I grew up in and out of church as a kid. My parents did not find a church home until I was a teenager. I excepted Christ as a young child even though I loved the idea of Jesus I hadn't learned how to have a relationship with him. So over the years I was guided to do the right things but my relationship with God was weak. So many times I fell away as a child and only thought if I check in with God every now and then, God would be okay with me. So I grew up knowing good but rarely practiced it in a biblical way. I wasn't a bad child but just didn't know most of God's teachings other than what I had been told.
Fast forward to my teenage years and my parents found a church home. It felt home to them and me. So I began to love church and felt safe there. But I still lived for my self but with the knowing of what's right nagging me. I got really good at ignoring it and sometimes forgot about God.
It took very low spots to remind of God. I would seek forgiveness but guilt followed me.
But I kept learning how to follow God from church when I happened to go, from people who invested time in me and from God who always excepted my plead for forgiveness and showed me great love.
In high school I grew closer but I struggled with self terribly with all the temptations. I lied to myself believing oh I'll do this sin because Jesus probably won't return tomorrow. Each time my sin had immediate consequences or drawn out ones. I hurt myself bad 3 times from selfish reasons possibly could of ended in death if God had not protected me.
I started suffering from anxiety and panic attacks which confused me about God and why I had to suffer that way.
A few years later after graduation a car accident that hurt my back and left me depressed dealing with pain and anxiety.
God never left me in all this but he patiently was waiting for me to just call on him again for help. My life became a mess and I was heading way in the wrong direction. Every now and then I would pray God please don't give up on me, I will bring you glory one day.
Then one night driving home from night shift I heard God in my mind and heart speak these words to me. "Son are you going to follow me or not? You can not remain half in and half out. It's all in or nothing.
It hit me like nothing I had ever felt. I couldn't help but cry because I knew in my heart I had a choice and I needed to make it. So I cried out to God saying," Lord I can not continue down this path. You have always protected me even though I never deserved it. Please God help me do your will and I will forever follow you."
From then on the Holy spirit was even stronger. God gave me the ambition to read the Bible, go to church, seek elder counselling, and pray. No it was never easy, I still had many days I was too lazy to do his will.
But I couldn't stay away long, I always remember that night driving home.
My life has its ups and downs. But now with Christ my ups are included with worship and praise and my downs are included with Joy and peace of mind knowing God will always be with me.
I am still tempted everyday to do wrong but everyday I become better at saying no to temptation. I no longer live in guilt but ask forgiveness and I know Jesus died for my sins and through my belief in him I was reminded I no longer needed to stay in guilt.
I do not regret where I have been. I focus on the now and prepare for the future. Using the past to dictate my actions in the present. I will continue to grow, learn, and to keep my eyes on Jesus.