How do I know if I’m doing it right?
Is it even possible to do?
These are some of the questions that floated through my mind in the past two years.
Last week I stood up and gave my life to Christ. And while I’d love to jump right into that story, there’s a backstory.
It didn’t happen overnight, and yet it happened night after night. I didn’t wake up one day and know exactly what to do, but I did get a call to wake up and trust that God knows what to do.
This is my personal testimony.
Old Life: I, Me, Mine
It says in Luke 17:33, “If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.”
I used to live this kind of life where God existed, Jesus set an excellent example, and the Holy Spirit looked like a dove. And I prayed when I needed help.
In complete denial, I lived a sinful life but didn’t see myself as a sinful person. I wasn’t out to hurt anyone, yet people got hurt.
It helped to go to church, but I didn’t always feel like going. When I did go, singing hymns felt uninspiring, so I’d stand there and wait for that part to end.
During prayer I’d ask God how to help me find the missing pieces, fill the empty void, handle the anxiety. I’m not sure I believed He could or would really do it.
I needed God but had no idea just how much I needed God.
In the meantime I lived in and for the world, believing lies, rationalizing greed and compromising values. I didn’t see the crooked path I walked along; I just saw what I wanted to see.
The safest road to hell is the gradual one– the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts.”
— C.S. Lewis
Four years passed. I wanted truth but sought comfort. There was a call for truth and purity in my life, but I didn’t know how to get there. The confusing twist kept me locked and bound, living by my own rules. I asked God to show me what I needed to see.
If We Ask to See, He Will Show Us the Problem
There’s always that one day when you think, Ok, this is bad.
So I had that day a number of times in those four years, but one day the struggle was at its worse and I realized there was no where left to turn. On that same day this huge box arrived at my door. It was a gift from my mom that had been on back-order for weeks–it was a large, standing mirror.
I took out the mirror and just looked at myself. How ironic. No, how scary.
There I was… me and my self-deception.
It was the most obvious wake-up call of my life. For a moment I hated the mirror, but then I realized it was time to face it: God is God, and I needed to hand over the reigns.
I prayed from deep in my heart for God to take over my life. In every way I can hear or see I recognized a voice that said, “I want purity for your life.” It made perfect sense in that moment, even though on a human level it made no sense.
I felt all the regret and pain funnel into some different feeling. It felt like holding a hand. And not knowing where it would lead, I fumbled and followed along in a rather awkward way.
Squeaking by, feeling pushed and pulled inside, cringing at rough landings and more mistakes… sometimes it felt like I wouldn’t survive the turbulence.
If the story up until now had been a record, this is the part where the record scratches and you hear that fuzzy sound. God had a new record for me, and it was far better than any record I could have chosen for myself. Here is part two of my testimony.
God Wants Us Back
We are chosen. We belong to God. He waits, and He calls. We ignore Him, but He waits and He calls.
We run as far as we can from Him. We attempt to hide from a God who sees all. We attempt to shut out the Father who knew us before we were even born. But since we are chosen, since we belong to Him, He waits and He calls.
“You can be sure of this: The LORD set apart the godly for himself. The LORD will answer when I call to him.” (Psalm 4:3)
Have you had a wake-up call? What did it look like for you?