Growing Pains with God
I have known Lydia since middle school. She was a constant friend and companion during high school for me. I watched her go through much trial and tribulation. But through it all she has stayed the same joyful and beautiful woman. God has worked in her life and will continue. Here is her story.
“I grew up in a Christian family hearing the Gospel since the beginning of my life. I lived in a very small house on the East side of Des Moines. It was late at night. All of the kids were jammed into one room at the end of the house separated from our parents by a small hallway. My aunt who lived with us slept across the hall from my parents. Now the house was quiet and the sounds of my family sleeping and a distant train whistle was all that could be heard. I remember not being able to sleep, which was very unusual. I was on the top bunk staring at the ceiling and listening to my family snoring. As I was listening to the peaceful sounds of loved ones close-by, I thought of the rapture. I thought about how if Jesus came back right then the house would suddenly go completely still and silent because everyone else would be called to Heaven and I knew then that I would be left alone. Fear gripped my small heart as I realized that I was a sinner…ME. Jesus would not call me if He came back that night. Going to church my whole life, though, I knew what I had to do to change that. I closed my eyes and prayed that God would forgive me of my sins and that He would take me with Him if He came that night. Having done that I remember feeling peaceful and suddenly I was swept away by sleep. Being as young as I was, my life did not change much. In fact, I forgot to even tell my family what had happened! As I grew I saw fruit in my life and I developed (through godly influences encouraging me) a hunger for the Word. However, when hardships came into my life, I harbored anger and bitterness that soon soured my relationship with the Lord. I still very much believed and had a relationship with the Lord, but I deliberately walked away from Him. I look back at this time in my life with humility as even when I spited Him, I saw my Savior’s hand of Sovereignty bringing me back to Himself. That summer I went reluctantly to work at a Christian summer camp. It was hard work, but I made good friends and through the messages I heard in the evening I repented from my hard-heartedness, turned from my anger and hatred, and dedicated my life to Christ. Sin is always a struggle, but even though I had relapses into the same entangling sins, that decision marked a definite change in my life for which I will always be grateful. My life is not my own. My salvation story may seem very plain, regular, maybe even overdone, but God’s grace to me is not. I am proud of what God has rescued me from. He is a great Savior and I was lost without Him. What a miraculous salvation He has delivered to me!”
Even through the struggles of life and times of distance from God we can always come back into his grace and mercy and be filled with his love once again. He is always patiently waiting for us. What a blessed savior we have.