“Will I ever be able to satisfy myself? by working harder, pushing furthers, sacrificing more?” I once wrote that this “is the question that plagues me, that torments me, and that has made me sick to my stomach.”
And so it did for the first several months of my freshman year in high school. And not many people knew it. My family certainly did. My mother attributed it to nerves. And in fact it probably was a proper diagnosis, since I had been tormenting myself over not taking the most advanced classes in high school. See at the time, academics were my life. Sometimes I look back and laugh at it, while other times I question whether it was worth the agony and the anxiety that I faced. But, throughout my four years in high school I learned to depend on God. He was always faithful.
I did end up taking all the upper level courses and becoming valedictorian of my class with a 3.97 gpa, which being less than a perfect 4.0 was unheard of in previous years. As I look back today, I see how God was the one playing the chess board. He moved all the pieces so elegantly, so everything would turn out how He wanted it. I must give Him the glory.
There was a time in my life when I used to disparage that my testimony would never be an amazing one, since I have grown up in a Christian family and accepted Christ as my savior at a young age. But certainly now as I look back I can see traces of God weaving their way into my life in ways I never would have conceived.
When I was 12, I attended summer camp, much like I did for several years before. I started coming every year since the fourth grade and I loved it every year. It was a Christian camp, but as a child ,and having the attention span of a goldfish, I remembered only the games we played and the initiatives we solved, not the Bible lessons learned. But it was the year I was 12 that had the most impact on me. At the end of another enjoyable week, my counselor Barbet (they all had “bird names”) pulled me aside for a “one-on-one” to discuss my spiritual life. And she asked me the simple question “How is your walk going?” to which I replied with a typical church-kid answer that I try to read my Bible and pray when I can. This of course was all false and I realized that. I knew reading my Bible and praying were the right thing to do, but whether I was actually doing it was another matter. And so that was my moment of enlightenment. I saw that I was in fact at a stand-still with Christ. We weren’t “walking” anywhere. And what if I actually did read my Bible and not just pray only before meals? How would this impact my life?
That is when my relationship with Christ took life. He became present like He never had been before. It wasn’t just stories in a book or praying to a distant God. It was up close and personal.
Since then it has been an ongoing relationship. Christ has been the one constant in my life. He was there through my tumultuous highschool years. He came to OSU with me my first year at college, when I acted like a freshman and tested the boundaries and wandered from the path He had set out for me. But He was always there when I came back. I have done things I am ashamed of and yet He is always willing to forgive me and to help me back on the path of righteousness.
And now the question of satisfying myself seems trivial when all I want to do is please Him.
His love is unending. My walk with Him is an ongoing process. I am always learning and stumbling and getting back up again. It is not an easy life to live, but it is for me essential. I have found that without Christ, I am nothing.
“For me to live is Christ, to die is gain” Philippians 1:21