Some of you know me. Some of you think you do. Some of you don’t. But either way, what you’re about to read is an important part of who I am.
A year ago, January 2016, I was fed up. I was defeated. I was in pain. I was lonely. I was miserable. And I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know where to go. I wanted community. I wanted friends. I wanted love. I wanted Jesus. And I mean really wanted Jesus. Not just this go to church on Sunday and fake that everything is okay.
I was teaching 6th grade Sunday school, and I was going to church. This I knew I needed. I knew I needed Jesus, but how do I get there?
I grew up in church. Going Sunday’s, Wednesday’s, and every event I could. I could tell you bible story after bible story. I may not know them like some people, but I knew them. Both my uncles are Baptist preachers. This was my life. It’s really all I knew.
But I was hurt by the church. I never felt accepted. I never felt like I had friends. Everyone had their “click” and I wasn’t apart of any of them.
“What was wrong with me? How could I be like them? Why am I so different? If no one talks to me, there has to be something wrong with me.” These are the lasts thoughts someone in a church should be thinking. And when I tried to talk about it to someone or ask someone about why this happens I got told everything was fine. Don’t worry. People like you.
I grew to hate church. The very place you should feel safe and accepted, I felt lonely, hurt, and rejected.
But I continued to go because I knew it’s where I needed to be. I needed community. I wasn’t really getting community because I was teaching 6th so I wasn’t meeting people, well not my age anyway.
And then one Sunday in February I decided to go to attend Sunday school instead of teaching. And God sat a lady next to me who let me be me. She listened to me and she didn’t tell me I was wrong for feeling the way I feel. She invited me to be apart of a discipleship group, and that group has forever changed me. For the first time I felt loved and accepted. These girls let me come in broken and they walked along side me. Their prayer for me, and my prayer for myself was that I would know God loved me. One day I received a text with Zephaniah 3:17, “The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”
And in that moment, God said, “Alyssa, I love you. I delight in you. You are who I created you to be.” And after all the years I finally believed He loved me. And I came to know who I am in Him. It’s been a journey-it didn’t happen over night. But once I started walking in that, He started shining through me. When you absolutely know you are loved, you’re whole life is different. I could keep telling you how my life is different…here’s a few:
-people became attracted to me, they wanted to be around me.
-I was asked out on a date for the first time (he might have been Turkish, but if you saw him-HELLO!😍😍 and no I didn’t go because I didn’t stay in Turkey. But still.)
-joy became easier to choose
-I started seeing Him in everything
-He started speaking to me, and I could hear Him
-He gave me His heart for His people and I could tell it wasn’t mine
Other than telling you who God is to me-He is a healer and He is good, I’m not sure how else to explain what happened. He is so good, and He loves you. You were created to live with God. You are loved. He wants you to accept His love. I wish everyone “got it” because when you do, life is so great.