John V.

John V.

from MO
Story #711
Growing up I had always been told that I could be anything I wanted to be. Yet I had no idea what I wanted to be. What did I want out of life? I tried many different things to try to figure out the answer. I could easily self-justify my actions by rationalizing why I had done the things I did. I was especially good at manipulating people to get what I wanted. Yet, each thing I tried led to emptiness, even when I succeeded in reaching my goal. As I began to reflect on what I thought each thing would bring me I realized the underlying objective I sought was to be known and accepted. Everything I had done up to this point was for this purpose. However, the older I got the more it seemed I didn’t even really know or accept myself.

As the years passed, I found myself attending a traditional church service alone one Sunday evening. In my mind I began reviewing my life instead of listening to what the preacher was saying. God directed my thoughts and made it clear to me that He was the only one that truly knows me, astonishingly He still accepts me. He not only accepts me but loves me. No one or anything else would come close. God’s love for me was fully revealed through His Son, Jesus, who died for me. But God raised Jesus from the dead! Because Jesus lives, I realized I could now have the life God had created for me to live. This life is not based on what I can do or what I have. When I had nothing to offer I was already fully known and accepted by God. I didn’t have to do anything to manipulate Him or justify how I had chosen to live. I just had to trust Jesus with my life and surrender it to him. That night I decided to do just that.

This was just the beginning of a transformation in me. God gave me new desires. He began to teach me more about who He is and what it means to be a part of His people, the Church, as we all seek to imitate the way Jesus lived. I am finding it easier to let people know who I really am. My fear of judgment and rejection is decreasing as I become more open with those who are members of my local church. Sometimes I am still pulled by the desire to be accepted by others or to make a name for myself, but as I learn more of God through reading the Bible and being around His people I find I fall back into those habits less frequently.

I am not all I am meant to be but I now know who I am and what I am meant to do with this life I have been given. Because of the joy I have found in Jesus, it is my hope that you too would come to know and follow Him.

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