Grace to you and peace from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ!
There’s a saying, “When one door closes, another door opens.” When I look at the past two and a half years of my life, I can definitely say that quote is quite applicable for me. My whole life took a 180 degree change when I met the love of my life, my Redeemer and Liberator, my beloved Jesus! That day made me feel as though my life had finally found its purpose, the time that I felt God smacking me in the head and calling on me saying, “Hey, get up! It's time for you to get on your feet, focus your eyes on Me, leave everything and follow me!”
My life before had been a series of brokenness, shame, addiction, fear, regret, and anger. I was never satisfied with my life and for so many years, I had a great division between everyone and myself- especially my parents. My father and mother raised me in a very strong Catholic faith but throughout the years, I began to grow disinterested in spiritual matters. With all the chaos of not finding God in my personal life, the lack of love I felt as a young child and the deadly addictions I was chained to, made me grow to hate God and before I knew it, I began to lose my faith.
I always thought, if God was really there, or if He was really a loving God, why would He allow me to go through the pains and the unpleasant past I had to go through? Through the distressing stages of my life, I tried to desperately seek happiness everywhere and anywhere I could--the happiness that the world had to offer me. I tried to find a place for myself to feel accepted, welcomed and tried to live a life pleasing all my friends and joined them in everything they did which was so called “joy of one's life” even though I came back feeling all the more empty. Thinking that the very act of partaking in the desires of the flesh would make me feel wanted and would heal me from my inner wounds by enjoying life, I did just that.
As everyday went forward, I realized that none of this was making me satisfied, and in fact, made me feel all the more disturbed and heartbroken and eventually lost my desire to live my life. Through my secret sins that I kept within myself and the lack of encounter I had with the Lord, I grew cold and really hit rock bottom. With all the addictions that had a hold of me and my broken relationship with my parents, everyday became a hassle. As my extreme extent of disobedience in the household worsened, causing years of tears and fervent prayers from my parents, they eventually forced me to attend a One Day Retreat in Columbus, Ohio.
I came in angry and not expecting a change; I believed that the God I heard about all my life was a fantasy, but during the last two hours, during the deliverance prayers and the conviction the Lord was giving me through the Scriptures I heard that day, I experienced Jesus in such a radical way for the first time in my life! Even though I had no hope, the Word of God started to give me a peace I’ve never felt it years and had touched me in a way I never had before! After listening to the Scriptures, I realized it was the time for myself to pick the decision of either closing the book or turning the page in my life and start a new life, a new creation in Christ. (2 Cor 5:17)
By His grace, I gave God a chance to heal and mend my broken heart and surrendered my worries and pains to Him during the deliverance prayers. During the deliverance prayers, He had poured out His limitless Spirit (John 3:34) on me, delivering me from all my addictions, pain and healed my relationship with my parents! The next day as I got back home, I ran to my parents and gave them a huge hug and cried aloud asking for forgiveness for the first time in my life! I had received an encounter in which I wouldn’t exchange for the whole world!
My Holy Spirit manifested His very own Spirit within me and gave me a Word of God that I will always keep close to my heart, John 14:27, “I do not give as the world gives.” My brothers and sisters, the world will give you a happiness that plays dress up that will only leave you empty, but our God gives only the best to His children to those who cling to Him. (Mathew 7:11) He is someone that is faithful even when we are not and loves us even with our shortcomings. He loves beyond borders.
That day as I asked God to start a new chapter in my life, a life living for Him, two and a half years later, here I am standing as a witness for Christ as He continues to work His grace within me to serve Him with my whole heart. (2 Cor 12:9)
I found Jesus in my lowest place, when I hit rock bottom. Remember, Jesus doesn’t look for your perfections but He seeks the sinners and the broken hearted. (Luke 5:32) (Psalms 51:17) The world can only give you temporary happiness, but the Lord’s love will last you eternity! I want you to keep this Word of God within your heart: Romans 8:39 “Nor height, nor depth, nor anything in all creation can separate us from the love of Christ.” Never think you are too far gone, or to deep in sin to turn back! The Lord is bigger than any of your sin. He will give you the courage to walk out of your shame and will offer you hope for your bondage and brokenness. Sometimes, all you are left with is emptiness and that is when God comes running to you with his arms stretched wide to receive you and fill you! RUN TO HIM NOW!