Finding the Love and Light of Christ
Beautiful Younger Soul,
Do you ever feel as if your life has no purpose? Do you feel as if you can’t find meaning in your life? Do you feel as if you are living minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day? This is what a life without Christ feels and looks like. I once found myself in this position for many years, until I had a personal encounter with my Savior.
I was blessed enough to grow up in a Christian home with two wonderful parents. Since I can remember, my parents have always taken me to church every Sunday. I always tried doing things the “Christian” way, like praying before every meal, attending church with my parents, and trying to live my life according to the “rules” I believed would make me a good Christian, but there was always something missing. No matter how much I tried, I felt as if I couldn’t truly be happy. I had everything I needed to be happy, two loving parents, a peaceful home, and a wonderful family, but nothing ever seemed to fulfill me. Even though I had all of this, I would still climb into my bed at the end of my day and would cry myself to sleep and nobody ever knew. I, myself didn’t understand why I would randomly start crying. Approximately one year ago, I felt completely lonely but it had slowly started building up throughout the years.
Even during this period of time when I was literally breaking down, I would still go to church. I started attending a new church with my parents because we had moved states and we finally decided that we had found the church we would be attending. It was a church as I had never been to before. I knew God was preparing me and my heart for such a time because Sunday after Sunday, the pastor would start making altar calls, and something in my spirit always told me to get up off my seat and go to the altar, but my ego and hardened heart wouldn’t allow me to. During this period of time, I began to grow angry and would find myself crying out of anger and frustration when things wouldn’t go my way, and I would frequently lash out at my beloved mother. She began to notice a change in me and worsen over time, but soon enough, it would all end.
Everything changed on a Friday evening when my parents and I attended a special event at church with a guest speaker. At the end of his sermon, this guest speaker made an altar call, and told everyone who was in need, to come up. I got very nervous and began to feel jittery because I knew the Holy Spirit was telling me to go up. I firmly believe that He used my mom as well to go up to that altar call because she kept telling me, “You need to go up, you need to go up.” I kept denying it, holding back my tears. Eventually, I stopped holding back and went up and all I did was cry. I cried so much that day as I hadn’t cried in years. I cried so much that my mom told me that once I got up there was a puddle of tears on the floor. From that day on, God began to work in my heart. Fast forward a couple of weeks later, our church announced a spiritual retreat was coming up. Our pastor explained what this spiritual retreat entailed. Since that day, my parents said we were going, no questions asked. Deep down, I knew I needed to go but I myself didn’t want to go. At that point, I knew even if I tried to go against my parents’ word, they would still make me go so I decided not to waste my breath trying to argue with them, so I decided to go. This retreat lasted three days, from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon.
I went into this retreat expecting nothing to change after just a weekend retreat. So Friday evening, this spiritual retreat took flight. Through the course of the three-day retreat, I, along with the other retreat members, sat down and the pastor and/or guest speaker spoke about specific subjects such as suffering rejection, abuse, dealing with forgiveness, dealing with guilt, self-hate, and other stronger topics. After every talk, we were ministered to, and slowly, talk after talk, I felt my burden lighten. I cried during the entire retreat and not once did I ever regret going. I felt I had been freed from the shackles of self-hate that stemmed from years of bullying when I was a child. I felt freed from the hate I was developing towards God during those moments of doubt when I questioned Him, “If you’re real then why don’t you stop all the suffering in the world?” These types of questions were slowly deteriorating and I began to doubt His existence. During that retreat, I was also freed from the shackles of anger and frustration that had me bound up for such a long time. I was also freed from depending on other people to bring me the joy that only Christ can give me. I stopped relying on worldly, temporary fun and satisfaction for something greater; the love and light of Jesus Christ.
I can firmly say and believe that this retreat was life-changing and I’m grateful to God that He touched my life in such a unique and special way. Ever since, I’ve still been in a process and God has been speaking to my life in ways the old me would’ve found unimaginable. I was an atheist living in the body of a “Christian.” I think back to the way I used to live my life and I find it hard to believe I’ve changed this much, but all glory goes to God because He was the one who touched this hardened heart of mine. I was created for such a time as this, and so are you.
Younger Soul, don’t lose faith in God. I will and forever will be in debt to Jesus for everything He’s done in my life. Thanks to Him, I now view life in a completely different way. When I look up at the sky or see the trees as I’m driving, I’m reminded of God’s love. I am now grateful to be in the position I was put in, and if I had to be put through all that pain all over again just to find Jesus in the middle of that darkness, I would do it all over again. He rescued me when I was in my darkest moment. He was my lifesaver as I was drowning in the ocean. He was my rescue team of one as I was stranded on an island with no way out. He saw my SOS signal. He saw a heart that was in pain and came and put His healing hand over it and mended it. He healed a heart that He hadn’t even broken in the first place and for that, I owe Him my life. Dear Younger Soul, it is never too late to give all your burdens to Jesus. He is waiting for you with His arms wide open. He is waiting for you to notice Him. He’s waiting for you to soften that heart of yours so He can live in it, and give you peace, happiness, and tranquility that only He can give you. There is no amount of pain, no amount of sadness, and no amount of depression that Jesus isn’t capable of removing. I am no longer the person I was before I let Jesus Christ in my life. I am no longer that heartless, tearless woman the enemy TRIED to make me believe I was. The enemy sees your worth and will try every and any way to attack you. The enemy TRIED to erase the smile and laughter that God placed on me. Open your heart to the ocean of blessings Christ wants to pour over your life. Open your heart to His everlasting love that will never abandon you. Open your heart to the light and love of the world, that is Jesus Christ. Only He can remove all that has tarnished you, and He will make you new and whole, just as He did with me.
Older & Much Wiser You
“I am the light of the world.
He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life."
John 8:12 NKJV