I am happy because I found a Love that I never knew could exist. I am happy because there is a well of Joy springing up inside of me that my face can’t hide. I am happy because there is no longer a void in my heart, and that hole is filled to the point of overflowing with peace and gladness! For once in my life, my insides match the outsides. This Love and this Joy is only available from One source. That source is God, the Creator of the Universe, and His name is Yahweh.
I didn’t always know Him. I didn’t know I needed Him. I didn’t go out looking for Him, but He found me where I was, and drew me near. I was living a life wild and void of any true happiness. The happiness I had been feeling was just on the surface and was always short lived. I would go out chasing something or someone to satisfy the emptiness I had been feeling. It got to the point where the things I was doing would bring me remorse and shame. I didn’t want to do those things anymore, but I couldn’t stop on my own. I needed to be saved from my own destruction.
I want to tell you all a story. But before you move on, I want to pray for each one who is reading it. I pray that the Father reveals His love to you through these words. I pray that I decrease so He can increase, and that the mistakes I have made will direct someone to the Truth so they don’t have to go through the same pain. I pray that these words that are on my heart go out to be a blessing to you all, and bring the Father glory for what He has done for me! I pray that you all will see the power and love that He has, and the beautiful gift He has given us through His Son Jesus. Amen.
I grew up in church. I spent many, many days sitting on a pew void of the knowledge of the Love of Yah. Without any desire to get to know Him. When I was a kid, I went to church because my mom made me go. It was all just a social gathering. A place to meet up with my family and friends. I knew right from wrong. You know, things like don’t steal or murder people. Things that most every person on the planet knows is wrong without having any knowledge of a Heavenly Father. For the most part though, I would just do things that I felt was right in my own eyes. As I got older, I began to feel like some of the things I was doing wasn’t ok. They weren’t awful things, everyone else was doing it, but I began to feel like it wasn’t right.
One day, when I was about 17, a friend of mine invited me to a revival. I went. The preacher started talking about sin and the need to repent. He talked about Jesus, and how God (I didn’t know He had a name at the time) had sent Him to die for our sins so we could be forgiven. I wanted to be forgiven! I wanted to be rid of this thing called sin! My heart was overwhelmed with remorse for my actions and the need for a Savior. I went down to the front when they had the “altar call”. I prayed how they told me to pray. I wept and wept. I professed that Jesus was my Savior and asked for forgiveness. I prayed that He would come into my heart. I was completely and utterly sincere!! They told me I was saved and that the Holy Spirit will lead me on the ways I needed to go. I left there feeling elated and so full of peace.
Time went on. I started going to church regularly. I would listen to the preacher preach. I went to church chasing that feeling I had the day I went down to the altar. I wanted to feel good, it was all about me.
Months went by, and I began to fall back into some of the things I had been doing before. It wasn’t all at once, but more of a gradual progression. I would go out with friends with intentions of being their designated driver or just to hang out. After a little bit I would talk myself into having just a drink here and there. In my head I started justifying my actions with my own knowledge of what was right or wrong, and not what the Bible had to say. I was under the assumption I just needed to love God and my neighbor and I didn’t have to obey any “laws” because they were on my heart now and if my heart says it’s good, then it must be alright. Before I knew it I was right back where I was before, but worse! This time I was drowning, barely able to keep my head up from my despair. I felt like I was too far gone, like I was not worth saving. I felt like I should have been able to do things right since I had prayed that prayer the day at the revival. I would ask for forgiveness and then turn around and do it all over again. I would think, “What is wrong with me?” I became so depressed. I acted all happy and jolly on the outside, but on the inside I was dying.
My twenties became such a blur. I fell into this cycle of partying and doing all sorts of things and then the morning would come and I would wake up with this hatred toward myself for getting out of control. I would promise I wouldn’t do it again, but the next evening came and I would justify doing the things all over again. This went on for years.
When I was 26, I woke up one morning after a night of doing Lord knows what all. I was so angry and sick of myself, I believed there was no longer any hope. I decided I would rather be dead than stuck in this mess. I wrote a letter to my family, telling them how sorry I was. I wrote about how sorry I was for all of the awful things I was doing. I wrote that I couldn’t stop myself from doing all of these things and that I felt like each time I did, I was adding to the pain that Jesus had felt on the cross from my sins.
I went into the bathroom and ran a full tub of water. I sat in it and cried. I got a razor and held it to my wrist. I couldn’t do it though. I pressed it down as hard as I could, but I couldn’t cut. I wept more! I had this voice in my head that said, “you idiot, you can’t even kill yourself right!” I got out of the tub and laid in the floor sobbing. I got up and went to the cabinet and got out all of the medicine I had. There were pain meds from a procedure I had had earlier in the year. There were some migraine pills and who knows what else. I poured out every bottle I had into a coffee mug. It was filled to the brim. I sat down and choked every one of them down. I gagged with each swallow. Afterwards, I laid down on the floor to die. I felt myself slipping away. My insides were burning and my breath was feeling shallow. I began to vomit, but I just laid there crying, wanting it all to be over.
As I laid there, I heard my phone begin to ring. I ignored it. It kept ringing and ringing, so I picked it up. It was a guy I had dated for years before. I was out of it and slurring my words. He noticed something wrong and sent for help. I dropped the phone and laid there just praying for it all to be done with. I passed out. The next thing I remember is someone grabbing me up off of the floor. It was the paramedics. They lifted me onto a gurney and took me to the ambulance. I remember them asking me questions. They shoved a tube down my throat and started pumping my stomach. After they were done, I remember looking up at them and just apologizing that they had to do this. I was kind of in and out and just crying. I passed out again.
The next thing I remember is waking up in the emergency room. Next to me was my best friend’s aunt who worked at the hospital. I remember her face. She was sobbing. She was holding my hand and gently rubbing my forehead. I cried and told her that I was sorry. My dad and my sister and brother came in then. They were all crying. I told them I was so sorry! I felt so selfish for causing all of them so much pain! I still think about this from time to time, how awful it was of me to put them through all of that!
Why am I telling you all of this? What is the point of this dreary memory? Isn’t this story supposed to be about why I am happy? My intent is to reach out to the person reading this who feels the same way. Who may feel happy on the outside, but is barely holding it together within. I want to grab ahold of the person who thinks that the despair they are feeling is all that is left. I want to grip the hand of my friend hiding in the corner because they think they have fallen too far into the darkness to ever be brought into the light.
There is true joy, and there is true happiness apart from this agony my friend, but it isn’t found in the world! You won’t find true peace at the bottom of a bottle or in a pill. True love isn’t found in the arms of a stranger or in a relationship filled with manipulation. And you know what else? True hope isn’t found in a book about “how to be a Christian”, or found in a sermon all about your feelings, and how to “live your best life now” either! Yes, I just said that! Listen, it’s not all about me, me, me, it’s about Him, Him, Him! The way He desires to be worshiped. The way He wants us to live, so He can bless us and we can in turn glorify His name to the whole world! I could go to church every time the doors are open. I could sit in that pew week after week. I could love the people there and love my preacher, but if this is all I have, I am still lost! If this is all I have, I might as well be at a coffee shop or a club!
The Father desires a relationship with us. He wants to bring you out of hopelessness into His marvelous light! He longs to bless us and keep us from harm. He has laid out instructions for us to walk in His Ways, to keep us safe and to understand His love! Only through His Word, will you find this Truth!
I now understand the character of the One true God. That He is a loving Father and I know what it means to be His child! I understand what repentance means, and why there is a need for a Savior. I understand that my Heavenly Father loves me so much, that He didn’t leave me guessing on how He wanted to be worshiped. I see that His instructions are for blessing, so I can be a witness of His glory and the saving power of His Son, Jesus Christ. These are the truths that have brought me to the kind of happiness I have now! A happiness that fills my heart overflowing!
So, for my friend who has never been in church or never heard about the love I am talking about, if you are doing things and you feel a gentle nudge that they aren’t really right, that feeling is the Holy Spirit. He is tenderly drawing you near to the Father. What a beautiful blessing! You are loved so much by the Father, the Creator of the universe, that He is pursuing you. He wants to bring you near. Yahweh wants so much more for you than the despair you are feeling right now. He can give you joy and He can give you peace. Not the kind of joy that is fleeting, not the kind of peace you only have when times are perfect. His kind of peace is everlasting, so in spite of the circumstances, there is always hope with Him.
You see, those things that you know aren’t right are something called sin. Sin is transgression of Yahweh’s instructions for His people. He gave these instructions to guide us in a way that brings us blessing, and to set us apart from the world so we can be a testimony of His grace. But, sin separates us from Yah, and the payment for not obeying His instruction is death. Just think about what you are feeling right now. There is no life in that despair you are feeling, it is the beginnings of death! Just a taste of what death really is, apart from His mercy!
My friend, you are not alone. We all have a need for a Savior from our own destruction. But praise Yah that He loves us with a love we could never even imagine. He gave us a way out of all of this pain! He sent His Son Jesus to pay that debt for the sin we have allowed to take control over us. Through Him we have access to the Father and His blessings. He filled the requirement of the death penalty we all so deserve.
Ask the Father for forgiveness, and He is faithful to forgive. Turn from sin and pursue that life no longer. Yahweh will send His Spirit to help you to have the strength and longing for what He says is good, not what this world says is right. Seek His Word and go after His Ways, the Ways that will show you the happiness you so much desire!
Now for my other friend who does know, and has seen the love that the Father gives, but still feels astray. The friend who desperately wants to feel that happiness you had when you first found His love, but feels like you have slipped to far to be brought back. This is a lie that the Devil has been telling for millennia! He places this stumbling block before those who long to return to the One True God! He is hateful and accusing, and you will know his voice by his wicked words. The Father’s voice is tender and kind, softly pulling you back to Him, longing to be with you. Return to Him my friend!
I pray that you understand that Yah has not left you to do all of this on your own. He loves you with an everlasting love, and desires to draw you near. He wants you to grow in the knowledge of Him and what it means to be called His child. The Father has written down beautiful instructions to bring you blessings, and He is just waiting for you to open the pages.
No, you aren’t always going to get things perfect, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue it! You have a Helper, the Holy Spirit, to give you the power and desire to go after His Ways. Walk in Christ’s Ways, because He walked in the Father’s Ways! He is our perfect example of how to live a life set apart. Read the Father’s Word for yourself and let It bring life into your walk, so you can bring glory to the Father and His holy name, because my friend it’s not all about us, it is about Him! Trust in man will always fall short, but He will never fail you! He is the only one who can fill that void you have inside. He longs to fill your heart with His unrelenting love!
I pray that you all come to know the happiness that only the Father is able to give. It is the most beautiful treasure you will ever find! I love you all!