Some of you may know that the message of hope is a very important topic to me. And a few know why I genuinely get upset when I hear that people give up in their faith and in themselves. I’ve wanted to talk about hope for a very long time but I just haven’t been able to really word out what I have to say about it. But, after reading the entire (yes, I said entire) new testament and a few notes here and there, I can finally make a blog post about it-two to be exact! So, before I get into all the good stuff, I should at least fill some of you in with my testimony and why hope has really stuck onto me the past two years.
I’ll make my younger days short and sweet-sister died in 2007 and then my Mom died in 2009 of lung cancer. I was a really shy kid and my family was originally catholic because of my Mom. So once my sister died, things were really tough for me. I looked up to her so her absence took a toll on my life and still does to this day. My Mom dying was something I never thought would happen. I remember when she called me and told me that she had cancer she told me the doctors would take care of her and she’d be okay. And I trusted her on that. I trusted the doctors that told me the same thing. So when she died only three months later, a lot of trust was broken. I felt betrayed and alone. All I could think about was how they promised it would be okay and it wasn’t. Because of my Mom’s death, we just gave up on being catholic. We knew God existed and all but we didn’t even bother with religion. So fast forwarding to 2012, I was fighting with my Dad a lot and the death of both my Mom and my sister had hit me hard that year. I looked to self harm, alcohol, and cigarettes to drown out how I felt. I was angry at God. Like REALLY angry with him. I questioned if he even existed because at that point I was pretty sure he was just some made-up creation. So from that point, I was living the atheist life. The summer led to more alcohol, more cigarettes, attempts of suicide, medication that I literally ate like candy, therapists I couldn’t trust with my problems, and a hell lot of tears. I was a mess. Luckily, there was one friend who guided me to the path I should’ve been on this whole time. In mid-October of 2012, I stood before the altar as God told me that if I gave him my life and left everything before him he’d make me new. And at that point, I knew I wasn’t hallucinating. At least now I know that. Since then, I have been off my anti-depressants for a year now and no longer attend therapy. My life has completely been flipped around. And because of the things I’ve experienced, my eyes have been opened to the hope that is in Jesus.
Now let me make some things clear:
– He is NOT some distant thing. Months before I considered myself atheist, I questioned where he was when all of this was going on. Like, if he really loved me, would he have let this all happened to me? Did he just sit there and laugh while I suffered and basically held a blade against my arm every other day? Like really, where was he? One of the things he told me was that he was there the whole time. He never left my side. Not even for a second. You could say I made a trail of tears that led to him (lol).
– He is NOT letting you suffer. You know what they say, “you can’t make a rainbow without a little rain”. And that’s absolutely true. He is guiding you to the path he has set out for you. He loves you SO much. I mean, he sacrificed his ONE AND ONLY SON for US! If that doesn’t scream “Hey, I frickn’ love you to death”, then I don’t know what does.
–Most importantly, everything DOES happen for a reason. He has a plan for you. He has everything under control. He does not do it for his own entertainment. Romans 8:18, my favorite verse of all time, says “I consider our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us”. Another one of my favorites that I think goes hand-in-hand with Romans 8:18 is 1 Peter 4:12-13 which says: “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But REJOICE that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed”. Yep, you read that correctly. REJOICE. I’m not kidding. I cannot explain the feeling of joy I had when I accepted Jesus into my life once again. It is a feeling that cannot be described. It just feels like the chains binding you were set free. Its like when you get home and you put down your heavy backpack after carrying it on your back for so long. It’s amazing.
There is so much more I could say but I’ll just save that for future conversations.
If any of you feel like me in 2012 at the moment, believe me when I say that he is right by your side. He smiles at the thought of your name. And while you may not believe in him, he believes in you.
He has plans for you.
YOU HAVE A PURPOSE. YOU MATTER.