We so often think that bad people deserve the bad things that happen to them; we are left questioning why do bad things happen to good people? How can a God who supposedly loves us let horrific things happen in our lives? How could we bear to have a relationship with a God who just leaves us to fend for ourselves in a harsh world? I cannot deny that this is something I have struggled with…I have asked myself these same questions. At times, I had what felt like a great hate for my God. I asked, ¨why me?¨ I can tell you what life with and without God is like, the drastic difference. I can tell you why our God still loves us, why we can love him despite our brokenness, our sin, despite what we have been through and what we will go through.
We cannot choose the circumstances of our life, we cannot avoid the pain we will face, but what we can do is choose a loving God. Some of you out there reading this may not believe in God, you may believe but you have a great hatred for him, you may not believe but you are hurting inside, or you may not want a relationship with God; whatever your circumstance may be I encourage you to read on!! I have had times where God was my rock, but I have also had times when he was the last thing I wanted to think about. I am not exempt from the pain and suffering of this world, neither are you! This may be despairing, but do not lose hope. I am going to share a little tidbit of my life story, my journey with God, and where I stand today.
I have grown up in the Christian faith, I attended church each Sunday, I said my prayers etc. As a young child, I faced my ups and downs, just as any human does. As the Bible says, I had the faith of a child: I had no doubts in who God was, I loved Jesus wholeheartedly, I read verses that I could not even begin to comprehend the meaning of. Though I had the faith of a child, I had a faith that I thought could not be shaken. God was my rock, he provided me with a peace that surpassed ALL understanding! One day, I faced something that was a little more than my average ups and downs. At the age of 13, I was raped. At first, I did not quite comprehend what happened to me; I blamed myself, I pushed it down (way down), I thought I was perfectly okay. I kept up that facade for quite some time, I was functioning as if nothing happened. One day, I finally hit a wall…my world came to a screeching halt. I began coping in ways I did not quite comprehend at the time. I did a complete 180 from God, he was the last thing I wanted to think of, the last person I wanted to turn to. I one-hundred percent pushed him out of my life. I was lost, so terribly lost in all aspects: my life, my soul, and my heart. After some time, I realized that through my coping mechanisms I was allowing the person who so greatly wronged me to still control and destroy my life. I was still allowing what they did to me to have power over me. Once I had this realization, I quickly turned from those coping mechanisms. Though I was on the track to putting the pieces of my life back together, I still felt greatly lost…what was I missing? How could I put back the puzzle pieces to the puzzle called — my life. This was the big question.
As I delved into my heart, who I was, what I had been through, I realized what I was missing. I was missing God. I was hesitant, hesitant to let God back into my life, hesitant to surrender my life again, hesitant to trust in someone who ¨let¨ these bad things happen to me. Notice how I put quotations around the word let. Sin was brought into this world through man. God did not choose to place us in a sinful world, we chose that. If you do not know the story of the beginning of sin, I would recommend reading the first book of the Bible: Genesis. It all began with Adam and Eve. God did not choose this life for us, mankind chose this life for us. Jeremiah 29:11 states, ¨For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.¨ At one time, I believed that God did have plans of evil for me, I could not look past what happened to me. As I healed with time and the love of my savior, I began to realize that this horrific event happened to me so that I could share the love of Jesus Christ, the impact he has had in my life, so I could share my story so that others would not feel so alone. It still took a ton of courage to post this, to share a part of my story, to make myself vulnerable to the world. I knew that God was calling me to post this, I could not ignore the calling. It is my duty to share the good news, the gospel, for I could not look in the mirror knowing that I held the key to happiness, the key to mankind’s soul and not share this with the world. This has taken me almost four years to get to this point, but I am here. God uses our broken stories to tell the beautiful story of his redemption. The story of the sacrifice which he made when he chose to send down his son, Jesus, to die for our sins so that we could live eternally with him in heaven.
A Little more about Jesus & God
For those of you who may have not had the joy of experiencing a relationship with God, I would love to share some meaningful parts about God and my relationship with him. God is truly amazing, let me share with you what I personally love about Him. God is there at any time of the day (3 in the morning or 3 at night), he is always willing to listen to me ramble on and on, he provides continually in all aspects of my life, he answers prayers, and he made the greatest sacrifice for a broken sinner like me! Here is a minor example of how God has provided for me in my life. Every Sunday before mass, I pray that God opens my heart to the message, to what he has in store for me, and that I am able to be receptive to him and all his glory. Particularly this week I was praying that God would help me with facing sin head on, resisting temptation. Later on in the service the priest began to talk about different ways to handle sin and temptation. I sat in absolute awe, I do not believe that it was a coincidence, that I prayed for God to guide my steps in these aspects and then hear a homily on just that. That is a minor example, but God never fails to provide, to answer prayers. When it feels like he is not answering prayers, it is usually because he knows something better for me than what I know or want. Another aspect that I am eternally thankful for is his forgiveness and compassion. I am just as messed up as anyone else; I am broken, sinful, disobedient, and so much more! But you know what!?! God still loves me and forgives me despite my shortcomings. If he didn´t I would be totally and completely lost. I cannot work to get myself into heaven, I am too flawed and imperfect. I cannot try to be good enough or pure enough…I will fall short a million times. God has me covered. He sent down his perfect son, Jesus, who was crucified, suffering a horrible and painful death in order to cover all my iniquities. I am forever grateful that I am saved through Christ, because I could do it NO OTHER way.
Some of my Favorite Bible Verses and Quotes about God
¨Give God your weakness, and he will give you his strength.¨
¨Three most powerful, life changing words: GOD LOVES YOU. IT is eternal LOVE, unconditional, no if´s and´s or but´s.¨
¨Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays.¨- Soren Kierkgaard
¨Darkness cannot put out the light, it can only make God brighter!¨
Psalm 56:8 ¨Tears are prayers too. They travel to God when we can´t speak.¨
Luke 1:37 ¨Faith does not make things easy, it make them possible.¨
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
Want God in Your Life?
Did something click today? Do you want God a part of your life? I hope so, but if not God still has a great, unending love for each and every one of you reading this. I pray for each and every one of you, and you most certainly do not go unnoticed by God. There are only a few things you need to do if you want God a part of your everyday life.
1. Trust Jesus Christ Today!
2. Admit that you are a sinner and need God´s help (We ALL do).
3. Repent from your sin.
4. Finally, know how deeply you are loved by the Creator of the universe!