May 1, 2017

Back In The Day…

Posted in true story, Uncategorized tagged , , at 6:39 am by Broken & Brave

When I was a college student I stopped going to church.

Both my parents were found by God in a radical way when I was about four years old. They both dove right in and remained faithful to Him. As a result I had attended church my entire life and I vividly remember the day I accepted Christ as my Savior. It is burned on my heart and soul like a glorious flower. It was a proud and fine hour for me as a young child. By the time I was a Senior in High School, for an accumulation of reasons which had not too much to do with God and a lot to do with observations and people–when I moved away from home I decided I’d try living without it for a bit.

I always knew I loved God. Always. I actually felt very close to him. I could discern His Presence and had Comfort in that. I didn’t doubt Him. I guess I treated Him like a friend you move away from and remain friends, but lose touch just a bit. We didn’t talk as much. I didn’t read His letter (the Word) and I didn’t respond when He put other college student Believers in my Path.

The Holy Spirit is such an incredible Gentleman. He left me alone without ever leaving me. He gave me my space and allowed me enormous grace.

I have always been kind of a morally responsible person. Growing up adults always guessed me a year to two older than I was. It wasn’t because I looked older–I actually always looked younger than my age. No, it was because I held such responsibility. I took things seriously and possessed focus intentionality. Because of this I didn’t get into too much trouble in my time away from God. I was a college student and had fun don’t get me wrong. But in comparison to other students I was always the mellow one who went to bed too early and didn’t drink enough. But in my heart I knew I was failing the plumpline designed for my life and so I elected to never tell anyone how I believed in Christ–that I was a Christian. Despite being backsliden I didn’t want to dishonor His name by my lifestyle.

By Springtime of my senior year of college I carried 19 units in a quarter system school (unheard of load of coursework), I studied my butt off (school never came effortlessly for me) and had the best grades of my life, my first 4.0 GPA and a cumulative of 3.4 (that’s a B average in a very academically competitive school- I always considered this kind of miraculous in itself).

I  felt good about my hard work because it was hard earned, but I began to horribly miss my friend. I grew enormously lonely despite never being alone–always people around when you’re in college. I tend to love my quiet space and retreat to myself. I always made sure I had my own room in school so I could do just that. But even in my retreating I could feel my heart bleeding for the One who bled for me.

I began to pray to Him more and share my heart. I tried reading the Bible, but there was always something to come against this effort and so hadn’t the resilience to press through. So I was content just to talk to Him and I asked Him for help coming back because I knew I lacked strength to do it alone.

I knew I had quality character, but what I lacked was STRENGTH of character. My spiritual roots weren’t very deep.

He began to surround me with new people in classes who were very friendly toward me and I wondered why until they began inviting me to campus ministry. God was answering my prayer. I was so scared to take that step back to Him. I was honest and so I would explain to these peers that I had prayed for this but was too afraid so please keep praying for me, but I’m not going to come with you.

My problem was I loved, LOVED God. But I just wasn’t so sure how I felt about Church or religion I guess.

I didn’t really dive back in until after I graduated college. About a month after graduation God sent His Holy Spirit and I encountered God in the most breath taking way. It was just me and Him. I adore my faithful friend and ever since then I adore the ministry of His Spirit He left as our Counselor. He began to heal my heart for the Church by putting a Pastor in my life who was the first Pastor I ever met who seemed totally free of religion and was so open to “God is the same yesterday, today an FOREVER and He is the God who did all those cool miracles in the Bible and He can still do them today. Who am I to say what He can or can’t do.” It was breath taking and refreshing and I received enormous break through!

Have you known God, but been away a while? Are you disenchanted with church or formal “religion”. It’s ok. I used to be that way, too. God knows your heart and He wants to mend it for you. We all fall short of His Glory. We all misunderstand His Purposes as Times. We are all growing and learning. Don’t lose Faith. Reach out to Him today.

He is a friend worth knowing.

I still Believe…



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