I’m taking a class at my church that’s going through the Navigators 2:7 workbooks. A part of the class is to give our story about how our relationship with Christ developed. While I’ve written quite a bit about myself in this blog, I thought y’all might enjoy hearing a summary of how God brought me to where I am today.
If I had to sum up my story in a few words, I would definitely say that ‘God is good’. On the surface, that may seem like an odd thing because the death of my parents has caused many emotional roller coasters over the years. That doesn’t keep that summary from being true.
I’ve known times of great joy and times of deep sorrow. The one constant thing in my life has been the goodness and faithfulness of God. While I appreciate God’s consistency in my life now, it actually frustrated me for a long time.
This frustration started when I was a little kid. I prayed the prayer of salvation multiple times in my younger years. I kept praying it because I never felt any different after I did it. That always made me doubt whether I was really saved or not.
While I understand now that I was saved from the moment that I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior, at the time I was frustrated because I couldn’t get a crystal clear response from God. This was not the last time that I tried to treat God like a vending machine. Starting in my teens and running up through the first half of my twenties, I spent a good amount of my time trying to say or do the right things and expecting God to give me what I wanted.
I didn’t always want something specific like a new car or girlfriend. Sometimes, I just wanted the answer to a question or the end of a stressful problem. My frustration grew because I never felt like God gave me enough answers or fixed enough problems.
Simply put, I didn’t feel like God wasn’t providing what I wanted or needed in life.
This frustration along with the loss of my parents created a doubt in my heart that God didn’t personally care about me. While I knew in my head that God wanted to save my soul, I doubted whether He cared about my heart. This doubt created a small rift in my relationship with God for a very long time.
While I loved learning about theology and talking to people about philosophy or God, I was addicted to multiple things that I knew God is not a big fan of. I justified them in my head with the doubt that God probably didn’t care about my heart or desires and that I needed to find satisfaction on my own.
Throughout college and even a couple years afterwards, I developed a strong knowledge of God while I trusted him on a personal level very little. Thankfully, God reached in and saved me from the muck and mire that I had chosen for myself. I moved in with some old friends from high school and they talked me into visiting Watermark.
I spent the next year and a half soaking up all the Sunday sermons and really enjoying them. I didn’t think there was anything else that I needed in my walk with God besides getting rid of those annoying sin problems that seemed to never go away. Eventually, my roommates convinced me to join a small group at Watermark and that is when things really started to change in my heart and life.
I still remember the first time that I came clean about my addictions and seeing the love and acceptance in the eyes of my small group. The freedom that comes from knowing that someone loves you regardless of your ugly addictions and sins is impossible to fully describe. I wouldn’t give up that experience for the world.
That turning point in my life started me down a path of incredible healing and restoration. God used my small group and other Christians in my life to show me the places in my heart where I didn’t trust God. When I began to tackle those issues head on, I started to see the true provision and love of God for the first time.
God has met me in all the areas of brokenness, pain, and sin in my heart. He has offered unconditional love and healing to all the wounds that I’ve carried with me for so long. This is the provision that He’s wanted to give me all along.
I got so frustrated in the past, and still do from time to time, when God didn’t give me exactly what I asked for or thought that I needed. Those unanswered prayers and unsatisfied desires made me believe that He didn’t care about my heart. I now understand that He didn’t give me what I asked for because He cares about me too much to let me walk down paths that will never satisfy me.
During that time God wasn’t rejecting me. He was defending me from myself and my idols. Realizing that God was defending me and not rejecting me fundamentally changed my life.
I say that you can sum up my life with the words ‘God is good’ because that has been the most constant thing in my life. I have changed, my circumstances have changed, and my relationships have changed. The only constant in my life has been the goodness and faithfulness of God.
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