For the last six years, I’ve wanted so badly to change into a better person, into the best version of myself. Most days I’d look in the mirror and the reflection staring back felt like an empty husk; No soul, no spirit, nothing. That emptiness stayed with me for many years, through my mental illness, through accepting Jesus Christ is my Lord and savior five years ago. My intention for accepting Jesus was selfish, I figured-
“I don’t have to believe or have faith, if I just do this I can change myself and develop into my best self. If i just act like I have faith, if I just pretend to be religious then something is bound to change. People will see me differently.”
Many years passed, I never really opened the bibles I had; The only time I’d open my mouth to pray was when something in my life was going wrong. I never really stepped into church, because I thought I alone knew better, I never turned away from any sins because I thought accepting Jesus meant I could do whatever I wanted and all was forgiven. I treated God like a swiss army knife, small and insignificant until I really needed it. What little I knew about Jesus, and Christianity was from hearing other people speak and taking their opinions as absolute truths. The more my mental illness, emotional instability, and spiritual emptiness grew; A voice in the deepest part of my mind faintly shouted:
“I need to get baptized.“
That’ll fix all my problems; Yes! this is it, the answer I’ve been searching. No longer will I feel lost and confused, no longer will I feel afflicted by my mental illness.
“God I’m going to get baptized, that’s the price I’m paying, so I’m expecting you to fix me.”
I got baptized and nothing changed. Again, I repeated the same cycle, living in sin, no prayer habit, hardly no church, no worshiping God. Whenever something didn’t go my way I’d get angry with God.
“I’m a good person! why me? I’m not hurting anybody, I’m not stealing, why am I the one suffering when those who hurt me flourish?”
Fast forward to the year 2020. The seed of Jesus that was implanted in me years before was still there, but it still had no roots. First, it started with a blog that became a podcast called Develop URself. I started to really focus on my self growth, but in doing that I was taking God further and further out of the equation. I still felt the same, no matter how much time passed, the growth I was seeking, the rebirth I was chasing wasn’t getting any closer. I looked in the mirror one day and that emptiness kept staring back. Then, something changed; My neighbor, a man I didn’t know struck up a conversation with me, after we finished talking a part of me just knew-
“I need to let God in and take control, cause I don’t know what I’m doing.”
I stopped putting myself at the center of the universe, accepted my circumstances, my failures, my selfishness, and my pride. I started realizing there was a lot I was doing wrong in my life and for the first time I truly started to yearn for God. My heart felt a deep sorrow for not knowing God, and the reality of accepting I wasn’t good enough on my own was a weight too heavy to bare. I couldn’t change myself no matter how much I tried. I was seeking rebirth on a level I couldn’t even comprehend, but I finally knew that only God could do it. I was sick and tired of looking in the mirror and seeing a lifeless husk.
“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.” Col 2:7
I wanted to feel alive on the inside, to connect and understand God. Ultimately, it led me to my second baptized, this time In the name of Jesus Christ. Coming out of the water, immediately I felt the change; My mind was quiet, almost like I couldn’t think just yet, my speech was difficult to come out, like I couldn’t talk just yet. A lot of things I thought I’d never live without became insignificant and I gave up on them. I stepped away from this blog and podcast for months trying to piece myself together as this new person. The way I saw the world changed, and it was all thanks to God. All I want to do now is continue seeking spiritual wisdom, gain insight, and grow in the knowledge of the Lord by reading the bible, praying, worshiping, and having fellowship.