My Redemption Story

In the last post I introduced myself to you, going a little deeper than a simple "about me," but today I want to go even deeper and share my "redemption story," as I like to call it.

I write this story to let others know they're not alone. I write this story to emphasize God's hope, healing, and power. I write this story to encourage you. I write this story to reveal God's amazing grace in my life.

Now I want to get one thing clear: this story isn't about me. This story is about God and His divine wisdom, faithfulness, everlasting love, and His power to heal.

I can't tell my redemption story without bringing in the healing part I mentioned above. For about 5-6 years I struggled with anxiety. I remember it as one of the hardest times of my life. You see, one of the problems that people who deal with anxiety experience is that they cannot accept the fact that everything is "okay." Those who've never struggled with anxiety may not understand this, but those of you who have/had anxiety know exactly what I mean. You could have told me a million times to stop worrying, but that wouldn't make a difference. I needed healing.

Obviously anxiety would have affected me emotionally and physically, but it also affected me spiritually, and that's where my redemption story comes in. I don't recall when the anxiety began, but one of the first moments that pops into my mind is when I was around 8 or 9-years-old and I told my mom that I wanted to invite Jesus into my heart. While discussing it together, my mom asked me if I believed. At that moment the Devil attacked. Do you really believe? Are you absolutely sure? I doubted my belief in God and those doubts lingered all throughout my struggle with anxiety (which, just to make clear, was more than just doubting my faith in God).

After years of dealing with anxiety, Jesus healed me and the doubts fled. I trusted in Jesus and was ready to publicly profess my faith through baptism. I remember that joyous day. For a while I struggled with the fact that I would be "older" getting baptized (I was only 14, but most of my friends and family had been much younger so that's why I considered myself older). For a long time I was afraid of what people would think. Maybe you're older and have never publicly professed your faith in Christ and you're having the same concerns, but hear what I say next: The day I got baptized was one of the happiest days of my life. Suddenly no one else's opinion mattered, and honestly they should only feel joy for you and the Kingdom, but on that day I knew what indescribable peace meant. I was full of joy! When you trust Christ as your Lord and Savior He gives you that peace, that joy. It's real, and I know because I felt it. I still feel it. Christ is my Hope, Redeemer, and Healer. Life isn't always peaches and sunshine, but no matter what is going on I know Jesus' words are true:

So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.
— John 16:22

Don't miss out on this truth! This hope. When I finally see Him I know my heart will rejoice. Many times on this earth He leaves me overwhelmed and in awe of Him, but I know that feeling can't compare to what I'll experience when meeting Him in heaven. This hope gives me peace, true peace...don't miss it.