It started with “why?”. I thought it was the only question I needed an answer to, but every question led me to another one. Why does he do the things He does? Why did His Son have to die? Why does He love us, if we don’t deserve it? I had so many questions and I learned so much. I felt obligated to get baptized so I got baptized at this church on October 25,2009, but I didn’t feel 100% ready. After that day, however I started to feel more and more ready. I wanted my faith to be as strong as I could make it until I got re-baptized. I wanted to get baptized with a ready heart, not an obligated one. I started to really love Jesus and all He had to offer. My faith was just about right to get re-baptized until February 23,2011 when I saw the drugs in the living room, and I knew that my dad had lied to me. He goes to Mission too so I can’t judge what he has with God, but I was so angry. I immediately left the house, not knowing where I was going, but I just started walking far away. When I saw the mountains in the distance, I became determined to walk to them no matter how far they were. I climbed them and sat there, just questioning everything. In my mind, my dad had become just as bad as my mother, who’s actions have always told me that she loves drugs more than me, because they’re better than me. So many times, I even wanted to try drugs, just to judge for myself and see if they really were better and more loveable than me, but God always stopped me. As I sat on that mountain, I had so many more questions for God. I thought I was doing good, I thought He was proud of me, I thought He cared about me and my salvation. On that day, on that mountain, it felt like God never cared at all. My salvation never mattered to Him.
I finally walked home. I was gone for eight hours, I was separated from God for much longer. I stopped praying and repenting. If God didn’t care for my salvation, than neither would I. I purposely sinned, just to anger God, like I had been angered. My faith was dying. I started really believing that drugs were better than me. I lost the Holy Spirit, so I couldn’t even do what I love most, writing. All I write are Christian stories to glorify God, but I didn’t even know how to be a Christian anymore. When my dad asked me why I stopped writing, I couldn’t tell him it was his fault my faith was dying. But I couldn’t even blame him, because it was really my fault. My faith wasn’t as strong as I thought it was, but I was still desperately trying to hold onto what I had left of it. When others stood at church to sing, I stayed seated. When others closed their eyes to pray, my eyes stayed open. No one knew the fight that was happening within me. I felt like I was fighting Satan for my soul, and he was winning.
One good thing about God. He puts people in your life for a reason. At the CD release party on July 3,2011, we sat next to someone who’s love for God caused him to sing so loud. Of course, we had to compliment him and we learned that he goes to Ember. He gave me a ride to Ember, the next Tuesday. I was surrounded my Christians who loved God. I felt like I didn’t belong with this group of people. I came so close to leaving one night, but I asked for prayers instead. On August 2, 2011, I realized how much I missed God. God used Ember to help me realize that. On August 3, 2011, I turned eighteen and God gave me the best birthday present ever. A sudden realization that those footprints I saw in the sand weren’t mine like I thought they were. They were His. I watched Passion of The Christ the next day. I never cried so hard in my life. I Holy Spirit was back and I didn’t want to wait until the next communion. There was banana bread and cranberry juice in the kitchen. It wasn’t the right bread or juice, but I thought Jesus wouldn’t mind. Jesus fought Satan for my soul and He won. For 161 days, I had a fear of dying before I came back to God, because I didn’t want to go to Hell. I had a fear of the rapture happening, because I didn’t want to be left behind. I had a fear of coming back to God, because I didn’t want Him to reject me. He took those fears away. On August 21, 2011, I stopped talking to my dad for a whole week, so on August 28, 2011, I went to church without telling him. As I witnessed people getting baptized, God broke my heart so He could humble it. I cried at church.
I know texting in church is bad, but I couldn’t wait. I texted my dad telling him I was sorry and I loved him. He responded by saying he will always love me no matter what. Déjà vu! I had that same conversation with God on my birthday. I’ve learned that God reveals certain things to us for a reason, when it is time for it to be revealed. Satan knew he could use drugs to get me down and hurt my relationship with God, but I laugh at him now, because drugs don’t hurt me anymore. God doesn’t love drugs more than me, and if given the choice, God would always choose me over drugs. God replaced my pain with an endless supply of love, so Satan loses. I’m giving Jesus my soul so Satan can’t even try to take it away again. Thank you Mission, Mark Connelly and Ember, but most of all thank you God. I have heard it said that God raises us up so we can stand on mountains. It’s so true.
Psalm 121:1-2 says
“I lift up my eyes to the hills— where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of Heaven and earth.”