If you had asked me how my relationship with Christ was a week and a half ago, I would’ve told you that it was rocky, and in dire need of repair. Though, If you would’ve asked me on January 6th, I would have exclaimed, “Jesus loves me!”
In 2013, I started going to school full-time on top of a full-time job. I had been doing fairly well with my spiritual life up until that point. So, I figured God would understand that I had to take some time to focus on my school work and the rest of my life for a short period. But little did I know that a short break in my devotions would result in some terrible feelings, and even some rocky instances in my marriage. I’m not going to go through all the details of my negligence, but I will just say that my time with media and God became grossly out if balance.
On Sunday, January 6th of this year (2014), I was sitting in the second to front pew in church with my wife and younger brother. My pastor (Brad Bell) had just finished giving his message when the campus pastor, Andrew, came up on stage and announced that we were going to take communion. I didn’t think anything of it as I had been regularly taking part in communion since I was a young lad.
After they passed around the grape juice and mini crackers, the worship band began playing a song called I Need You, which is one of my personal favorites. I’m not exactly sure what happened, or what moon and stars proverbially lined up to make this happen, but, I just began to weep. In an instant, it was as if all of my negligence and self service of the past year came crashing down on me. In that moment I felt shame, conviction, and comfort, each of it’s own intense variety. I can not compare it to anything I have ever felt before. It was in that moment that I asked Jesus to forgive me, and somehow, I knew I got my answer.
You see, nearly my entire life, I have been begging God to give me confirmation of my salvation. “Give me a sign!” I would say (and sometimes yell). “Speak to me, God,” was the other phrase of choice. I never really felt like God had saved me, mostly because I didn’t think I was worth saving. “What would God have to benefit from adding me to His congregation?” Here comes the negative self talk: I am not special; there is nothing spectacular about me; I find most people to be awkward and hard to approach for gospel reasons; I have nothing to add to the flock but selfishness and negativity. In reality, I am just your average person. A middle-class, paycheck-to-paycheck semi professional with a few hobbies. It wasn’t until after church that I realized what had happened. But first, let me go through the “symptoms” I am still feeling.
The next morning (January 7th, 2014) I awoke with an overtly positive attitude. As the day progressed, I realized that I was joyful. Joy is a feeling that I have rarely felt in my life, but I still knew that it was just that. My mind was clearer than it had ever been, even more than when hopped up on ginko biloba, or other “clarity” supplements. My creative muscles seem like super heroes, and my productivity has skyrocketed. My heart for people that I would have otherwise felt awkward around changed to feelings of love, compassion, and smiles. Needless to say, God gave me my confirmation by giving me His Holy Spirit, who brought all of my symptoms with Him.
I can not tell you how much my life has changed in the last week. I’ve had 2 different conversations with my wife that I have wanted to have for years, my personal projects have taken a major upshot, and my face just shines with joy. I feel good! Not just physically, but spiritually and mentally. I am loving life and have the confidence that I can take on anything with His help.
So this is me the past couple of weeks. I hope you take some level of inspiration from my story, and potentially start your own journey down this road. And, if you like, I’ll walk it with you. Take care of yourself!
Catch you later!