Nov 9th 2012, by Jojo-
My story as a Christian begins like most other Christians’. I grew up in a Christian home and did all the “right” things: I prayed before I ate and when I woke and when I slept, I went to Sunday School, I was nice, I never cussed and I never drank. Before I knew it, I was harboring a “holier than thou” attitude even before I finished high school. I had a great reputation and the more people called me humble from what they see on the outside, the more my pride flared on the inside. And that’s when I decided to leave the church, twice.
The first time I left, I was fifteen and disinterested in God and what He had to say. I also developed a penchant for reading at that time and storybooks were far more interesting to me than the greatest Story ever told. I eventually went back to church, mostly because my best friend kept asking me to go back and, I believe, kept praying for me. The second time I left, I was seventeen and had a personal relationship with God. But it must not have been a deep one because when my pride deceived me and said, “You don’t need the church. It’s just you and God against the world.” I believed it. So, I left.
Fast-forward to my first semester in the United States for my education, I decided to look for a church again, mostly because I wanted friends more than I wanted God. Three months later, I stood at the edge of a cliff that would plummet me into a sinful relationship with a boy. I heard God’s clear voice ring through my every thought, “Don’t do it.” I did it.
I was not surprised when rock bottom came a month later and I still praise God to this day that it did not last longer. Everything fell apart and I was in a complete mess. I waited for God to punish me and confirm my thought that I was now going to go to hell.
I waited and waited and waited. But the moment never came. Instead, God showed me just how much He loved me through the prayer and incredible support from the people around me. I was blown away that my deliberate disobedience was met with immediate redemption by an ever-faithful God. The love of God had hit me left, right and center.
Looking back, I can only describe this life valley as the golden valley. All I had to offer God at the time was my trash, yet God immediately took it and replaced it with gold. He reminded me that this sin, along with the rest of my sins, was what nailed Jesus to the cross for my sake, and I am now blameless, clean and without guilt.
What? A clean record? Even after all I had done? “Yes,” is what He never fails to answer whenever I ask in disbelief. What an amazing God we worship!
1 John 4:19 says, “We love because He first loved us.” After experiencing the tangible and mighty love of God, all I can do now is to love Him back. And I know now why I want to go to church, why I want to pray, why I want to read the Bible, why I want to obey Him. It is because I love Him so, only because He first loved me.