Ok, everyone. I am going to really open up in this post so bear with me if you can...
Years ago, I was on fourth grade, my class was doing Bible, and my teacher was trying to explain faith, comparing it to a desk chair.
"How do you know if that chair will hold you when you sit down? You don't really, your just believe it will."
Well, looking back, that doesn"t even compare, but sitting at my desk, I began to ponder that, something that can be very dangerous.
Then that one, terrible thought came into my mind, "How do I know God is real?"
I instantly was ashamed of that thought, but it was too late. I had lost that innocence each child has when raised in a Christian home, and began to think and ponder, question and doubt.
I even said aloud once, "I hate God." Just to see what would happen.
The mind is a dangerous thing. I was treading deep waters.
That started it all, for I began to live in fear of dying, ashamed of all those terrible thoughts..
I just knew that my faith was no longer strong enough, because of all my doubts and thoughts, and if I died, what would happen?
The end of the world terrified me, and night after night I lay in bed, praying, singing hymns, tears streaming down my face as I begged God to grant me more faith, and to not let me die until I was spiritually ready. A lot of terrified pleas and promises...
I wrote notes to my parents, as it has always been easier for me to write how I feel, and they always assured me that everything was forgiven and washed in the blood of Christ, and gave me all the love and encouragement they could, but it didn't really help.
I was living in fear, pure and simple.
I went from day to day, thinking on nothing but death, dying, and sin, until it practically consumed me.
Nothing anyone told me helped.
I read my Bible, I sang hymns, I prayed endlessly.
The Scriptures always comforted me for a while, as did hymns, but the fears would always come back, and oh, I knew I was too terrible a person to save.
This lasted from fourth grade until I was about fifteen years old.
One day, God suddenly opened up my eyes and told me, "It's all forgiven in the blood of Christ and I love you, and I don't want you to be so unhappy."
It's all forgiven.
For years people had been telling me that, and I wanted to believe it, oh, I did!
But God had to give me that peace and faith.
I couldn't do it myself, no matter how hard I tried, because, believe me, I tried.
And it didn't go away overnight, mind you, even after God revealed it to me.
I still struggled with sleeping, for nights were the worst for me, but I didn't despair and cry this time,
I finally had the peace to say to the devil, "Get thee hence."
And he would go away.
I still struggle at times, and I have to go to my parents to be encouraged and assured, but I don't live in fear anymore.
I know that God will never leave me or forsake me.
The song "Alone Yet Not Alone" sums it up so well for me.
"When my steps are lost and desperate for a guide, I can feel His touch, a soothing presence by my side! Alone, yet not alone. Not forsaken when on my own. I can lean upon His arms and be lifted up from harms.
...If I stumble or if I'm thrown, I'm alone yet not alone. I'm alone, yet not alone!"
I can only thank God for those very trying years of my life, because I can say with confidence that it was because of those years that I feel God closer than ever.
It was all those terrible nights that drew me to His side, and now I know I will never, ever be ripped away.
"How deep the Father's love for us! How vast beyond all measure!"
God bless everyone, and Happy Thanksgiving!