I am a lover of many things. It always sounds so cliché when people say that....but really I love dance, photography, my family and friends, among many other things. But I am first and foremost, a Christian and I love Jesus. However, that love hasn't always been easy. I moved from a great church in Youngstown where I was re-baptized and re-committed my life to Christ (hey yo! shout out to The Movement) and moved to Columbus. Shortly after I moved, my long relationship ended and my world was rocked. There I was in a small one-bedroom apartment, in a city where I practically knew no one and I couldn't even find a church family I connected with.
It is safe to say, I was miserable. I didn't want to be there or anywhere anymore. It was a dark time for me. I lost my job, gained a lot of weight I wasn't comfortable with and was utterly depressed. I blamed myself and I'm ashamed to say I blamed God. How could I once have so much, and then be knocked so far down?
Then one night, coming home from a long day, I mozied up my stairs to find a door hanger on my apartment door from a church called "Rock City." I had tried a few other churches but didn't feel like they were the right fit for me. So I decided to attend a service at Rock City and I knew I was home.
I started going more often, volunteering and even joined a Life Group, where we gathered once a week and discussed the word, our faith and struggles. We essentially just live and experience life together. It was a wonderful and fulfilling feeling for me.
But life happens, right? We get caught up in relationships, busy with work and other commitments. I got into a relationship with someone who didn't quite share the same beliefs I had on faith. He'd ask me often about my faith, curious about what got me to trust in God so deeply. I said, "He's the one who rescued my soul. He saved me and brought me out of my pain in 2015 and back onto higher ground. He fixes me, molds me and shapes me into who I am supposed to be." But in that moment and moments after, I realized I wasn't giving God enough of my full attention and commitment. I was distracted. After all He has done for me, I wasn't thanking Him and praising Him as I knew I should be.
Too much time passed. It got away from me and I truly believe God wrecks our plans before they wreck us. Once again, my plans were wrecked. He reminded me that his ways are higher than my ways. He knew I was getting away from him and he brought me back. I heard him say, "Focus on me."
And so I did. With help from my parents, and my close friends, I picked myself back up and started over. My Life Group graciously accepted me back into their homes and their lives. My church graciously allowed me to get back on the serving schedule again.
That's the beauty of God's love, isn't it? We can mess up a hundred thousand times and he graciously accepts us back, time and time again. It's truly the definition of grace and unconditional love, and I'm so glad I have His.