Jesus Ruined My Life
Posted on June 22, 2016
I was the girl who wanted everyone to believe that she was happy and strong. That she was capable. That she was independent and able. I was the girl who wasn’t going to just exist, but was determined to make something of herself. I was the girl who refused to let her past predict the outcome of her future. I was the girl who wanted everyone to believe that she had it all together. And for the most part, they did.
No one was ever allowed to come too close. The closer they were, the easier it was for them to hurt me. Closeness only came from a distance. No one was allowed to know who I really was; not even my family was given full access. There were many parts of me that I protected and hid from the rest of the world. It was just safer that way.
When the day came to an end and I was home alone, the façade was no longer necessary during the night. That’s when the mask came off. What no one knew, was that I was the girl who was lonely. I was the girl who was deeply wounded and scarred. I was the girl who was so heartbroken, sad, angry, and depressed. I was the girl who felt abandoned and alone, like an orphan. I was the girl who thought she was damaged, broken and not worth truly being known. I was the girl who would cry in secret, because my pain ran deep. I was the girl who thought that maybe, just maybe, this was all pointless and hopeless. My true self, was the girl no one knew.
I know I’m not the only one who has been that girl. Perhaps, you are that girl.
But I’m not her anymore.
I didn’t have a friend trying to love me to Christ and there wasn’t an evangelist of any sort telling me why I needed Jesus. That isn’t my story. I actually grew up going to church and had knowledge of who Jesus was. That seed had been planted pretty early on in my life. But by the age of fifteen, life had become so chaotic and painful that I decided either God didn’t care or He didn’t exist. There was no other option. Those were the two lies I told myself and those lies hung around inside my heart for several years. I wanted nothing to do with the LORD, because I saw a lot of hypocrisy and was confused about what the truth really was. I decided to go the way of the world, because it was easier for me to digest. It was just safer that way.
Then Jesus ruined my life.
February 28, 2008.
I had gone to Las Vegas celebrating my sister’s wedding. For some reason, I was having a hard time enjoying myself from the minute we landed, but I tried to shake the feeling of being out of place. The second night there, I was standing in the middle of a casino floor and my heart felt heavy and I couldn’t understand why. I mean, my sister had just married her best friend and I wanted to enjoy the party! But as I stood there, something didn’t feel right.
Then I heard it.
A still, small voice coming from a part of my soul that I didn’t know existed. The voice was clear and audible, like someone was speaking directly to me from up close, but it hadn’t come from anywhere in the room itself. It was as if this voice had pushed and shoved its way to the very front of my heart, momentarily drowning out all other noise in existence. I heard only four words, but they changed my life forever, “You don’t belong here.” There was no one next to me, no one in front or behind me, and it certainly wasn’t my voice. Then I knew. I knew exactly who it was that had spoken those words to my heart and I knew immediately that my world would never be the same. He had just called me to Himself. He had just called me to come home to Him.
I was overwhelmed because suddenly, I felt known. Someone knew everything about me. He saw me standing there in the world, trying to fake my happiness. He was telling me I wouldn’t find it there because it’s not where I belonged. I belonged with Him. For the first time in my life, I felt safe. I didn’t need to hide anymore. Within those few seconds, He ruined the life that I tried to make others believe that I was living. He ruined the life that I tried to convince myself that I was living. And He turned it upside down, in that single, solitary moment.
When I returned home from that trip, the trajectory of my heart completely changed direction. Suddenly, I went from wanting nothing to do with Him, to being desperate to know Him. I wanted to know everything I could about the God who had just called me to Himself. The God who found me standing on a casino floor and told me I was His. Almost overnight, I went from pursuing my own goals and aspirations for life, to laying everything down and walking away to follow Him. He was now my pursuit and nothing else mattered. He was now my greatest desire. My heart wanted nothing more than Him alone. To know Him, to obey Him, to love Him with everything I had inside of me. To abandon all, surrender all, and to follow Him. And it was worth it.
I am no longer the girl who tries to be stronger than she is, because I have a Savior who is strong enough for me. I am no longer the girl that is lonely, because I have a friend in Jesus. I am no longer the girl who feels abandoned, because I have a Father who calls me, Daughter. I am no longer the girl with the heart of opened wounds, because I have a Healer. I am no longer the girl who is angry, because I have received forgiveness and have learned how to forgive. I am no longer the girl who feels damaged and broken, because my Restorer has put me back together. I am no longer the girl who cries in secret, because He has lifted up my face and given me joy. I am no longer the girl who is unknown, because He has called me by name. I am no longer the girl who is afraid of being vulnerable, because Jesus is safe.
This is my story. Not everyone will hear the audible voice of the Lord, like I did. This is just the way He spoke to me; it’s the way He knew I’d hear Him and would listen. It may not look the same for you, but His voice still speaks. It might be loud or maybe even a whisper. He may use a friend, a total stranger, a pastor at a church, or possibly someone on the television to speak to your heart. You may feel an unexplainable nudge to cry out to Him, although you’ve never done so before and you don’t know much about Him. You may feel your heart beating out of your chest when someone invites you to go to church or when a preacher invites you to ask Jesus into your life. Or even just at the mere mention of His name makes you curious, but you hesitate. You may still be in a place where you don’t think you need Him. Maybe you resist because you’re afraid, or assume you can continue doing life on your own. I too, tried life without Him. I too, believed I didn’t need Him. I was wrong. Don’t ignore the pounding heart inside your chest or the unexplainable nudge to call on Him. Respond to Him, cling to Him and seek to know Him, because He’s worth it. He’s worth all of it. Let Him ruin your life.