A Change of Direction

If you knew me six months ago, you wouldn’t be able to recognize the person I am now. I look the same, but my heart has been transformed. I talk the same, but my words have gained value. I walk the same, but now I walk with Christ. 

I can’t help but look back on these past four months and notice how much I’ve grown. What once was so important to me-parties, alcohol, and the attention of guys- is merely just a distant memory of when I was empty and alone. If somebody would have told me a year ago that I would be pursuing God with my whole heart, without any hesitation, I would have probably awkwardly denied that statement; and then continue to chug my rum and coke while scouting out the hottest guy in the room. I’m not saying I didn’t believe in God, because I did. What I’m saying is that I lived up to MY version of God. “How could God condemn a harmless girl like me? I haven’t murdered, I haven’t cheated, and I haven’t blamed God for the wrongs in my life. What could God possibly have against me?” I’m certain this is the anthem of many Christians today, especially young people like me. I waltzed around like I had life figured out, like I was in control of my destiny. I pretended like I didn’t need anyone except the friends I lived with, the people I partied with, and the guy I chose to give my attention to. The world was mine, and I was indestructible.

 Sooner or later, the partying started to get boring, the people were no longer entertaining, and my best friends and I drifted apart. The emptiness settled in. My anxiety had gotten worse and the medication that was supposed to fix me, took away the last genuine part of my personality. I would sit in loneliness, watching my friends live out my once glorified “life” on social media. The jealousy, the FOMO (fear of missing out), and the feeling of not being good enough cut me deep. My pillow knew too many tears, my walls heard too many cries, and my mind had too many sleepless nights. If you’ve ever experienced a real anxiety attack, then you know that it is the most painful feeling, without feeling any actual pain.

Already ashamed, impure, and insecure; at this point, the enemy was tugging at what felt like my last piece of pride.

Have you ever cried so much, you couldn’t cry anymore? Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and begged yourself to change? Have you ever broken your own heart so bad that nobody was around to help you pick up the pieces? Have you ever hit your own personal rock bottom? 

Most people come to God when they have nowhere else to go. It’s heartbreaking, but God is usually our last resort, even when we have always been His first. But the insane thing is, once we allow God to take our hearts, He will always be our first. Nobody told me how invigorating His embrace would be, and how breathtaking His love is. I came to God and to church because I felt empty, and because it felt like the natural thing to do. I didn’t expect to be saved on the first night I spoke with Him. I didn’t expect to be comforted by His Grace in the midst of my sin and pain. If anything, I expected to go home just as weary as I was the night before, but God didn’t let that happen.

I believe that God had to break me before he could fix me-that’s just how stubborn I am. Maybe you’re lost, maybe you’re hurting, or maybe you have been living by your own rules for so long that you have forgotten we have a Father in Heaven waiting for your permission for Him to take charge. You can keep chasing after your own satisfaction, but I promise there will come a day when you hit rock bottom and you will wonder where your blessings went. God won’t bless you unless He knows you will take care of your blessings and use them to build His kingdom. Stop fighting, and allow God to use you for what He has planned.

You are never too dirty for God to wrap you in His arms. He will clean you, and make you whole. No matter where you have been, God has been there with you and He has seen what you have seen. There is love waiting with arms as wide as the ocean. God is, and forever will be, the answer. 

– Alyssa Balcomb

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