I don’t know what it is with me and the months Jan-May.
Some people go their entire lives never knowing God’s example of love lived out through another person. They’ve never heard “I’m with you”, or been given grace. They’ve never known what forgiveness looks like, and they always assume they’re being used for what little they have to offer.
This is the greatest tragedy of our world— that one may never know love because we, as followers of Christ, didn’t pursue it. We should be known by our extravagant love.
It’s funny how self fulfilling prophecies work differently for different people.
When I closed my journal for 2012, I ended it with saying that I think 2013 is going to be a year of self-discovery. No more trying to just survive, no more trying to heal, but for the first time - truly figuring out who I am, what I mean, and what I’m going to do with this life.
When I look back over the years of my life, and I remember the most traumatic chapters from it - the chapter where the thing I loved most was taken away from me, the chapter where the thing I loved most walked out on me, and the chapter when the thing I loved most made all my worst nightmares come true, something occurred to me. In each of those instances (that were separated by years), the person I cried out to was the person who loved me most.
It’s funny how, when I was losing what I loved most, the person who came to my rescue was the one who loved me most. No matter what age I was, or how many years had passed, the person who I cried out to was the same.
Thank you God, for making “me” the person “you” loved most. No one can take you from me. You’ll never walk out on me. You’ll never hurt me. I love you.
I think that’s what God wants me to learn this year.
I have this theory.
It’s that deep down all any of us really want is: to be happy.
We want our families to be happy, we want our friends to be happy, we want strangers to be happy, heck we even want depressed people to just be happy!
Three years ago I was the happiest I’d ever been in my life. I had the dream job I had worked my whole life for, my family was doing well, etc., I went to bed each night with a clear conscience, knowing I was a good person, doing good things, every day.
I was a little full of myself and totally unaware of the amount of self-denial I was in. I thought I was happy, because I didn’t know what true happiness felt like. I thought happiness came from things. Achieving things, becoming things, and possessing things (even people).
Three years later, I learned that true happiness for me, looked more like this: losing everything, starting over from scratch, getting a new heart and soul, surviving, suffering, and learning to enjoy life again.
I knew I wasn’t lying to myself anymore, because I wasn’t relying on myself anymore.
True happiness for me, meant finding a deep joy in Christ and trusting Him with my life, instead of resting on my own abilities.
I should have seen the signs coming. If I was at the height of my career, and had all my chit together, why was I sitting at my desk crying because I had a deep aching notion that this wasn’t where I was supposed to be? Why did I go out and buy a guitar? Thinking that maybe I’m supposed to learn how to play, and then God will use me in worship, and then I’ll feel ok? Why did I start acting out in ways I knew were dangerous and spiritually deadly? Was I seeking adventure, excitement or testing God?
My life was perfect, so why wasn’t it enough? Why was I trying to mess it up?
Fast forward six months later, after a disastrous decision to defy God and chase sin, left me alone and on the road to hell - I realized I had no idea what happiness was, or how to ever get it back.
But I tried, recklessly, with everything in me, to find happiness again. I chased dead ends, and suffered soul-crushing destruction in an attempt to regain my life.
These attempts to regain what I thought was happiness, just pushed me further down a dark hole where I found even more self-punishment and pain.
I was a mess and I knew it! I was a far cry from the person I thought I was or would ever be.
A few years later, I woke up from my nightmare.
I came back to God. I prayed, started going back to church, started trying to get my life back together the right way, the healthy way.
I left a job that wasn’t going anywhere and started trying to chase success again.
I was still wrong. I thought I had found a path that would lead me to happiness again, but I was sadly mistaken.
After a few weeks, I found myself more stressed out, depressed, uncertain, and insecure then I had ever been before.
I had made a mistake and I needed to fix it. So after a few short months, I got off that path and headed home.
I sat on my couch, unemployed, scared, and sad - for months. Blogging helped.
I started accepting my fate. I had made my bed and now I was going to have to lie in it. I tried to emotionally and mentally prepare myself to lose everything. again.
Then I started trusting God. I started praying: His will be done over mine, every day.
Slowly but surely, little miracles started happening. Slowly but surely, all the pieces of my life started to fall back into place again.
I found true happiness. I found joy in loving and worshipping God again.
I started doing really healthy and good things, to celebrate Christ resurrecting my life. I went back to school to pursue a dream that had been on my heart for ten years. I let go emotionally of past heartaches. I put boundaries up in current relationships to make sure I didn’t fall again, or cause others to. I started running, and I accepted a job that I may never have accepted in the past. It didn’t come with a fancy title or a fat salary. But that’s okay, because I’m trusting that God’s will is being done.
And now, I’m happy. And it’s one of the greatest gifts God has given me, and the greatest gift I can give to my family.
I don’t have it all figured out. My life isn’t perfect, but I’m proud of it. I’m proud of my new life-in-progress. Because I know, for the first time in my life - I didn’t get me here. So there’s nothing to be arrogant about again, nothing to deceive myself with again. This was all a gift from a Heavenly loving and forgiving Father.
A Father who wants to give His children good gifts and a life they can live to the fullest.
I just realized how funny it is that the word “genesis” is in the word epigenesis, and this is a blog where I write about faith and also happen to be a student studying psychology.
I’ve been studying this fascinating topic called epigenesis in my psychology class on human development.
Basically, the theory of epigenesis states that our DNA isn’t written in stone. That depending on our environments, we can actually alter how our genes are expressed.
Don’t worry I won’t go into any more detail than that and bore you to …..
After spending the last week researching this topic, a realization hit me this morning.
If our DNA isn’t written in stone and we have the power to change our genes based on our environments… that’s a HUGE reason to be excited and hopeful!!!
One thing I’ve noticed, is how funny it is that science conveniently leaves spiritually out of its studies and research.
I’m always trying to think of things through a God perspective and science is trying to get me to think of human development in the absence of God.
So, I want to take my thoughts one step further to say:
Wouldn’t it be something if God could speak to me on this topic. I wonder if He would say:
“So you found a reason to be hopeful huh, with epigenesis? Yea, that was me too, I made your genes rewritable. I’m glad you find that helpful or beneficial.”
To take things one step further, I think God gives us a whole lot more to be hopeful for than just the ability to rewrite our genes.
Yes, through scientific breakthroughs we may discover amazing miraculous things that blow our minds wide open.
But, it can never compare to the hope God wants to give us through his son, Jesus.
There is so much more to life than just “this” life. There’s an entire eternity out there waiting for us. Where not only are our genes rewritable, they’re friggin Resurrected!
I am constantly amazed by God’s power and provisions.
I don’t think I’ll ever cease to be amazed.