It’s been a while since I last blogged here, but rather than lament that, I would like to celebrate my long journey to writing this latest post by doing just that – writing about it. To start off, I would like to link to one of my favourite bloggers’ latest writings.
I don’t think you could ever know just how much your kind, powerful words of love and truth have helped me in understanding my relationship with Christ. Let’s say I am eternally grateful.
A little over a year ago, I was having major issues of faith. I kept thinking I wasn’t good enough, that I didn’t “feel” saved, that I wasn’t close enough to God, and every single mistake I made left me hating myself. I cried that perhaps God didn’t love me, perhaps I was unknowingly “backslidden” or had fallen away from the faith, because no matter how I tried to close the gap between myself and God I couldn’t see any improvement. Every day I felt anxious and exhausted. So when my final year of high school started, I tried to slowly untangle myself from my faith, or as Bytes puts it, “divorcing Christ.”
And only in actually trying to leave the faith, to fall away, to run from God did I discover the answer to my fears and doubts about whether that was possible. Because I had already fallen in love with Christ once, he already saved me once, so that Still Quiet Voice remained to urge me and guide me. Only when I stopped pursuing God did I realize that He was always pursuing me, that the hatred I felt for myself, the doubts, the fears, none of it was because of Him. His love is perfect and complete and final; only human perception can distort it. That’s not to say we should just abandon Him whenever we feel like it, because we still have to answer to Him at the end of the day, but it is to say that He doesn’t give up on us easily. When I say I was trying to “fall away,” it didn’t mean I went out and threw all my morals out of the window, because my convictions were still there, I just guess you could say I was ignoring God with my head but not with my heart, if that makes any sense. Acknowledging His Will begrudgingly and without giving Him full credit, I suppose is the best way to sum it up.
So how did God bring me back (although I can’t say I really left)? It was through small things at first. Sometimes I would be moved to empathy for someone and be urged to pray for them, and so I did. Sometimes I would be giving someone advice and found myself slipping in Biblical concepts without really bringing up God. Other times I would feel guilty over behaving badly and murmur an apology, not only to the person I had offended but later on as well, when I was alone with my thoughts.
But how it really happened for good is similar to the process I went through before I first became a Christian. I think I mentioned in a post before that I was suffering with anxiety, OCD, and many sleepless nights before God entered my world. This is usually where people assume I was delusional, but people can assume anything they like and it will not change the fact that when I began to pray for relief, God responded and healed me, mind body and soul. No more anxiety; I could finally fall asleep when my head hit the pillow.
Now when I began my first year of university, I had been hit with a new wave of anxiety, only now that I had thought I’d “fallen away,” I didn’t think I’d have God to rely on when my insomnia hit me. So I resorted to other measures: prescription drugs, valerian root extract, meditation, pleasant imagery, Epsom salt baths, etc. Nothing worked. I was still up obsessing over physics concepts, over not being able to keep up in class, and with each night lost it was becoming even harder to learn like I used to. I absolutely cannot stress enough how vital sleep is, for everyone, but especially for students. This idea in student culture that the more nights you stay up studying, the better your grades will be, is not only false, but the complete opposite is true. You need your brain to be functioning properly in order to study BETTER, because you will be able to understand what you are learning faster than you would if you were sleep-deprived. Take care of your brain and you’ll take care of your learning.
Continuing on, one night I sank down on my knees and said, “God, if you can help me get through university – if you can help me recover my sleep – then I will be completely yours after I graduate.” Oh, but that isn’t quite good enough for God, is it? 😉 Because once God heals you in the now, you’re already His patient for life, and you can’t exactly go back to your old manner of doing things in the meantime!
So finally, after another few weeks of sleeplessness, not being able to perform at my best for one of my tests when it was much easier than expected, and feeling lonely even though I had become acquainted with so many friendly people, I realized how futile it was to keep resisting, so I just sat down and said, “Whatever, God, take me as I am and do as You like.” How fortunate that God can do so much with the tiniest bit of vulnerability, the smallest seed of faith. 🙂
People may see that as cruel, that God let me go through so much suffering just to bring me back to Him, but I don’t see it that way at all. In reality, I was the one causing suffering to myself, and in my stubbornness I waited until my absolute most dire moment to fully turn to God and ask for help. I was the one who let it get that bad; God was always there if I had decided to turn to Him sooner.
I can’t say that I’m perfectly back on track now, but I have the assurance that God is there for me not only to turn to, but to guide me. And now I find my studying of science, rather than to help me get a decent job in the future or to help me get marks, to actually be the studying of God’s truths, and the manner in which He built this universe such that I can use these truths to help the people He created.
I hope to keep this blog up weekly from now on, so I can talk more about student life and how it relates to my walk with God.