So I'm sitting here working on a major paper for a class, and God urged me to stop and share what all he has been doing in my life.
For the past couple of years, I have been in what I can only describe as a "period of mourning." It has been characterized by a lot of self-reflection and confusion about things that had happened in my past and how they were affecting my relationships in the present day. For two years I have been beaten down by the pains of suffering, holding on to the hope that God would one day pull me out of the miry pit.
Last summer I hit rock bottom. Looking back to journal entries, it was a gradual backsliding. Although a leader in the church, I found myself not believing in a God who saves and comforts. I had grown an aversion towards my Savior and that brings tears to my eyes as I write. I hated myself, what I thought God had made me and thought there was no way out. I was wrong.
Sitting on a couch with a good friend, I confessed unbearable sins and through his forgiveness I was able to start a hard and long journey of healing. Within weeks of that conversation, my girlfriend and I ended our year and a half relationship and I went into counseling. It was there that I first allowed God to truly love and accept me. I had never fully embraced God's love and therefore never trusted Him.
It has been a hell of a year, experiencing the loss of a grandfather, a great aunt, and my first love. But in the midst of it, I started seminary because I knew God would shape me for the benefit of others.
In the past few days, and for no particular reason that I can see, God has solidified within me who I am. My mother asked me to put into words who I am and here it is: My heart is not on this earth. It is not with another person or with other people. It is with God. And it is in Him that I find my love, trust, and acceptance. I no longer turn to others for such satisfaction.
I don't know how this strikes you, but for me there is no liberty like what I feel right now. To know that I am a child of God with no limits and no restrictions. I do not have to perform for my God. He loves me in my sin. He loves me in my devotion to Him. There is no freedom like this.
If you are reading this and longing for this kind of freedom, know that it may not come quickly and it might take a true period of suffering and pain to get there. But know that living in His presence is completely worth the suffocation in the miry pit.
This period of my time can be summed up in Psalm 40:1 which says, "I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry." God does hear you when you cry out. He does answer your prayers. And He is our hope.