It can be hard to truly grasp that a testimony often doesn’t mean a full-fledged life story, but rather the open acknowledgement of a particular fact. This fact in my life is my story of grace; the one that has always been true, but that I only truly first acknowledged a few years ago.
The beginning of the story is basically this: I have always defined myself as being a “good girl.” The girl who never drank before 21, who never had sex until marriage, who went to church every Sunday and who served on the leadership team at her church in college. All outward signs pointed to being a “good” Christian, but inwardly I was lost, confused and hurting. I was trying all the time to better myself, but never felt like any of it was enough. Luke 18:19 was totally lost on me: “And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.’”
Around the same time I got married I also moved to the Dallas area. My husband and I started to attend a church, and the hearts of the people there were clearly transformed by the grace of Jesus. For the first time I saw people who did not care about the right church answers, but who truly trusted and acknowledged God’s truth in their lives. I began to question motives in everything I did – was it for me, or was it to glorify God? The scary thing was the answers all lead to my own self-glorification.
No wonder I felt unfulfilled.
Fast forward a few years. My husband and I had suffered a terrible miscarriage, both of my grandfathers passed away, and the church plant we had poured ourselves into was closing down. I was pregnant again at the time, and scared every day that I was going to lose this baby too. I was working full-time and writing my blog religiously every day, in addition to active engagement in every social media medium you can imagine. I was exhausted and scared, and once again relying on myself to fulfill the desires of my own heart. Looking back now I was once again working to glorify myself, a mission that was yielding empty results. The desires of my heart were not in sync with the desires the Lord was placing on me (Psalm 37:4), and the struggle again that only exhausted me more.
I can’t pinpoint a specific turning point; God was using several relationships and instances in my life to gently guide me back to him. However, when my son was born I started to view the world very differently. It became easier to name evil for what it is and to stay away from things that suck the life out of me. I also realized that just wanting him to have a relationship with God wasn’t enough – my husband and I were going to have to live that out.
I started to dive back into the Bible with the amazing She Reads Truth community. Rather than trying to be “good” and do the right things, I saw once again that true fulfillment can only come from having a relationship with God and nothing else. If I really wanted to be happy I had to give it to God. I needed to glorify him. And I needed to acknowledge and accept the grace that He so freely gives – that he DIED for.
It can be hard at times to root myself out and allow God to plant the seeds of His desires for my life, but I find that when that happens are the times that I overflow with joy. I feel like I’ve finally begun to truly live! I know that hard times will continue to come, but trusting in the hope of Jesus and living Romans 12:12 (“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer”) are where my heart has found its new home!
// Heather’s Blog //