my immediate response was no way. No way did I want to follow a bunch of rules and never be able to have fun again. That’s what I thought being a Christian was. I thought you had to be perfect and deep down inside I knew I couldn’t commit to that, and I knew that I would fail miserably. So I didn’t want any part of it. The way I figured it, I would stop partying and drinking later. I would settle down and start going to church when I was older and had kids or something.
Little did I know the sins I was participating in we’re the true bondage. I was a slave to the lifestyle I was living. I had been deceived by the world. I had been taught that the only way you could have fun was to drink alcohol. The only way someone would love me was if I sold yourself out to them completely. And I had done those things and by the end of it all, I wasn’t having fun or in love. I was desperate for help. I had gotten myself into such a mess that no one could fix it.
You see after I felt my first convicting sermon on premarital sex I tried to turn my life around, I tried to stop doing all the bad things. For a while it worked, my boyfriend at the time didn’t want anything to do with me anymore. I lost a lot of friends because I didn’t want to party. I still wasn’t satisfied though. Then I found myself mad at God. I had done what the preacher said. Stop partying and don’t have sex before marriage. But I was just as miserable as before when I was doing those things. Then I went to college, and I just gave up. God’s way had not worked so I was going to do things my way. I started partying more and more and tried to fill a huge gaping heartbroken hole with bad friends, people who used me, and alcohol. It left me broken and empty.
Then one night I made the worst decision of my life. I decided I would drive my friends home drunk from a bar in Macon. I got arrested, paid thousands of dollars in fines and lost my license for a year. I had screwed up big time. No one could save me from this. I spent the next year walking and bumming rides, and I was so humbled by the experience.
One day I was walking and I turned to the only place I knew to turn for help. Jesus. At that time I didn’t even know what all Jesus had done for me. I just knew that I needed Him to get me out of this mess.
He didn’t take away the consequences of all the mistakes I had made, but I knew that I had a forever kind of comfort and resting place in Him. Over the next couple of weeks, God started revealing to me the people He had strategically placed in my life to show me how to walk closely with Him. One was my husband Colby who I am so absolutely thankful for, but I’ll talk more about him later. He revealed to me, through Netflix of all places, just what He had done for me. I watched Passion of the Christ and balled my eyes out the entire time.
That was it. The people that I thought Christians were weren’t hypocrites they were just imperfect people covered in the grace and forgiveness that Jesus offered EVERYONE when He died upon that cross. The death that we all deserve, a brutal death against an innocent and sinless man, because we have all sinned against a perfect and holy God.
God didn’t promise that I would never fail again and He didn’t promise an easier life with Him. He did promise a savior and grace though for when I do screw up and let Him down. He does promise unconditional love and dependability, a kind that NEVER fails. He promised me eternal life with Him after this life and gives me peace in the harshest of circumstances. He promised me a Holy Spirit that supplies me with comfort that I have never felt before and strength when I am so tired and fragile.
Now as I live my new life as a new creature in Christ I know the truth. I know that this life as a Christian isn’t only rules, it is liberation from the chains of sin. It is forgiveness for all my sins against God. When I turn to Him in my brokenness and sadness and ask for forgiveness He forgives me and wipes my slate clean. I have a God that I can turn to with the smallest and the biggest decisions and He makes my paths straight. I never have to be alone again with His Holy Spirit inside of me.
Since then, I have learned how to have fun without alcohol. I’ve learned how to play games and socialize with just the gifts God has blessed me with, and I’m actually pretty good. I am surrounded by people that love me for who I am in Christ not who I used to be, and that is the best feeling. I never have to figure out this life again. I just have to live in childlike faith believing and following my savior as sheep follow their shepherd.
My desire now is to share this wonderful news with the world. I want people to experience real love that only comes through Jesus, and I want you to know that you don’t have to do anything to earn it. You don’t have to stop sinning and follow a bunch of rules to know Jesus. You can come just as you are before Him and He cleans you up and makes you a new creature in Him. He changes our hearts and gives us new desires. I am living proof of that.