I was curled up in a ball on the floor under an umbrella crying to be rescued. I was isolated and felt alone. I couldn’t focus at work or make a decision to save my life. I was underweight but couldn’t see it. And to make matters worse, I was being bombarded by thoughts of suicide.
Six months before that, I was regularly attending a Bible-based Christian church in the Toronto area. I was involved in ministry, attending young adult meetings and doing all the sorts of things that I had done my entire life. But something was missing. My soul was dissatisfied. On the surface, I was doing and saying all of the right things, but on the inside, I was empty. I was starting to question who I was and what I truly believed. For starters, when was the last time that I had actually thought about Jesus? Not about church, or worship ministry or speaking in tongues, but about my personal relationship with Jesus Christ?
It had been awhile. Yet instead of running to the body of Christ and the truth of God’s Word, I decided to jump ship. I had grown weary of doing what I believed God had called me to do. Serving with the wrong heart motivation will do that to you. All these years later, I still didn’t know who God truly was. And I certainly didn’t know who I was. So instead of the joy of the Lord being my strength, I saw myself as a servant trying unsuccessfully to appease a harsh and demanding God. And in my own mind, I didn’t measure up. I never could.
So, I left. I decided that I could figure this out on my own. I was tired of serving. I was tired of feeling as though no one cared about me. And I was just plain tired.
The reality is that I was terrified of the God that I professed to serve. Rather than a living, breathing relationship with a loving Father, my Christian walk had slowly become a religious list of do’s and don’ts. It was something that I did rather than something that I lived.
Yet, it didn’t start out that way. I had said the ‘sinner’s prayer’ when I was six years old while at Sunday school. The memory is blurry but I do recall feeling a joyful glow.
As a teenager at a new church, I was riddled with unidentified fear. I was insecure beyond belief, yet by the grace of God I managed to take a tiny step of faith. I started going to a youth small group on Sunday mornings. God met me there. I became filled with the Holy Spirit and my life took a radical turn. God had revealed Himself as El Shaddai. He was my shelter from all fear and would never leave me. In response to this wonderful news, my heart overflowed with joy. My life was suddenly filled with passion. I joined the youth choir and dance team. I would pray, read my Bible and worship for hours in my room. I never wanted to leave. I never wanted to stop. But then I did.
You see, somewhere along the line, I had decided that I was going to marry one of my fellow choir members.
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