Are you ready to be shocked and surprised by my journey with God? I want to be transparent with you and let you know some of the struggles I’ve gone through so you can have hope on your journey with God.
When I grew up in Fargo, North Dakota, I went to Church but did not KNOW God. I knew OF Him but did not KNOW Him, does that make sense? In other words, I did not have a personal relationship with God because I was scared of Him. Why? I did not know Him as a loving, caring, protective Father.
Needless to say I was not pursuing God at all until my late 20’s when I became a motivational speaker for coaches and athletes on the mental game. To be honest with you, the only reason I read the Gideon Bible someone gave me was to find KEYS TO SUCCESS. I did not know at the time, but God was setting me up big time for the biggest change of my life.
When I was reading the Bible I was planting SEED into my heart which later on produced amazing fruit. I happened to come across a Christian Radio Station and heard the Gospel preached for the first time in my life. I actually heard Good News about Jesus. I was intrigued and wanted to know more about Him.
So after listening to the Pastor preach for two months on the radio, I finally decided to go to Church. It was Church like I had never experienced at all in my life. Service time started at 9:30 and did not get done till Noon. Plus they had an evening service. I truly enjoyed both services that Sunday. In fact, during the evening service we turned around to greet those who were near us. When I turned around I saw a guy who looked just like Jesus and he gave me a hug. God has a great way of making Himself obvious, doesn’t He?
It took me two more months to finally make THE BEST DECISION OF MY LIFE. On a Sunday evening in December of 1991, I asked God to forgive me of my sins and asked Jesus to come into my heart and be LORD of my life. When I prayed, I literally felt something change on the inside of me. Later on I discovered I went from darkness to LIGHT.
The next month I was given a Study Bible and started going to a class on Monday nights at the Church called, Exhortation Class. I learned so much and that started me on my journey with God. A few weeks later, I received power from on high when I was baptized with the Holy Spirit. When that happened, studying the Bible was completely different. Why? Because I had THE TEACHER teaching me the Scriptures and that is when I started to read the Bible out loud during my study time. But I still had problems in my life.
The biggest challenge I faced for decades was fear. Fear of getting hurt. Fear of not having enough. Fear of not saying or doing the right things. Fear of being alone. Can you relate? Slowly I have received much freedom through God’s perfect love that casts out fear. God never gave me fear, but He did give me power, love and a sound mind. It wasn’t until I received a personal revelation from God about His love for me, that I was able to walk more by faith and not by sight.
Since I did struggle with fear, I had a challenge making friends. I mean true friends who will always be there for you, check in on you, pray for you and truly care for you. It wasn’t until the last 12 months that I’ve discovered what its like to have healthy relationships. The BEST healthy relationship we could have is with God. So that is where I started. He loves me perfectly. He is my True Friend who accepts me just as I am. He is always there for me, listens to me and understands me.
Now I realize to develop truly loving, healthy friendships for the first time in my life, I have to first become a healthy friend to ME . Why? God tells us to love one another as we love ourselves. How can I love you, if I am not loving myself in a healthy way? So at the beginning of this year, I decided to have healthy friendships. It started with having a healthy one with God. Now I am in the process of becoming more accepting and loving of myself so I can be the loving, healthy, supportive friend to others.
I believe everyone wants healthy friendships, don’t you? It begins with you getting healthy so you can have healthier, loving friendships God wants you to have. You’ve heard the phrase before: If you want to make friends, be friendly. Again it starts with your True Friend, God and then be friendly to yourself. How do you do that?
Think of how you want to walk on this journey with God and with your healthy, loving friends. Treat yourself that way. Many times we are way too hard on ourselves. (Someone is saying, “I am.”) Why not treat yourself the way you would treat Jesus? Be accepting of yourself. Speak well of yourself. Focus on what you do RIGHT. Love yourself unconditionally.
Forgiving yourself is HUGE. When you do, you are saying to yourself, “I forgive myself, because I love myself.” That’s the reason we forgive isn’t it, because we do love ourselves? Its a choice. You also GET to chose to be an amazing friend to yourself starting today. Why not?
Finally, as I shared a bit of my journey with God, I hope you can relate, be encouraged that you are not alone and that we all face struggles. Its how we RESPOND that makes the difference. I truly want you to enjoy your journey with God. I really do. So why not start with having a friendly, loving relationship with God. Then treat yourself the way God does and become the friend to someone who wants you to be a loving, healthy, supportive friend to them. Amen.
What Life Lesson did you glean from My Journey With God?
(Please leave your Comments below. Thank you)
Tags: Best healthy relationship, Forgiving yourself, Keys to success, Knowing God More Intimately, New Relationships, Overcoming Fears
Categorised in: Life Lessons
This post was written by Jeffrey Hardwick