When I was in high school, I did not believe that God was real. I wanted to believe in Him and to love Him, but it just seemed too good to be true. A couple of months after I started college, I attended a student bible study on campus. There I met these kids who loved God and were meeting there voluntarily. Their parents did not make them go! This really must be important to them. That was enough to convince me that God was real.
Shortly after that, I went to my room in college and poured everything in my heart out to God, now that I believed He was real and listening to me. I asked Him to forgive my sins and to come and live in my heart that night. I knew I could do this because Jesus died on the cross for my sins. After this, I was a new person, changed by Him, so thankful to belong to God.
For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 Jn. 1:19
But as I grew in my relationship with God, I had some deeper issues that were keeping me from a more intimate relationship with Him. I did not trust Him enough to allow Him to be in control over every part of me, and this was probably a result of not understanding in my heart how much He really does love me.
My whole life, I have used things to make myself feel good: tv, food, fiction books, going out to eat, vacations, anything I could find. I would try to satisfy myself with these, try to find a little pleasure, a thrill, or comfort. But a couple of years ago, these things stopped working completely. I have always had a tendency towards depression, and when these things stopped working, I was really depressed. I was numb. I felt no joy, not even in the things that used to bring me pleasure.
During this time, God began to show me little glimpses of His love for me, like piercing rays of light in the darkness of depression. I didn’t really believe that He wanted me. Why would He? I am so messed up. Again, it seemed too good to be true. But I was amazed that God was showing me that He really loves me. He wants me. He wants to spend time with me. He desires me. He also was showing me that I could trust Him, that He is gentle and kind with me. He is good and takes perfect care of me, better than I could ever do myself.
Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart…My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matt. 11:28-30
A few months after that, I just decided after the glimpses I had been given of God’s amazing love, that I wanted more of Him. I asked Him, “How can I be close to You all the time?” I was surprised to hear Him clearly say, “Give Me everything.” Now I had known He wanted that for a long time, but I didn’t trust Him. What would He do to me, or what would He ask me to do?!
But as God was showing me how much He loves me, I could decide to trust Him and to give Him everything, asking Him to help me do that. As I wavered back and forth with that decision afterwards when difficult things would come up, God used the following verse to reassure me. He convinced me that even though it didn’t feel like things were good at the moment, His ultimate plan for me is wonderful, better than I could ever come up with on my own!
’I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.’ Jer. 29:11
Since then, I have been completely changed. He has made me fall deeply in love with Him. He has satisfied me, putting Himself in the place of old things through which I used to use to get a temporary thrill. In the process, He has given me a permanent, real satisfaction in Himself. We were made by Him and for Him. Therefore we can only be truly satisfied by Him. He has brought a consistent and steady peace to my life. For the first time ever, I am happy and content. He is always here with me. He is the Love of my life, and no joy or pleasure on earth can compare.
Your love is better than life. Psa. 63:3
God loves you too, beyond anything you could ever imagine. He desires this intimate, love relationship with you as well. But He is a gentleman and will not force His way in. He must be asked. If you have not already, please invite Him into your heart too. You won’t regret it!
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me. Rev. 3:20
(If you want to read more details about this story, read the My Story web page.)