God's Girl

Finding the extraordinary in the ordinary

Back to School: The Tale of a New Christian

on August 8, 2014

 

Remember your first day of a new school year?

Everything crisp and clean.

New boxes of crayons and newly sharpened pencils tucked inside your favorite backpack.

Excitement lingering in the air.

New friends to meet.

New possibilities.

Remember taking that first day of school photo?

You wore the biggest smile.

You put on your best clothes.

 

Everything was just how it should be.

Whole.

Complete.

Nothing missing.

Perfection.

 

Then the first test came.

Whether it was Science test you bombed or the friends who asked you to pick sides.

There was always a test.

Suddenly, everything wasn’t so crisp and clean anymore.

Life began to get messy.

Mornings got harder.

Those perfect crayons and pencils were soon broken or lost.

You didn’t get the fun teacher for math.

Nope, you got the mean one.

The one you were certain wanted to ruin your social life with demanding amounts of homework and tests from hell.

Pretty soon, you found your heart yearning for summer.

 

When I became a Christian, I started out with that “Fall” attitude.

Full of energy.

Ready to go.

“Lord, send me!”

 

The Christian life seemed perfect.

Sunshine and a happy heart.

No problems from now on.

Jesus solved them all for me when He died on the cross.

 

I became a part of something.

I belonged with others like me, the Christian crowd was my home now.

I would never be lonely, confused or hurt again.

 

Then came the test.

My non-Christian friends knew I had changed, but I was still trying to fit in with them while telling them about my faith.

It wasn’t working.

The Christian crowd wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, either.

They could be cruel at times.

They seemed preoccupied.

To some of them “realness” seemed to pose a threat.

They had their “clicks”, too.

Loneliness set in.

 

I felt like the new kid walking into the cafeteria on the first day of school.

Where would I be able to sit?

It seemed I didn’t truly belong in either group.

 

Another test soon followed.

The things happening in my life hurt at times.

I had problems.

Real ones.

Ones that couldn’t be fixed by a cheery saying or a half-hearted promise of someone to pray for me.

No one told me this would happen.

I thought I was supposed to live happily ever after.

 

Soon dark clouds began to form over my sunny heart.

Questions formed.

Doubts developed.

Maybe I wasn’t a good enough Christian.

Maybe I should just try harder.

What was happening here?

Was I even saved?

 

Just like those perfect crayons in the fall, I began my journey as a Christian ready to be used.

Soon the new faded.

I began to feel like a box of crayons halfway through the school year.

I was coming unraveled.

I didn’t have my life together.

I had lots of broken pieces.

How could God use those?

I wondered if God could ever use a messed up person like me.

 

Could He ever put me back together again?

I wanted to impress God by being that perfectly sharpened pencil.

I didn’t want to break under the pressure.

I had to show Him that I could handle it.

 

That’s when I got it.

That’s when I understood.

I could not handle it.

He had to handle it for me.

Every time I wrestled with my sin, I seemed to come out on the losing end.

He didn’t die to make me perfect.

He died because I needed saving.

I still do.

Everyday.

 

How could I ever feel completely at home here?

I can’t.

I had become a citizen of heaven, leaving me feeling like a foreigner in a land where I once felt comfortable.

Now, I knew what the bible meant when it said, “Be in the world, not of it.”

Something clicked.

How could I expect to wear this world like a cozy pair of pajamas when even Jesus wandered through it without a place to truly call home?

Even the Son of Man had no place to lay His head.

 

Something else clicked, too.

I didn’t have to be that perfect box of crayons.

I didn’t have to have my colors all lined up on display to impress.

What impressed my God the most was and is my brokenness.

It brought Him to earth.

It caused Him to die for me.

Can broken crayons still be used?

Absolutely.

 

Broken crayons are the special ones when you think about it.

They are guided more closely and used with more care,.

Wonderful colors still come from them.

Colors that add to the beauty of the big picture.

God’s picture.

One that I can’t see right now.

That’s why I have to  place myself under His mighty hand.

 

He will lift me up.

He will use me.

Even on the messy, unraveled days, He will use me.

Even when all I have to offer is a worn numb, He will use me.

He will create His beauty in and through me.

All I have to do is be willing to let him use my whole box.

Lay everything I have and everything I am out before Him.

My pretty pieces and my broken pieces, too.

 

Trust God, friends when the road is beautiful and clear, but also know He is with you are your dark days, too.

He will never stop using you when you spill out your box before Him.

 

What was your experience as a new Christian like?

Was it similar to mine?

Was it different?

Do you know Jesus?

If not, what is stopping you?

 

 

 

 

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2 responses to “Back to School: The Tale of a New Christian

  1. Hollie Perry says:

    Nice writing April!
    It’s cool hearing different testimonies.
    Mine was very different, as I came to Him on my knees in the midst of the darkest days of my life begging for Him to fix it.
    Guess what!!??
    HE DID!!!
    He did over what I asked.
    That was 14 yrs ago, and though most of my years have been Rosey, I can still remember those thorns He used to help mold me to be the better me.
    Thanks April for your thoughts on paper. Gave me a moment in reflection… There’s so much I could be doing for Him who has done much more for me.

    • apdawn2000 says:

      Thanks for sharing, Hollie!
      I was 14 when I was saved and still trying hard to have it both ways. I wanted to fit in. I wanted everyone to like me, but I also wanted to stand for Christ. Those things don’t fit together. God has matured me alot. Now one of my favorite verses is: “Am I here to seek the approval of man or of God? If I was here to seek the approval of man, I would not be a servant of God.” I think that’s why it’s on my heart to work with preteen/tween girls.

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