I was searching for someone or something that would fill the void and make me feel whole . . .The day my dad died, my life was radically changed. I grew up in a home that had drug use, bitterness, and silence. I began trying to fill the void of my loss with relationships, alcohol, and drugs. I wasn't equipped properly to deal with relationships, whether they be with a male or female. I thought that as long as I had a boyfriend in my life, I was okay. I felt that somehow validated me. I would then be worth something to someone as long as I was giving. I would only allow myself to have one friend at a time because this gave me that sense of security and ownership I needed to fill the loss of my dad. I was not shown how to communicate in a healthy way. Only after letting things rage inside for a few days until I couldn't take it, would my feelings then come out.
I grew up with a tremendous amount of guilt and shame. Then fear also became a dominating force that I was bound to. Shame, because my parents used drugs in the home. I was afraid to do the normal things kids do like bring a friend home from school. Because what if my parents were getting high or had just finished smoking. My friends would be able to smell it. Or even worse, I would be the bad one because 'I knew better!' I carried that guilt and shame with me long after my dad died. I allowed myself to become involved in many relationships that were unhealthy and damaging.
After my high school years, I found myself still searching. I was searching for someone or something that would fill the void and make me whole. I never had anyone tell me that I had value despite my behavior. I felt my behavior defined me. It's who I was. It's what I'd done so I thought. 'It's who I am.' I believed and accepted the lie for years. I was fortunate enough to start dating someone whose family attended church. I wasn't very comfortable at first. The only churches I knew were the ones my grandparents had taken me to or the one my mom took my sister and I to on Easter or Christmas. This new church was so different. I felt something there I had never felt before.
After I attended a couple of services, I received a visit from the pastor. Wow! He cared enough about me, a damaged and lonely teenager. I was very receptive to his visit. I was a young girl without a father, looking and searching for value and acceptance. What I needed though was healthy acceptance. Like so many girls today, I found acceptance from men that lasted for a night.
As I continued to attend church, I learned about someone named Jesus. This name Jesus stirred up a number of feelings within me. My sister and I had attended a Vacation Bible School one summer with a friend who was Pentecostal. My dad commented that people who go to that kind of church are 'Holy Rollers.' What's a 'Holy Roller?' I wondered. That night during the service, people were actually on the floor. I had to find some type of explanation and understand what was taking place. My dad was never taught, so he passed on to me what he thought was the truth. There is a verse in the Bible that reads, 'My people perish for a lack of knowledge.' I wondered why this Jesus would cause people to get down on the floor. After all, wasn't God supposed to be up?As I continued to attend church with my boyfriend, I learned that God is omnipresent. That means He is everywhere. He's not a statue I have to bow to nor is He someone I have to make an appointment to talk to. You see, after all my years of bad choices and mistakes, I learned that if I ask Jesus into my heart, admit that I have sinned, and believe that He shed His blood for me by dying on the cross but rose again, then I am saved. He has forgiven me. He lives in me and He guides me because He loves me. I try to acknowledge Him daily before I make decisions. He did what He did so that I could have life and not just to breathe in and breathe out. He wants me to live an abundant life. I follow His commandments and live by His Word to the very best of my ability because I love Him.
I'm not searching anymore today. I still make bad choices sometimes, but it's okay. I go to my Jesus, I talk to Him about it, and He forgives me. Yes, I still struggle with guilt and shame, but I'm not alone. I have Him. He's given me a whole bunch of people in my life who have had similar experiences. We can go to each other and encourage one another with the fact that there is HOPE! We don't have to carry our burdens alone. I understand now why those people were on the floor. When God's love touches you and relieves your burden, you can't stand in His awesome presence. You are overcome with how Holy He is.
Everyday when I wake up and get ready to face what lies ahead, I know I will make it because He's the lifter of my head. I don't have to hang my head in shame about the past and the mistakes I've made. I have learned through God's Word that it's not about how good I can be. If that were the case, I would have no need for Jesus. It's about my faith in Him and my love for Him that keeps my desire to do the right thing. Then when the times come that I've messed up, I confess it all to Him. After all, they make pencils with an eraser on the end for a reason.
REAL LIFE STORIES - Chapter 85
Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. Either Jesus Christ died for yours sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you ... please don't make such a tragic mistake.
To get to know God; to be at peace with God; to have your sins forgiven; to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity; to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life.
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