I have always known about God. I knew that he loved me and that his Son, Jesus, had died for my sins. I genuinely believed that. For many years of my life I knew about God like I knew about The Beatles, Mother Teresa or Michael Jordan.
Then one day my husband and I were challenged to step up our commitment from one of knowing about Jesus to deeply knowing and then following Him.
The concept of such complete surrender to Jesus gave me pause.
What would it be like to do what He commanded instead of what I wanted to do? No fun, I thought. I would have to do boring things like read the Bible. Sigh. ( I am now endlessly fascinated with the study God’s Word, write a blog called Connecting Dots to God, and serve as the Teaching Director for a Community Bible Study group is excellent evidence for God’s sense of humor!)
Finally, in spite of my childish reservations, I prayed something to the effect of, “I’m in, Lord. I give my life to you.”
My life changed in three surprising ways after that decision.
- I had an immediate and intense desire to learn about God through his Word. I couldn’t get enough of it – still can’t.
- With my growing understanding of truth, I could see the fallacies in which I had believed. Suddenly things that had made perfect sense to me before seemed foolish, or at least questionable. The clarity of solid truth was welcome and refreshing.
- Finally, and most delightfully, in the light of the knowledge of God I discovered myself. This was a big deal for me, for I had not had a clear sense of my unique identity. Oscar Wilde’s quote was true of me: “Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else’s opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.”
I had behaved according to
what I thought others expected
of me rather than what I myself
believed or desired. And I
didn’t know how to find myself.
So God found me.
In the light of His Word and His presence I began to think His thoughts, to adopt His opinions, to quote His passions. Paradoxically, the more I follow my Savior, the more I am free to be myself.
I had hesitated to surrender myself and my desires, which ironically were not even my own. God, in his great goodness, taught me that the only way to find myself was to lose myself in my Him.
In Jesus Christ I have found passion, truth and myself. You can too.
I experienced the truth of Jesus’ words that, “Whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and for the gospel will save it.” (Mark 8:35)
I met Judy Allen while blogging. She challenges me with deep-thought provoking ideas. She holds a BA in Business Administration and a Master of Arts in Communication and Culture. Judy serves as Teaching Director for a Community Bible Study group. She lives in Chicago with her husband and family. You can follow her inspired teaching at Connecting Dots to God.
Judy’s story reminds me of my identity crisis in 2006. When I looked in the mirror, all I saw were flaws and weaknesses. I compared myself to others and my best was never good enough. Finally, one day while on my couch in tears I cried out to God and said, “God….who am I? Why did you make me so sensitive? I don’t like being this way. I don’t like that I cry at the drop of a hat. Why did you make me this way? I want to change.”
Just then, God showed me a beautiful blue and white glass vase with ornate markings on it. The vase had a white handle.
A still-small voice said to me, “You are like this vase, made for a special purpose.”
At that moment, I realized how God saw me…….. Beautiful. Sensitive. A vessel that is to be filled by Him and poured out for others. Special.
From that point on, I have not wished to be someone else or to get rid of my weaknesses. I like how God made me.
And that has made all the difference!
Thank you Judy for sharing your story!