Monday, 23 August 2010

I have failed. I am failing. I will fail. But I am trying to try. By a young man for Orangefield Church.

I was brought up in a Christian home and had always gone to church. I was baptised as a child and was always taught who God was and what Jesus had done.

I'm not sure when it happened, I think I know where it happened but I always say that I became a Christian and prayed some “forgive me” prayer when I was about seven, one night in bed. From this age on, while calling myself a Christian, I never did anything with it, I didn't seek after God, I just was. I was always involved in church life though, going to Sunday school and all the things that came with that and later Bible class. I started helping with sound in church when I was about 14.

Some time in first year of school when I was 11, my mum and dad split up. I actually tried to be angry about this, but couldn't. For some reason it didn't bother me. My sister and I got to see both parents equally and they had an seemingly amicable relationship after this.

Some time in my young teenage years, I remember praying that I God would help me to stop swearing so much. For a month, there was an incredible difference. One time I really experienced God.

A few years on in life, three days after my 16th birthday, on a very unfortunate Thursday morning, in the early hours, my dad passed away. He had just returned from the Isle of Man TT race a week before, and went to the doctor to see about a problem he had there, and was allowed to go home with a clean bill of health. He had had a heart attack. Sad as this would be for some, I seem mostly immune to the emotions that people experience during such a time. However, I am still seeing God's blessing stemming from this event.

The following September, I went to college in Bangor to do Music Technology. While still calling myself a Christian here and even wearing a WWJD lanyard hanging from my keys, I was the one in the class the swore most.

A year later, I was 17. I got my driving licence, and, with money from my dad's estate and life insurance, I was able to get a car. In January, seven months later, I had passed my test and could drive with R plates. A few months after that, I went to a friends birthday at a One Way event run by Crown Jesus in Lisburn Omniplex and met a lot of new people from Belfast and mostly Orangefield. After this fun reunion with the friend, and liking and shortly going out with one of her friends, I was frequently coming to Belfast and was invited on numerous occasions to the church and especially to SNYF.

I had a summer job the year I was 18. It was In a linen factory which saw me getting up very early in the mornings for an eight O'clock start. So, when JAM came around in August, I only attended two nights because I needed to be in bed early. I was told I just had to come to the morning service after attending, even only partially, JAM in the evenings. So I did. And that was it. I became part of Orangefield and never left after that morning service.

During the time up to JAM and after this, I started to really grow in my faith for the first time and take the “God thing” more seriously. And the change was evident when I went to college for the second time in Belfast. I didn't swear anywhere near as much any more and ended up in a few conversations about it with other members of the class who used to be Christian or were Roman Catholic.

The following year, a few months after I was 19, I was at another friends birthday party. I made some new friends there. One evening at my convenience, I went to see one girl, and we had a great time. Shortly after, we started going out with each other.

A few months into the relationship, it happened that we started to get more physical with each other. Nothing serious to begin with but later to the point that we were both lying unclothed in a bed. We never went so far as to have sex, but these were still quite inappropriate circumstances for a Christian. I felt bad and apologised to God every time this happened. I even stopped inviting her over so much because I knew that it would end up happening again. Eventually, I gave up the relationship of eight months because I knew I couldn't stop doing this otherwise.

The following year, just before my 21th birthday, after having a wonderful friendship, I started going out with another girl who, at the time, claimed to be Christian. Not long into the relationship, she ended up discussing with me things that had happened to her previously that were similar to my past relationship. Knowing that this had been the reason for the break up of my past relationship, I had concerns that it may happen again. I told her not to let me do anything like that. It lasted for quite some time and we had a great relationship. Unfortunately staying away from the physical aspect didn't last the whole time and I ended up slipping back into the inappropriate behaviour, though not to the degree as with the first girl.

I realised my slipping away from God while my mind was consumed with the girl and the actions. I took the decision to leave the relationship to get away from the wrong actions and to focus my heart and my mind on God.

Now, I am longing after that deep intense relationship with God. Not just the Sunday morning service. The real intimate knowing, understanding, hearing and truly believing and trusting in Him one.

Recently, I have managed to get a job that I love and that suits me perfectly. Something I really love to do and with a lot of flexibility that I would want from a job and a boss. I have been found working on a small laptop underneath my desk...and no one batted an eyelid at this behaviour. This is an incredible blessing. An example of God's faithfulness, even while I was ignoring Him.

At 22 years of age, maybe now I'm finally starting to take God seriously.

I have failed many times. I am still failing. I will continue to fail. But I am certainly trying to try to make Him mine and me, His.

“As the deer pants for the water, so my soul longs after you, oh God

1 comment:

  1. loved this story. thanks for posting!