He changed my heart

 

I’ve always considered myself Christian, even before actually having a unique encounter with God which caused me to change my entire perspective on everything. I grew up in the church and most of all my values aligned with Christian doctrine, whether I abided by them or not. My mother had a great deal of influence on me and though I recognize that my admiration for her won’t let me regret it.

When I was in elementary school, I was often teased and bullied. I’d ask my mom how to respond and she always said, “pray for them”. This was frustrating as a child. I didn’t see how praying for someone would stop them from hurting me. She taught me to treat others how I wanted to be treated, regardless of how they treated me. While this could be hard to learn, I still subscribe to this ideology. I sought to understand others and compassion helped me to forgive easily. Maybe I should say let go instead of forgive. I think there’s a difference. When you let go, you acknowledge (within yourself) that someone hurt you and rather than deal with it, you let it go and pretend like it was nothing in effort to move past it. This habit ensued avoiding confrontation but also caused me to harbor discomforting feelings subconsciously.

Before my encounter with God, I tried to treat others the way I wanted to be treated regardless of how they treated me.  I “let go” of things people did and said to me easily. Much of this was motivated by my desire to be accepted. After years of this I realized it wasn’t working for me. It led to depression and I think may have even contributed to a subpar self-view.

Since becoming a true follower of Christ I’ve learned a few truths that have empowered me to truly live joyously in spite of undesired circumstances.

  1. Give without expected anything in return. Often, I tried to be “nice” or “friendly” but why? Is our generosity linked to what we expect to receive back? I used to be puzzled wondering how I could be so good to others only to have them stab me in my back. With this new perception, I give what I can because I truly want to, because I’d want it to be given to me and because it is what Jesus would do. I have no expectations of the person on the receiving end.
  1. Someone’s blatant rejection of me isn’t a reflection of me but of them. This truth is liberating. There were people who rejected the Truth because they felt it threatened their popularity and livelihood. People will reject me for reasons I’ll never know. What’s for me, is for me.
  1. One of the most important things, it ain’t about you! We get boggled down in depression when our worldview is centered around us. What we don’t have, what we can’t do, what others have done to us, what others have in comparison to us. The quicker I learned how selfish it was of me to sulk in other’s wrong doing against me, the quicker I was able to get up out that sunken place. I had to shift my focus.

An actual encounter with God will challenge everything you thought you knew. God had to change my heart. And He’s still working on me! Which of these three truths resonated with you most?

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