One Year Free

It’s been a little over a year since the morning, while standing in my loft, I heard the words, “You haven’t accepted me into your heart,” clear in my mind.

You see, I’d been on a spiritual journey for several years at the time. Trying to find my place and myself in the process. Craving fulfillment. Desperate for more.

My search was long. Filled with many twists and turns. So many valleys and a few ant-sized hills. Full of questioning. Questioning my path. My decisions. My intentions and myself. Not knowing in what or whom to trust in or turn to.

Growing up, my understanding about God—what was ingrained in me—was that He was almighty and awesome, but also incredibly scrupulous. Always watching and waiting to dole out harsh punishment for every misstep. That coupled with the teaching that all humans were born flawed and incapable of perfection—and therefore were destined to make countless missteps—left my conscience weighed down with a load much too heavy to bear . . . And so I strayed further and further by the day.

My teenage years were marked by dark clouds of depression and anxiety, and it only intensified as I entered adulthood. Living in fear was the norm by my early 20s. Anxiety and depression were just a part of me. By my mid-20s I was physically ill. Every muscle was tense. I had chronic pain. Daylong, daily headaches. My immune system was shot. My digestive system all but shut down. I rotated through a slew of doctors and specialists. Trying to find the root cause of feeling unwell. Took every prescribed remedy. Half-a-dozen daily meds. Exercise. Rest. Therapy. I tried it all . . . Looking back, I realize now just how much a part of me anxiety was. It ran through my veins. Raced through my thoughts. And drove every bodily function.

Searching for something—peace, happiness, something more than life as it was—was my glimmering hope. I don’t know that I even really knew what I was searching for, or whether I believed I’d ever find it. But that’s the great thing about God. All it takes is a single drop of faith. And if you allow Him to, He’ll do the rest.

My path wasn’t by any means smooth, nor was it disastrous. I wasn’t always willing or eager. The door to my mind was opened just a sliver, but even that was enough. Little by little my mind and heart began to submit.

Leading up to that morning, I’d been pursuing faith casually. I’d found a pastor whose podcast resonated with me. I listened regularly while walking with my little guy. Tuned in every now and then to his online service. I’d also found a local church and mom’s group that took me in like a stray. Each day was a dance. A few steps forward. A pause. A step back. And then forward again.

I can’t recall exactly what day of the month it was—just that it was late January—or what I was doing. Just that I was in my loft watching my little guy play. In my pajamas? Going through a morning yoga flow? Watching an online service? Listening to a podcast? What I do remember are those words—and even they are probably paraphrased by this point—not audible, but more than just a thought. It’s as though I could feel the words resonating through my body. And just like that, a fog lifted—a fog I hadn’t even realize was there—and I understood with perfect clarity what I needed to do.

So there in my loft, wearing either pajamas or yoga leggings, with no witness other than my 10 month old, I verbalized what I hadn’t yet spoken out loud. What was on my heart. I accepted—welcomed and implored–Jesus into my heart and life.

This wasn’t taken on that day, but around that time.

It’s simple. On an ordinary day. No dramatic events. Heck, I can’t even remember exactly what I was doing! I blame that on sleep deprivation as a new and first-time mom, since my little guy was 9 months away from sleeping through the night at that point in time. But that moment changed everything. My heart. My mind. My life.

If you’re currently stuck in your journey and the end doesn’t seem anything but far, I want to provide this simple encouragement to keep going. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep seeking. Keep searching for more. Your day will come.

Do you have a moment of faith and clarity that changed your life? Do you remember when you relinquished control to let God take over? I’d love to hear it.