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THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ME



Well, if you’re reading this it means that you probably played a very important role in my life. Maybe a big role, maybe a small one, maybe a long time ago or maybe recent, maybe for a lengthy period of time and maybe for a split second; but none the less: important.

This blog, my first blog, is simply to show you how much can happen in a year. How much change, how much growth, how much refinement can happen in a year. A year ago I made a pivotal, life changing choice. A year ago I was tired of how I was living my life. A year ago I knew I wanted my life to be different. A year ago I changed my life.


After eighteen years of bad choices I finally made a right one. Eighteen  years of knowing God but not really “knowing” God I finally had the strength to let Him in. All the way in. Yes, I said strength, which seems like the wrong word, but it isn’t. I was to weak before to admit I need help, to weak to turn to an everlasting Father to take all the pain and sorrows away. But, finally after eighteen years I gave Him full access.

April 10th, 2016 I woke up to the sound of a church service playing downstairs on the living room TV. I laid there, alone, empty, and honestly depressed. I had just spent the night before crying myself to sleep, I remember it so well because it was  the first time I literally cried until I closed my eyes and drifted off to sleep. I hated how my life turned out, I hated the way I acted towards others and to myself. I wanted something different; something to fill this empty feeling that I was surrounded by. No matter where I was or who I was around I just felt nothing.


I decided to go to the only place I hadn’t been too in a long time, a last resort, a cry for help. I got dressed and went downstairs to tell my parents that I was going to go to church. The look on their faces was complete disbelief, and quite humorous to me now when I think about it. As soon as I sat in my car I began to weep, and I wept all the way to church, and when I went into the sanctuary to find a seat, during worship, during the service and ultimately up till altar call.


I didn’t go down immediately when the pastor made the call, I stood at my seat, crying, and wondering if it would really work. If I could really be different this time, if things really could change for me. Finally I walked down the aisle from the back of the sanctuary to the front, where a lady stood almost as if she was waiting for me. She embraced me and I wept into her shoulder until I had no more tears. I wish I could remember her name, or what she looked like; because if I could I would go up to her and tell her that even though I was crying to loud to her prayer she made an impact on my life. She became a vessel for Jesus in that moment with me, her hugging me was like Jesus himself came to earth just to embrace me and welcome me back into the family. So if you’re out there and you’re reading this and you know who I am, please know that I appreciate you so much. Thank you for taking the time to listen to me and let me cry on you, I have never been the same since that day, and I owe you a piece of that change.


As I started to leave the sanctuary this group of men stopped me and asked to pray over me and then as I approached the front desk to figure out how to get plugged into the church a group of ladies, both behind the desk and in front, asked to pray with me also. I don’t think anyone understood at that moment how much I needed that. A human interaction with Christ-like love was overwhelming for me. For so long I felt so empty and with the matter of two hours I never felt more joy. I went from dead to life.


Before I move on, I want to address this feeling. I needed something, anything for me to feel like there was a purpose and God gave me that feeling. He met me where I was but I had to put in some effort. God meets us half way, we have to be willing to do some of the work. And the work that we have to do, isn’t a lot. For me it was simply getting up out of bed and going to a building where people worship the Lord, and He met me there. However I have no doubts that He would’ve met me anywhere, I just had to cry out to him first.


I started to get plugged in right away, starting with later that very same day. I was able to go hang out with the young adult community at this church and met the people who would later introduce me to the pastor that is not only someone who allows me to work underneath them in their ministry, but has also become a great mentor and friend. But that’s another blog for another time.


From young adults, to women, to youth, to children I was apart of everything. I went from only thinking about myself to spending all my time serving others. I knew I wanted things to be different and I was going to involve myself into everything possible to keep me from going back to the way I was.


I began my freshman year of college as this amazing place affiliated with the same church in which I rededicated and was able to intern there as well. I could write an entire twelve part series of books about all the lessons that I have learned since April 10th, 2016, but for the sake of time I will just tell you one that I have been learning about myself the past few months.


I have been very reflective lately. Since about mid March I have been looking back to who I was compared to who I am now and I am sad to say it took a television show for me to realize how awful of a person I was before Jesus. This particular show focuses on a girl, who through some very unfortunate circumstances is made to feel less than and ultimately takes her own life. While watching this show I realized that I would have been the unfortunate circumstances, I was so cruel to the people around that I was even told my a classmate that my words made the contemplate suicide. My words, my “jokes”, my brutal attacks on people, made someone consider suicide, and you know what the worst part about that is… I don’t even remember who said to me.


I was so selfish and prideful that I can’t even remember who stood up to me to let me know what I was doing was wrong. I remember thinking that “it wasn’t my problem” if they thought about that. How terrible is that? I was a monster. I had created in myself, a monster. And then I look at who I am now, and I can’t believe that I serve a God so gracious that He killed that monster for me. I will always be in awe of a Father who would do that for me. Kill me so that I could live. Kill off the old to bring in the new.


Please, if you are reading this and I ever cut you deep with my words and actions towards you, if I ever made you feel less than or made you contemplate suicide, or even if you are the person who said that to me. I am so sorry. I could say it a thousand times and it would never be enough, but I am asking you to forgive me. It’s no excuse but I was lost then, and now I have found a new life, made whole in Jesus Christ. I truly am so sorry for what I have done in my life, but I am so grateful to Jesus and for Him rescuing me from the pit I dug for myself. I hope that one day you can forgive me for who I was, and accept the same thing that I was given: Jesus.


A lot can happen in a year. The solar system rotates around the sun in a year. It takes a whole year of pay checks before it’s time to file your taxes, and sometimes it takes a whole year to get your refund money (or so it seems), and you can even change who are completely in a year. I’ve been this thing a whole year, three hundred and sixty-five days of reflection, repentance, and motion. A whole year of growing instead of withering. A whole year of discovering who I am, and who I was made to me. And a whole year of striving after the only thing that ever mattered, thank you Jesus for believing in my before I believed in You.


Here’s to many more years.

-V

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