After my mother passed away in 2002 (I was seventeen) I began a descent into a deep and dark place and I was literally spiraling out of control. I dropped out of high school my last semester senior year and did things I was not proud of - not only physically but mentally - to my family. I cannot tell you what inside of me clicked or why it did when it did but I can tell you that unannounced to me something was about to overcome me and change the path I was on forever. I literally woke up one day (during the Summer after I dropped out) got dressed and drove to my high school. Now, mind you there was very minimal staff working since it was the Summer. I walked up the stairs to the counselor's office and walked into my counselor's office (who was not supposed to be there that day) and completely broke down.
That amazing woman gave me the strength and guidance to get registered for classes that Fall and move forward with getting my diploma. I can tell you that going back to high school the year after you were supposed to graduate was hard. The looks, rumors, attitude, and all the other things that go along with the "mean kids" was present and in full force in my life that first day. I now know that I wasn't alone as I crossed that threshold. As I walked through those doors I took the deepest breath and never looked back...never touched another "bad" thing again in my life and I never had the desire to either.
I graduated that December and with the support of so many people that I couldn't believe it. I was actually embarrassed and getting sick to my stomach as I approached the stage to get my diploma and then suddenly I heard my name and everyone in that auditorium literally stood up yelling and cheered me on so loudly that I will never forget that moment.
After that time in my life I had the support I needed and the love from my family and friends but for whatever reason I chose to endure a very abusive (both physically and mentally) relationship. Until one day I literally grabbed my clothes and walked out the door. I left every other material possession I owned and started over with the help of a friend who took me in and helped me get back on my feet. Now I can't tell you why any of this has happened to me nor do I even care anymore. I can tell you that I am grateful for every single thing that has happened to me in my life to this date because it has made me who I am today.
Okay, so again with the back story...I know - I am notorious for this but, I have a reason for it. And it's this: Through all of that which has happened in my life I have always been a "good person". Yes, I have made bad decisions and done things I am not proud of - haven't we all? But by most peoples standards I would be considered a "good person" going through a rough time in life.
It wasn't until I met my amazing, wonderful, loving and supportive husband that I realized I was missing something in my life. For three years we struggled back and forth on the religion aspect of our lives. We never fought about it we just struggled to find a happy medium when it came to having God in our lives and our marriage. It wasn't until Charlie was 4 months old that we decided to start visiting churches.
It's ironic how timing plays such a huge roll in our lives and sometimes we don't even realize it. The very first church we visited became our church. We loved (and still do) our extended family there. From the moment we started going we were welcomed in and embraced and taught about God and His message. It wasn't crammed down our throats and we weren't told if you don't do this or that you wont go to heaven. We were taught that God's greatest gift is His grace and if we have faith in Him, He will always provide and take care of us. Well, little did we know how much we would lean on those very words, clinging to each syllable as our world came crashing down all around us when Charlie went to be with Jesus and see our maker's face.
So...was being a "good person" good enough? I honestly cannot answer that because I am not God. I wish I could give you a definite answer but, I can't. I can give you my thoughts and view on the subject though.
I would have been the most lost soul walking this lonely cold earth if I hadn't accepted and truly made the commitment to believe that Jesus Christ was and is our Saviour.
I went to my very first ever bible study this morning and here is some of the things I took from this session and these truly amazing women. I was literally in awe and couldn't even speak while listening to them talk about their faith and journey through life's obstacles.
We are not perfect - no one is. If we were perfect then what would be our purpose here? Why would we have such deep and strong emotions? There would be no pain or weakness and we would be strong enough to handle any situation we are faced with if there were no God. We need to be broken and weak in order to let God in and to have His grace surround us. The bigger the hole we have the more grace we can receive from Him. Meaning, the more we admit and accept that we are not perfect and cannot do it alone the more He will surround us and work His miracles - through us and in our lives.
Romans 7:21 Says: "So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me."
Without letting go and "giving it up to God" we will never truly be content in our lives.
I know that I was in a state of denial for many years because we finally had it all. Good jobs, happy marriage, financially stable, great family, etc. I just kept pushing that feeling that something was missing to the back of my mind and reasoning with myself by saying "what could be missing, we have it all!" Until I found God and I opened my heart and soul to Him. Until I stopped trying to hide my hole by filling it with things and let God fill it with His grace.
So tonight I challenge you. I challenge you to take the time to look at your life and where you are. Are you truly satisfied? I challenge you to let go and let God fill the hole within you with His grace. If you don't know where to begin start with a prayer...He is listening, I promise you.
May God Bless you all and I pray that you find His grace if you haven't already - it truly is the most amazing feeling to be so overcome with it tears just fall from your eyes when simply thinking about how awesome He really is.