I remember it like it was yesterday although every time I think about it it is like watching someone else’s life, the main character I don’t recognise as myself. But she was me. That girl smoking the hardest weed with Rastas after a football match. That girl drunk for three weeks straight, hungover in church, avoiding my family. That was me, that girl who fell into the arms of any sweet-looking man who could make me feel loved. That girl who literally didn’t believe there was a single person on the earth who loved me. That girl who seemed like she was dancing like no one was watching but truly I was trying to shake off the leeching pain that was sucking me dry. That girl who was the life of the party because she was high, drunk and ‘free spirited’ yet who felt void of any life. That was me. Key word. Was. She was and never is to be again.
In the midst of the excessive partying, debauchery and philandering, I came across a verses in the Bible, Galatians 5:19-23:
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.
You see, I was at the edge of myself. I was having the time of my life but it left me, night by night, with starvation pangs. I was filling myself up with stuff that never seemed to satisfy me. Being high and drunk numbed me but I was left with a headache and a heartache every time. Being with attractive, fun men was flattering for a second but I was detached and the good feelings never made their way to my desperate heart. The partying and the popularity was thrilling, until the night was over, the buzz wore off, and the dark cloud of despair returned. The things I thought would satisfy me in reality drained me, killed my spirit and embittered me. So this verse really rung true with me.
If this stuff wasn’t satisfying, then what was?
This verse showed me that not only are these things unsatisfying, they are the greatest antagonists to satisfaction. They are life-diminishing not life-giving. The things we seek to satisfy ourselves are not just leaving us empty, they are taking away the very things we seek — joy, love and life.
I had a choice and it was black and white.
Pursue Jesus and have life.
Pursue the desires of my flesh and slowly die.
The correct choice was clear and because the world had consistently failed to fill me up, I ran into the arms of Jesus with every bit of stride and strength I had left in me.
It was the best decision I have ever made.
You may be wondering what got me into that ‘dark place’. Well something I thought was terrible happened in my family and it coincided with major failures in my life that left me feeling worthless and lonely. That’s just one person’s story though. I’ve never met a person who wasn’t struggling with something with their family, relationship, career, self-esteem or the countless other ways the brokenness of this world has its effect on us.
Facebook and Instagram can’t cover up the way we feel inside. If you are struggling, don’t compare yourself to others or try to match the lives of others who are only showing you the good bits. It’s okay to struggle. We are ALL struggling. I have no qualms sharing my story because I know that there are millions out there who have very similar experiences.
When we choose to believe in Jesus our old self dies with Him on the cross and we are raised with Him to new life.
You see my circumstances did not change when I chose Jesus. The tragedy in my family still existed. It was ongoing. And I still struggled with the belief that nobody truly loved who I was. But I didn’t need those things to change because I had changed. Jesus had changed me. And it was and continues to be, intensely satisfying.
That’s why, almost ten years after that experience, I cried when listening to the song by Stormzy called Blinded By Your Grace. When I say cry I mean bawled — puppy dog tears!! I cried because:
- His Grace is truly amazing. I didn’t deserve His forgiveness and love but He gave it to me anyway. The weed and alcohol hardly left my system before He lovingly filled me with His Holy Spirit.
- Jesus truly fixes your life. He SAVES your life. However low you’ve gotten. Don’t look anywhere else. It’s incredible how He transforms. Reach out to Him. You cannot imagine how amazing it will be.
- Stormzy used His platform to give glory to God. AMEN! That is so beautiful. I want to do this so badly. He really inspired me to write this blog.
- Everyone is broken. Don’t fear it. Don’t hide it. Don’t put a bandage on it. Don’t cry alone. It’s ok. Let Jesus fix you :)
- The video relays how wonderful Jesus makes you feel when you’re close to Him. The joy that comes from the Holy Spirit is REAL. When I see someone running slowly towards the sun and smiling I literally feel like that represents how I feel in my soul.
MY GOD! HOW I LOVE YOU.
YOU’VE RESCUED ME.
YOU LOVE ME LIKE CRAZY.
In Your Name Jesus, do the same for everyone reading this blog. Amen.
Jesus loves you :)
Check out Stormzy’s video…