A few days ago, I started to think about my journey with God; how far I have come and the hurdles I’ve had to overcome. I realized then that I do not talk enough about why I believe in Jesus so much.
Trust me, faith in Jesus can look ridiculous sometimes. How do you trust a God that you do not see when you are in so much pain? How do you trust a God that didn’t make provision available to you at the exact moment that you needed it? How do you even begin to trust a God that allows you to go through tests that are so painful that you’re not even sure if you will ever overcome them? It’s tough, I know. So why do I believe in Him?
Here’s the thing. God came to me like a knight in shining armour in the midst of overwhelming darkness.
I was pretty much a regular child growing up but I had a lot of issues. Oh my God, I can’t even believe it looking back. I had trust issues. I always had it at the back of my mind that people will always end up hurting me. Always. I was so angry, angry at life in general. I was unhappy, unhappy with my entire existence. I was tired, tired of battling deep emotions. I was tired of soaking my pillow every night only to wake up the next morning with a smile plastered on my face. Just because. I was tired of seeing people live what I believed was a normal life while my life seemed to be like a fading mirage. My happiest moments were the times I was lost in the comfort of my imagination.
I needed a break from it all. I needed somewhere to run to. I needed a rock that would serve as a shelter for me. I needed an anchor; a safe haven.
Frantically, I searched for all of this; in boyfriends, in the pleasures of fornication, I tried using alcohol at some point but the thing did not agree with my system. The harder I tried, the harder I failed and the worse I felt.
And so the cycle continued until I went to a Sixth Form School for O’Levels.
I remember being the only student of my History teacher and instead of us to talk about History, my teacher will prefer to talk to me about Jesus. “Is this what I signed up for?” I often wondered but I was good student, so I obliged him.
I remember my Mathematics teacher expressing disappointment that I scored 90% in her test. Wait, what? She would often ask me to come to her office. But we will not talk about Maths. She preferred instead to question me about my life, my family and my stand with God. “What’s all this one?” Yet, again, I swallowed my tongue and indulged her.
These two people spoke to me about the love of God. They told me about the transforming power of Jesus.
I knew all of this though. I went to a Christian School and at some point, I had the best score in Christian Religious Studies.
As far as I was concerned. God had bigger things to deal with and more important people to attend to. If He didn’t, why didn’t He stop my family from breaking apart? Why did He cause such a gulf to exist between my mother and myself? Why did he even allow me to be born into such a dysfunctional family that was plagued with problems far and wide? Why did he allow people to break my heart as they pleased after placing so much trust in them?
Please, it was either God did not care or He simply had better things to do.
I took the words of my History and Maths teachers with a pinch of salt.
But. Those words would’t leave.
God loves you.
He sent His only Son to die for you.
Cast your cares upon Him because He cares for you.
Go to Him with your heavy burdens and He will give you rest.
“God, do you really care? Do you feel my pain? Do you see these tears?” I found myself saying to the rather plain surface that served as my ceiling. Sometimes, I would take the binoculars my dad bought for me and look into the sky and say, “God can you hear me?” After all, He lived in the sky right?
Still, there was no answer. No response. Every time.
“God doesn’t have time.”
I always managed to have good grades. I did very well in my O’Levels and went on to do my A’Levels in that same school.
Those two teachers were still on my case.
I didn’t care, still.
“Look, I can’t go to Church even if I want to. My mother will not allow me to.” I said one day when my Maths teacher urgend me to go to Church.
Somehow, the words were beginning to pierce my heart.
Open your heart to Jesus.
Surrender your life to Him.
Allow Him to wipe away every tear and make you whole.
I struggled and then one day, I made efforts to look for a Gideon Bible given to me many years before. I can’t really remember why but I knew I needed to read the words in that Bible.
Also, I began to see pictures of Peter walking on water. I had received ‘My Book of Bible Stories’ as a gift on my 10th birthday and that graphic illustration of Peter walking on water never left me.
As I found my way to that portion of the Scripture that told the full story, I felt God asking me to walk on water.
Into the water of uncertainty.
Into the water of trust.
Into the water of faith.
But I still struggled.
Everything I had depended on so far had failed; my father, my family, my boyfriend and even myself.
“It wouldn’t hurt to try Jesus. Just try. He really does love you.”
Those words would often haunt me till the day I decided that when I travelled for uni, I will start attending Church and then I’ll see just what this Jesus has to offer.
The moment I decided to step out of the boat to try Jesus wasn’t really a spectacular one but little did I know that it was going to be a decision that would change the course of my life.
“How?” You ask.
Watch out for the next post!