What makes us continue doing what we do? What brings us back?
I’ve always said that going to church doesn’t make you anymore of a Christian than standing in a garage makes you a car. There’s no direct correlation, and if that’s how you think then you’ve got the wrong perception. I’ve been attending church since I was 10yrs old but I didn’t have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. What does that mean? It means that all those years that I thought I was a Christian, I wasn’t & I didn’t even know because I didn’t understand. Being a Christian requires you to know “Christ”. It wasn’t until last year that I came to know Christ on a personal level. So what was I doing for 11 years? I attend church because my parents did, then it was because my friends did. I was that girl at church that always argue against the Bible, that thought she knew everything. I was opinionated, young, stubborn and perhaps arrogant. I somehow thought that my 16 years of life experience made me more knowledgeable and wise than that of the Bible. The older I get, the more I realize that I was wrong. I start thinking back to times where I’ve argued against teachings and beliefs because I wasn’t mature enough to understand it and I thought that my different point-of-view was more sustainable and realistic.
January 2013, Australia Day. I made the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, which was to break up with D. It was one of the most exhausting break ups. We couldn’t burn the bridge, & as much as we said we hate each other, we never did. It felt like we were just throwing fire at each other. After mid May, during a conversation with a friend, I experienced a moment of clarity. From that moment, I met Jesus and I began to pursue Christ. I tried my best to let go of past habits & my old lifestyle, the best way I knew how.. cold turkey. But I kept failing. I put so much pressure on myself, I felt suffocated. But every time I failed, God was still with me & He loved me just the same. He showed me grace & kindness when I least deserved it. I always wondered what was wrong with me. Why couldn’t I just cut off my old lifestyle? Why did I keep relapsing? Why did I keep falling in and out? Was it that my love for God wasn’t enough? But He saw my efforts as I struggled. He knew I was trying and He was pleased. But somewhere down the track I tested God and it became my downfall. I remember sitting at Karaoke & it dawned on me that all my effort trying to change my lifestyle and breaking habits was going to waste as I sat there drinking. It wasn’t just that I was pressured, it was that deep down I wanted to. The old life is so comforting. The fact that I was relapsing into my old habits made me hate myself. Brisbane has always been my sweet escape. It’s where I go to when I just need time to relax and chill. I couldn’t help but think that all the things that were happening was because not just that I was falling back into my old habits, but the fact that I wanted to. & mind you, it was not just the drinking, but multiple other things that I wouldn’t say. Why ruin the effort you’ve made? How far is too far before I can’t stop? When you test God, it shows your lack of respect for Him. & I think I damaged something so fragile- my relationship with God, which in turn stunt my own growth in my walk with Christ.
And that’s the exact reason why I do what I do, why I go to church, more so than I ever have in my life. I’m there every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Sunday & every 2nd Tuesday. Not because I’m a good Christian, but because I want to fix back what I broke. Because I’m seeking so I can find. “Churches should be homes for the broken, not for the righteous.” God asks us to abide in His love. I’m not perfect. In fact, far from it. I make a lot of mistakes & poor decisions. But I will change if I have to to get draw near to Him. Even if I fail, I will keep trying until I get it right. I couldn’t care less about religion but I care about Jesus. At this point in life, I’m starting to understand what it actually means to care about Jesus. It’s difficult and I sure do struggle in my walk with Christ. I feel like a newborn.
Last year was probably my best year as a Christian, only because I made so much effort to change. The year itself was actually pretty crap, with the break-up, the moving out, the moving home, the drives, the friendship groups, the old lifestyle etc. I’ve got to say over the past few years or so before that, I haven’t been the best Christian and anyone that’s not Christian wouldn’t understand.They wouldn’t understand the struggle nor the fight between being who you are called to be and who you want to be in this world. In church you hear a lot of sermons, messages and encouragements. One of the things you are reminded off is that if you are astray, you try to rekindle your passion, your commitment, your love for God.. because He is your first love.
First love, first love.. what does it mean that God is your first love? Then it dawned on me.
I might not be the best Christian, I might not do all the things that I’m supposed to & I’m not a good example for the younger kids at church at all, but the reason I still go to church even though majority of the time, I feel undeserving and dead inside… is to try & find that first love again. I go because sometimes, even if it’s for a split second or a whole day I find my love again in God and it’s all worth it. I raise my hands because I want to surrender to Him. It’s an outward sign of an inward surrender. And it’s not for show. It’s not for others. It’s purely for me to connect with Him. I abide in His love, I go & I serve because I want to remember. I want to find that passion, that commitment, & that love again with God. It’s the chase, knowing that it’s there… but it’s harder to get this time. I would never chase men because men fail you, God doesn’t. God’s love is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. His love is everlasting. I really am the cause of my own heartache. But I’ll keep trying & I’ll never give up because God never gave up on me.