GIVING IT UP

So, off the meds. New digs. Now what?

I know the first step (of many) is to repent, to God and everyone for my sins of selfishness, pride, lust and acting out the ways I did. Actually why stop there? The greed, arrogance and hatred I felt that fed my ego were also transgressions against God, others, as well as myself that need His forgiveness.

I cannot see how God can, as Father Domido tells me, forgive me for what I have done. He tells me stuff I already know about Jesus dying on the cross for sinners like me. I knew that but the proximity of Easter just passing makes it more real to me now and in these circumstances. On the outside I was often just going through the motions, not truly believing what I read or knew about God and Jesus. That They love me no matter what now really floors me. The creator of the universe takes time to love me? He sent His son to die for people like me? How could that be? Yet I have been assured by Father Domido and other chaplains in here that is the case.

Because of my situation, I guess I look at things totally differently than I did before when I thought I was in control of things.Of course I only thought of myself as a Christian, not always walking the path of one, that is for sure, lest I would not have done the things I did. I was only and most usually seeking my own pleasures, cost be damned. I was what mattered most, not others, and certainly not Jesus. I learned a new acronym that makes perfect sense and would be great if more people followed it – JOY standing for Jesus, others, yourself. I usually went to YOJ, with Jesus a distance away if at all. Oh I talked a good game, and often believed it but rarely lived it. Big difference.

So now I have taken the crucial second step after the first step of repentance and given my life over to Jesus. The church service I attended today seemed different, and had what they called an altar call. The sermon seemed to be aimed right at me, as if the pastor knew my sins and situation. So I went forward, not really sure what it was or what would happen, but when the Pastor asked if there was anyone who wanted to turn their life over to Christ and have a new beginning, I felt something inside of me stirring. I just knew I had to go and didn’t care what others thought, which I now think was a big step for me in here as you really have to be guarded. It wasn’t the blind following that I did when I used to go for meds but rather an excited urge I wanted to complete and felt I just needed to do.When I got up there one of the worship guys came and put his arm around me and asked me what I needed. I didn’t know quite what to say but finally mumbled something about turning my life over to Christ. He then started praying for me and then asked me to repeat after him what he called a sinners prayer. My head was full of his words as we said them. It felt so right to give everything I had over to the one who was there when I was created and who died for me on the cross. I do not know at what point I started crying but knew they were tears of joy, true joy, coupled with a relief I had not felt for a very long time. I felt lighter and closer to this God I never really knew.

I returned to my dorm on a cloud, smiling all the way. I think I was even singing one of the praise songs they had when we left the sanctuary. If this was what being a Christian was going to be like, I definitely wanted more of it and wondered why I had waited so long for it. Would it last? I don’t know but I truly felt I was starting the long road of inside corrections.

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