It's that time of the month again. The heart shape candies are placed on store shelves, stuffed teddy bears are sold at outrageous prices, and the overflow of red roses seem to be on every street corner. Once again, it is the month of reminding myself, that I let myself stay single. Yes, let myself stay single. A promise I made to myself and god, about two years ago now. Why would you do that to yourself? Don't you want a companion? I am sure that's what half of you are thinking. I ask myself these same questions at times. The struggles real. That's just me being honest with you all. However, two years ago, it felt like the right commitment to make. I was a young freshman in college; young, (still young) wild, party child in need of learning to self-love, instead of looking to find love in the next boy I would sleep with. I committed to bettering myself and my relationship with Jesus before any physical relationship with a guy.
Before this commitment I would boy hop and sleep around. My friends knew me as the "Non-Committer" friend, when it came to dating and boys. It was a life that consumed me in every aspect. My reckless behavior lead to me waking up many mornings, questioning my self-worth and trying to make excuses for my behavior. I let my past and childhood be an excuse. The fact my parents weren't quite around, I came from abusive background, nobody cared, etc. I believed my own excuses, until one day, I saw my excuses got me into a situation that wasn't undoable. My faith I once ran from was the only thing I could run back to now.
I knew Jesus from young age. You know the typical kids church service, with a message, and apple juice and gold fish crackers. I even grew up going to church camp every summer. I asked him into my heart at, Sugar Pine Christian Camps in 2004, at the age of eight. I knew he loved me, I just wanted to feel love. I thought I knew Jesus. Turns out I didn't know Jesus; I just knew of him. I knew he loved me, but I didn't know the depth and sacrifice of how much he loved me. Jesus was a true gentleman. He loved with no requirements or judgment. I wouldn't realize any of that until I made an active life choice to start following him as I got older.
1 John 3:1,"See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him."
In my child mind, I thought once I accepted Jesus into my life that summer at church camp, I wouldn't feel as lonely, my emptiness inside would go away and I would live a joyful life. Problem free and heart break free. That didn't happen. I turned from Jesus and that's when I made my own life choices. I thought that love people talked about he gave, would never be a part of my life. It was a myth.
The first step in the right direction is always the right step leading to somewhere. That's the step I made when I decided to start going to church and follow him again. This time I got what I didn't get when I was eight years old that summer in 2004. If you want to feel that love from Jesus, you need to actively pursue after him. Read his word, it's right in our bible's, play your favorite worship band and actively release all your burdens to him as you worship, and know in your heart that he knows best. He truly wants the best for us. Jesus didn't promise us a carefree, painless life, he promised us, he would see us thru our trials and wouldn't leave us. He wants to better us in the trials, to grow us as individual's and Christians.
Deuteronomy 31:6,"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”
As my heart changed towards Jesus, I realized I was falling in love with a man, I once hated and blamed for event's in my life. As one of my teachers told me," everyone has their own life experiences, that shapes them into who they are." It's true. Jesus uses these life experiences to pursue us more, to say, I know your hurting, just follow me. Let me take your burdens and make them lighter for you.
Matthew 11:30,"For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."
See friends, Jesus knows every hurt and wound, but, just like a true gentleman will do he won't force you to come to him, he will lovingly keep reaching out to you, to say, I am here. Choosing Jesus as my first love wasn't the easiest thing to do at first, but it became the best choice I made. Now, I live for him, because he chose to live for me, even thou he knew he was going to die. That's true love. Love that sacrifices for one another. Chose him. It's not easy. Boys are and will always be a distraction, I am not perfect either. No one is. When you fall, just get back up again. His grace is new every morning.
Galatians 2:20," I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
Written By: Vanessa