I was raised in a Christian home where we went to church every Sunday. It wasn’t until I was in 7th grade that I internalized the concept of actually having an intimate relationship with God’s Son. I heard the sermons every week about being, “born-again,” and “giving your life to Jesus.” Honestly, I thought it was bogus that I could begin a relationship with an invisible being – I had never even had a relationship with boy before!
I dug into figuring out what I wanted to believe. I was terrified of what would happen to me after death, and wanted ensure that I wouldn’t end up in Hell. I acknowledged that there was a Heaven and a Hell, but I wasn’t quite sure how to bridge that gap.
It wasn’t until I really began investigating the Bible, learning more about Jesus, and figuring out why the hell He bothered to care about having a relationship with me.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. -Romans 6:23
God created me in His exact image. However, the first generation of humans (Adam & Eve) disobeyed God’s only command (not to eat from the Tree of Life), and therefore were exiled from the eternal kingdom of God.
Hundreds upon hundreds of years passed while generation after generation were forced to make blood sacrifices in order to atone for their sins. However, in spite of human sinfulness, followers of God held on to the hope that someday they would be delivered. Prophets foresaw a Deliverer that would come to erase sins – past, present, and future.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16
He provided the bridge between human sinfulness and His infinite holiness by sending His Son to be the blood sacrifice for all human sins – past, present, and future – fulfilling over 300 Old Testament prophecies.
If that’s not enough, the fact that Jesus wanted to have a personal and intimate relationship with me was enough to push me to figure out how to begin relationship with this guy.
I learned about his passion for me, and realized that there was no way I could ever be perfect enough to make it to heaven on my own merit.
Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead. – Philippians 3:8-11
This made sense to me, and I committed my life to my sweet Jesus when I was 12 years old.
Three years later, I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa. While in the midst of my battle of this life-threatening illness, I re-committed my life to Him. I hated the label, “anorexic” more than I’m able to express in mere words, and the fact that I could have the freedom to label myself as His child, friend, and bride was beautifully refreshing to me.
He reminded me that it didn’t so much matter who I was, but rather who He was, is, and forever will be.
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Several years later, I recommitted my life to Him yet again. I was sitting in church listening to a sermon about desiring God. The pastor was talking about the extent and lengths that Jesus takes to pursue us. The pastor also talked about how brokenhearted He becomes when we chose to ignore him. All I could think of was how Adam made me feel when he went back to Europe. I would wake up at crazy hours of the night so I could see him on Skype, but he never reciprocated my efforts. I was entirely heartbroken when he found an European girlfriend months later. I knew what rejection felt like, and I couldn’t imagine doing that intentionally to another person, let alone Jesus Christ.
What’s the point of working towards something when really that, “something” isn’t anything much at all? Without a doubt in my soul, Jesus is the reason I get up each day, He’s the reason I act the way I do, and the reason I love as deeply as I do. He makes my life worth living.