Monday, January 13, 2014

The Start of a New Chapter

I went back and read a few of my old posts on this blog, and guess what I found? Answers, to tie up loose ends. This new year has started out with potential. It's been very different. I've been reflecting on my past year and on my life, and tonight things have come together to make sense in one big story that I like to call, "The Story of My Life, Ages 0 to 16." There have been good times and bad times- all boiling down to reveal the epic journey of my spiritual life, for this, I believe, is the most real and important aspect of life. With this, in recounting my past near 16 years I have noticed things that I hadn't noticed before. However, not only are these "things" simply individual things, but they all seem to fit together. Tonight I see my life, so far, not as a story in progress, but as a completed story, or chapter, with an end, leaving now the start to the next.

As I read these old posts I was reminded of the girl I was two years ago. At this I... I was many things: Amazed. Alarmed. Disgusted. Thankful. It's crazy to see how much has happened in just two years, and how amazingly far I have come since then!  I am proud to say that I am not the same girl anymore. I'm not that girl who forced danger upon herself in order to cope or to prove something. I'm not that girl who thought she was into emo. I'm not the girl who hated herself without realizing it.

    I had almost forgotten that that was ever me! It's kind of a weird realization, because I would never have       drempt of becoming such a person; I never would have thought I could be, and now, I would never think     of returning there. I'm finding life now, real LIFE, in Christ; I'm learning how to be happy; I'm casting my       cares on Him; I'm starting over; I feel renewed; I AM new!  Finally, I feel as if life is beginning, and as if         I have a place in this world.

Questions were answered (the hard way). Lessons were learned. God and I, we got a little closer. Good stuff in the end, but still, I'm almost startled... I'm trying to soak in the reality of everything that has happened.

I went through a lot internally- emotionally, spiritually and mentally. I don't know what else to say except that... wow. I'm happy.... I'm amazed at my story. My life story is crazy; it's like nothing I've ever heard! I'm amazed at what all I learned about God, the world and myself in such a short time. I'm amazed at how God has brought me out of every hole I've dug for myself, and at how He has set me upright finally, offering me a firm foundation, after I left Him countless times to find my own, trying everything.  Every time, in the end it is all the same. Nothing but God works. Every single thing left me empty and dying. I'm amazed that every single time God was there protecting me from something worse, and every single time He was there in the end, loving me and reaching His hand down to help me up.

I've been telling myself recently that it has "taken me an entire year to get over my struggles and finally start a new life in Christ by letting Him help me." Now, after reading posts from years and years ago, reflecting and remembering my entire life thus far,  I feel like it's taken me, not just a year, but nearly 16, to get to this point. My struggles didn't start two years ago. Yeah, some of them did, but people are born in sin, you have issues from day one. And remembering my life now, I see that all my struggles have built up to one end, and recently this "struggle story" has climaxed: Rock bottom, things getting worse and worse, and rock bottom again. Everything begins to make sense and  loose ends are tied, and with this the story resumes in the resolution of the falling action.

I feel like this, the first major "story," "chapter" perhaps, in my life has come to it's end, therefor launching its sequel. Here I am for the first time in my life feeling like I've figured it out!  Such a simple truth that I have replayed in my mind like a broken record for as long as I can remember, and finally it makes sense: God is enough, God is the answer, He is the only way, He is the life. I've always understood this, but now the understanding is so deep that all it is is beautiful, blind faith! No more of this "me, me, me" crap. I realize now that all my life, without really knowing I was doing it, I've been trying to earn God halfway. My faith has been half-hearted, mixed with the underlying idea that I could be my own god. Today I would venture to say that I have a different kind of faith. If nothing else, I am well on my way to getting it.

This past year, for Christmas, I asked God for faith. I felt distant from Him (my own fault really), and I didn't even completely understand what I was asking for. I just said, "God, all I want for Christmas is you. If you want to, give me faith; Real, childlike faith." This may have been the only real prayer I said for quite a while, but I said it often. I went out on a limb and asked Him for something I wasn't sure He'd give, much like the  year before this, Christmas 2012. I did the same sort of thing: I asked God, if He was real, (because evidently I had forgotten),  to help me hate my sin, that I, in all honesty, loved. I actually didn't entirely want Him to answer that prayer, but He did throughout the course of 2013. (Among other things of course, I thought this was really cool. God answered.) Having this experience under my belt, I thought asking for faith this year was well worth the shot. And it was.

As New Years rolled around, I decided to try and reflect on my past year, myself and my life, as I usually do on New Years. This process was kind of delayed and has occurred these last couple weeks instead, but what I did notice then, and even more so now, is that God did indeed answer my Christmas prayer. Again. He is granting me this faith.

 I don't know everything, and I haven't figured out too much, but, in a way I have, because I know that I no longer need to know everything. I can choose to be happy, have faith in God, work towards making Him the center of my life, and let Him direct my path. This is easier said than done, but it's ok. It's the best thing I've ever come across! I have genuinely been a Christian for as long as I can remember, but I've held back from surrendering parts of my life to God, so it's not like my life has been peachy keen since I was four. I feel like I am being very real in saying that "I once was lost, but now am found." This is such a beautiful statement, and it is all that I need to know.  Things are new! My perspectives and motives are different, and, thank God, I am on my way to being different! This new year is a new beginning for me, as I turn 16 and try to figure out my life here in Colorado. Life is an adventure. I'm just happy that I no longer see it as a death trap.