International Relations graduate (2016), born in Brazil, lived in the United States, China and now England. A book-worm, a dog lover... an aspiring cook! A grateful child of God. A missionary, a servant of the Almighty.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
When I met Jesus of Nazareth, He changed my life. He turned everything upside down. Things I was afraid of suddenly became bright and joyful and filled with HOPE. I realised every single second of this life counts because it all matters to the great God of the universe, He cares DEEPLY about us because He created us and He wants us to know him and to walk with him all the days of our life into eternity.
Jesus has graciously given me something so precious. Despite my rebellion against Him for 18 years, He still came after me and He found me in the dark places of my life, picked me up, wiped off my tears and said to me: “you are loved. I love you. and I love you so much that I died for you!”. He gave me a totally new start, a new life and even beyond that, He has given me ETERNAL life. Now I can know that if I keep trusting in HIM I will live forever with my God.
About 4 years ago I began a journey of discovery. I began to realise I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, and I realised I wasn’t even sure what the purpose of all this was. Was I really supposed to just keep going through the motions, reaching the standards set out for me and hope to maybe be successful in some way? Was I supposed to conform to the definition of success given to me by the world? Was this endless cycle of day and night just the way the physical world worked; and were we just meant to run run run… competing against each other for more knowledge, more material possessions, more “bragging rights” on experiences and relationships?
Living life that way ultimately seemed empty & meaningless. I tried really hard to find true, deep, long-term joy living that way but I still had a sense that there must be more than this. But I was searching for purpose and identity in the wrong places.
I lied so many times. I had sex with boys who I didn’t love - I just wanted to use them. I gossiped about the girls that were my friends. I drank so much I can’t remember half of the parties I went to. I tried drugs because I thought maybe the escapism would be relieving. I stole. I was proud of all my “achievements”. I craved money, popularity and appreciation. I desired to be known and to be loved, but I kept seeking for it in things that would never satisfy. I tirelessly worked to make myself look like I had everything sorted out, while the reality was (and is for many people) that in fact I wasn’t fulfilled and I felt insufficient in every area of my life.
Slowly, slowly I started to look into Christian things. Why did the Christians I knew have so much love and joy and hope? I started going to a local church to try to find out… and what I discovered was so much more amazing than anything I could ever have expected, imagined or even desired to be true.
I found out that there was a God, a mighty and powerful and strong God. A God who was in control and who was absolutely AWE-SOME. Majestic, beautiful, incredible. A God who created every single thing and person that exists in the universe. Stars and worms, mountains and waves, human brains and black holes, microscopic things and HUGE things, snow and sunshine… This God was not only a wondrous God, but He always claimed to be a LOVING GOD. Not only a loving God but in fact He claims that He is LOVE itself; and THIS God loved me, and you, and all of his creatures so much that when we turned away from him and decided to live our lives as if He doesn’t exist, He still decided He would sacrifice EVERYTHING to save us from our own choice to destroy ourselves.
Let me explain this better… God made us. He loved us. We decided to turn away from him and live as if WE were gods. Since God is perfect and holy and just, He had to punish evil things. And we were and are evil… everything we do is evil. Nothing we do can ever reach the perfection of God… So the right thing and the thing we deserve for hating a perfect eternal God is to be separated from Him for eternity. BUT instead He punished His perfect eternal son IN OUR PLACE. And even further, once the price was paid for us He now wants to adopt us as his children and He wants to have a close loving relationship with each and every one of us.
In the letter written by Paul to the Galatian church during the first century he says: “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” This is what has happened to me as well… after reading and hearing about this amazing God and the sacrifice He made for me, I decided to die to myself and my selfish desires to that I could instead be born by the spirit of God.
And WHAT AN AMAZING NEW LIFE this has been so far. God took away my fears, He started to change me from the inside. People who knew me before barely recognise me now because I’ve changed so much! All because of God! He has given me a purpose and a mission. He has given me an identity that is meaningful and lasting. He has given me life, love, joy, hope, peace. And I get to talk to Him every day. And I know when I die I will go to be with him for eternity in a place where everything is restored.
If you’re reading this and you’re not a Christian and you’ve never heard these things, or you HAVE heard them but you’ve never chosen to trust in them as ultimate TRUTH, I seriously beg you to genuinely search your heart and to search the Bible and to pray to God. Time is short and eventually Jesus is coming back to re-make the earth and bring all who believe in Him home to be with Him forever. And that will be a day of rejoicing for those who believe. but it will be a day of mourning for those who never choose to become followers of Christ.
Don’t waste time running away from God. Come to Him! He has so much to give to you, He loves you so much.