Wednesday, October 16, 2013

31days // When Everything Changed {My Story Cont.}

Just after turning 22, I found myself in a relationship. The kind with established titles, and roles. He was my boyfriend, I was his girlfriend. And you know it was real because even Facebook said so. It was the first time since high school that I was in something with security, rules. My heart had been desperately searching for something like that, after having been denied it so many times in college. 

We dated for four months, and in those months, I think we spent more time intoxicated than sober. I will never forget one day walking through the streets of downtown Santa Barbara. Some people were handing out flyers, and spreading the news that Reality was opening a campus in town. I had heard of this church, a few years back while walking on campus at UCSB. A guy was raving about this amazing college ministry, and it intrigued me so much that I interrupted these strangers to ask which church they were talking about. "Reality," they said. "They meet in Carpinteria at 7pm on Fridays." Considering Carpinteria was a half hour drive away, and Friday nights were dedicated to going out with friends, it's not surprising that I never made it. 

We kept walking, and my boyfriend began nervously rambling about "that place." He shared how a friend had started going there, and completely changed. He thought it was creepy, and cult-ish. 

I was suddenly aware of how little this man knew me. I looked at him, and calmly stated "you realize that I'm a Christian, right?" He didn't really respond, but I will never forget how beautifully convicting that moment was for me. Here I was, dating a man who didn't even realize that I believed in Jesus. That's how small of a role faith was playing in my life. 

We dated for a few months after that, before breaking up in mid December. It was painful for me, mainly because it was unexpected. I probably should have expected it, but I was so caught up in things that I didn't realize how unhappy both of us were. I reached out a few times, trying to sort through my confused mind and piece together the friendship that was lost. But really, I was just doing what I always did, clinging to the source of identity of being someone's girlfriend. It's where I felt most comfortable, and yet, where I felt the most anxious, too. Putting your identity in something other than God, means always having to worry about it going away. 

It was merely a few weeks later when New Year's Eve came around. All of us friends were getting together to celebrate, the friends that this now ex-boyfriend and I shared. He had warned me before hand that he wouldn't be attending, and I felt the usual simultaneous relief and disappointment. That night, I found out through a close friend of his that he had been dating someone since immediately after our break up. I spent the beginning of the new year crying in a bathroom. It was the beginning of my breaking point. 

The Lord has beautifully crafted my testimony, with dates that are so significant that I know they can't be coincidental. The next day, January 1st, 2012, was a Sunday. I had already made plans to go with a friend to Reality Santa Barbara. It was not only my first time ever going to Reality, but my first time sitting through a church service in months. 

Words can't express what happened in my heart that day. I felt so incredibly broken, but in the most beautiful way. I wasn't just broken from this most recent break up; I was mourning the loss of everything my heart had been through. All of the dreams that had been crafted through out relationship after relationship, shattered on the floor. The feelings of rejection, abandonment, embarrassment, everything that I had experienced in my failed relationships. The desire to get married to a man who loved me, feeling so unattainable and far away. 

I was broken, so that I could be put back together. For the first time in my life, it clicked in my heart that 
in order to be whole, I have to surrender the pieces. 
The words "I'm desperate for You" flowed through my mind over, and over, and over again. 

This was the day that my entire life changed. And something inside of me knew it. A midst the brokenness I was feeling, and the mourning that I was experiencing, there was joy. So much joy. 

Because something within me knew that the brokenness and mourning were temporary. Something within me knew that everything was about to change. I went to sleep on that evening with a broken heart, inviting the Lord into my sorrow and pain. 

I woke up on Monday, January 2nd, 2012 with nothing but joy. The change was happening, and nothing could stop it now. 


Hilda said...

Amazing!! God grabbed your heart since then. How beautiful! ❤

Heather Leigh @ Adifferent kind of woman said...

God is so amazing!!

I love how we can just give Him the pieces and He will heal our wounded hearts!

You are ione incredible lady! <3

Heather Leigh @ Adifferent kind of woman said...


Julie said...

Amy, I honestly got tears in my eyes reading this. I can relate to looking back at yourself before knowing Christ, and seeing the complete change He makes in hearts and lives. It's absolutely incredible and He is AMAZING. There are no words to even describe it properly! I am so so blessed and filled with joy to have a sister in Christ like you. Love you so much!

The Pink Growl said...

I am loving reading your story!

Caitlin said...

Love, love, love this post! This story is so wonderful and powerful and I'm so happy your life has changed for the better!

Pamela said...

Loving your series!! So happy for you!

Tabitha said...

GOOSEBUMPS! (Even though I totes already know all this. That's proof you are writing a great series! ebook material?) :-P

Jessica L Martin said...

Wow! This is amazing. I clung to every word. Love you! Gods using you in inspiring ways pretty lady! xo

Katharine said...

Amazing testimony, Amy! Keep shining for Jesus.

-kat (Life Through His Eyes)

Leah said...

Putting your identity in something other than God, means always having to worry about it going away. - LOVED THAT. so, so true!