Have you ever seen the show Gospel Bill? As a child I loved this show. And one day when I was about 3 years old, Gospel Bill asked the audience if they wanted to accept Jesus into their hearts. I definitely did. I asked my mom to pray with me and that is when I accepted Jesus as my Savior. I would even periodically look down my shirt to converse with Jesus. He was in my heart after all. If only I had taken that idea literally through all of my life.
As I got older I went to church and Bible study with my parents. They were the youth pastors at my church and I really had no choice. Not that I didn’t want to go, I did. I liked church and I really liked Bible study. And my best friend at school was a Christian so together we were probably the most annoying goody-two-shoes you could find. I did my quiet time as a teenager and even went on several leadership retreats with the church.
When I got to college I had total freedom. I had heard about a group on campus called Campus Crusade for Christ. This group went on mission trips to the beach and I immediately signed up. I also joined the worship team and was involved in a Bible study. I was able to make my faith my own and I truly did grow as a Christian. This should have been the time in my life when I was most built up spiritually, but unfortunately by the end of my college career I was so burned out on “Christian things” that I had no desire to really even go to church. I related this to my parents and had a long discussion with them about it. It was hard to talk about, but at the time I felt resentment towards God. This resentment coincided with my move to Los Angeles.
I can’t lie and say that I went off the rails and did wild and crazy things, but I can say that my heart was not right with God. As a person who grew up in the church and has never known life without my faith it is so very easy for me to put it on the backburner knowing I can come back to it whenever I may “need” to. This has been a struggle for me throughout my walk. I constantly take my salvation for granted. I’m not proud of this, but it’s the truth.
One of the biggest tests of my faith came when I found out I was pregnant with my first child. I was diagnosed with Hyperemesis Gravidarum and was so incredibly sick for my entire pregnancy that I often contemplated suicide. I was depressed and felt myself sinking into a dark hole. I felt a weight on my chest so heavy at times that I couldn’t breathe. My friends and family were extremely concerned and unbeknownst to me were having talks about my wellbeing. My husband even said that the light in my eyes had gone out. I was a walking shell of my former self. I knew that people were praying for me and I didn’t understand why God wouldn’t answer my cries. The funny thing is, the only comfort that came to me was reading about other people’s struggle. Particularly a book my mom recommended called When Life Comes Undone. I think I read the book in a day because I so needed to know that life can come unhinged and God is still there.
Thankfully I came out the other side with a healthy baby boy and a stronger faith. God really showed me that no matter what circumstances I may go through; in the end He is all I need. I still struggle everyday with reading my Bible and praying, but God is always faithful to lead me back to Him.
Because of my tests of faith I have become less attached to the things of this world and more hopeful for the promises of tomorrow. Just because you are a Christian doesn’t mean the walk in life is any easier. None of us are getting out of this world alive. But if we believe in Jesus there is hope.