The Christian faith is a wonderful thing. We come across a beautiful Man who acts as a role model, a father, a friend and a helper.
Before I speak about my recent struggles, I think it would be appropriate to introduce to you how I came to Christ.
As a teenager, In Year 11-12; I found myself in the downs of sin. There were many of issues arising because of it, including; pride, lust, greed, hatred, and many more (which I can’t think of).
I was with a group which consisted of fun, awesome, individuals who I grew up with. This group was great at the time; but as year 12 came and the HSC came around, the group made a few bad choices, and as a result, I did too.
I was always a hesitant individual, and peer pressure wasn’t an issue for me. There came a time where I felt extremely stressed and overwhelmed because of my upcoming exams, and my friends decided to have a gathering at one’s house. I didn’t expect much, except for a few board games & good fun, but then someone brought a few bottles of alcohol over. I told everyone I wouldn’t touch it; but then I realised, I was struggling, HSC was stressful and I had crazy relationship problems; my friends told me alcohol would relax me, so I decided to give it a shot (pun intended?).
This opened a whole new world for me, a world of which was really inviting with all kinds of desires being fulfilled. I realised how great it is to spend time with friends, have a few drinks, and forget about the problems. As I drank more and more, and attended more and more of these gatherings, I lost touch with my personal self. I wasn’t realising how much of a terrible impact my circle was having on me at the time, and how they were influencing my decisions.
When I look back at it now; I think of this verse in 1 Corinthians:
Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” – 1 1 Corinthians 15:33
But then, one night after coming from a party, and falling asleep; I had a dream where the image of Christ was revealed to me. As a ‘Catholic’ (not a practicing one anyway), I knew who this wonderful Man was, but it confused me as to why he was revealed in my dream. After this had occurred, I was feeling less & less of a connection to my group and I felt a feeling of repulsion, pulling me out of the mess I was in.
I found myself socially deprived for a good few months; with only a limited amount of people to speak to. It was a very lonely period but I feel a few great things came from it. It was a great time of reflection and I came to a realisation of how much of a mess I had got myself into, and the impact everyone around me had.
But then, one day a friend which I had not spoken too much invited me to a youth gathering; where the people had such an amazing attitude towards everything. The peace within them was shining upon them, and I could see the joy, happiness & contentment they were living in. One of these individuals offered to drive me home after the event and it was such a blessing to talk to them. I have never spoken to someone with such peace & who had reflected such respect towards another person. I felt my sense of belonging instantly!
After coming home; I really reflected on it, and I made my decision that I would hang out with these guys more often. And after a few weeks, I realised how amazing our God is, and how He can pull us out of great mess with the blessing of the Holy Spirit who sanctifies us everyday. I always thank Jesus for placing these amazing people in my life and during the difficult times, because through them, God has really shaped who I am today.
“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” – 2 Corinthians 4:16
Here I am, one year later. What a lovely journey it has been, and it still continues.
Recently I have been struggling with anxiety problems. Sometimes I find myself in situations where I feel uncomfortable to talk to anyone, sometimes I find myself pulling out of events for no reason, and other times I fear little things like not getting enough sleep for the night.
My Pastor has been speaking to me about these things, and one of the issues I have found myself facing with is soaking in so much stress & problems without a release. This problem leads me to my latest point, that from sacrificing my entire old group, and trusting in God to lead me to this new lovely Church & its family, but from this transition I haven’t had that individual to really share my problems with.
In my old sinful lifestyle, I would find myself complaining a lot about my problems to other individuals (and alcohol would also help) , but as I moved deeper and deeper into this faith, I found myself soaking all my issues and pretending they didn’t happen. This pile of problems continued to grow and grow until it finally resulted in a series of anxiety attacks which have really impacted my control over emotions recently. Essentially, my goal is to find a way to make this release of emotions so I am no longer soaking in negativity.
From all these struggles; Christ has really strengthened me to rely on Him & His Glory. I always look at the end of the tunnel, and I see Our Father, standing on the other side – arms open, waiting for us to come into His Almighty Presence.These issues we deal with now are nothing; Christ has given us the people and the Holy Spirit, to guide us through these struggles. Thank God He has given me a Pastor (who is training counseling) to help me with these problems which I have been facing.
My question to you is, what are you struggling with today? God will always be there to help you, just pray, repent, trust and His Helper will guide you to the way out.
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on however; it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:11