Christianity -- Christian Living/New Believer Anxiety
I was married for ten years, and decided that we were not compatible and it took years to get the courage up to leave. We both agree now that we were not a match, and we are better friends than spouses. I help with anything he needs (he has MS), but we are still not divorced. It took him two years to sign. During the time we were going thru the separation process, I did things with people I would never have done. I separated from him, my mother died, and I had to move and start a new job within the same month. I feel disgusting for the things I did sexually, I blew thru a ton of money and just generally was lost completely. My dad was suicidal after my mom died and things were just bad.
About a year or so ago, I am pretty sure I accepted God,because I laid in bed sobbing and asking forgiveness. Since then I just feel really overwhelmed with anxiety. I have strayed from all those things that I got caught up in thankfully. I have gotten rid of tv, and things like that. I promise there is a question in here!
So I have changed and am more of a nice, patient person. I notice my thinking has changed to where I don't even like media that is sinful in nature. I am seeing someone who is really not a match for me, but I am unsure how to get out of the relationship. He is not a Christian and very set in his ways, I do love him, but I know he is wrong for me. But that's a whole other situation I will have to deal with soon enough. I pray (sadly) that he ends it first so I won't have to.
My main question is how do I get any sense of joy from becoming a Christian? I felt led to go to college and am enrolled now going into my sophmore year with theology as my major, but I still and sooooo anxious and unsure of everything! I can't get my head around completely that Jesus died and ascended to Heaven for me.I think of God and being saved all the time. So much so I wonder if I am hurting rather than helping my growth. I feel like a failure all the time and just can't quite get myself to be 100% like I should be towards being a Christian. I feel this deep sense that I am deceiving myself and am not saved and wasting time in Gods eye. I worry greatly that if I died today, I would be in hell. I want to be proud of my salvation, and not be embarressed to talk of Jesus. I work and live in a super liberal, anti religion small town. And I don't have an outlet to discuss this.
I want to feel assured and content in my beliefs. I would like to be able to work on hobbies and an actual life where I am happy in addition to being a Christian. My worry is getting the best of me and it's driving me nuts. I think I may have over done it with trying to powerpack information too fast. My dad went for a walk one day, came back a believer with instant joy. Why is it such a struggle for me who wants it more than anything, and so easy for a man who was anti religion til that point?
Thank you for your patience, and I would love to know what you think. I can assure you I am not a nutjob, I manage a bakery, go to school and deal with some major health issues. I just really want the peace I read about and see.
Hi Jennifer, thank you for your email. It sounds like you have a great deal of frustration going on. As you know, Christians believe in a salvation rooted in God's mercy and Jesus' death and resurrection; this salvation is granted to all who believe in him. Read: Acts 16:31. I wonder is you fully understand what it means to be saved. Perhaps we should look at that for a minute.
First of all Jennifer, understand that salvation is from God, who acts to deliver the helpless who trust in him. While I could give you many scriptures to support this, I suggest you simply read the book of Mark, there are many stories to support how God delivers his children. But a point you need to get ahold of is, Jesus has accomplished all that is necessary for your/ my salvation. When you and I trust Jesus, we are considered to have died with him and have been raised again (Rom. 6:3-5). So what I am saying Jennifer, what the Bible says, is "according to his mercy, he has saved you/me. And we read in 2 Timothy 1:9 " ...he has saved us to a holy life." So where do you go from here? What's your/my responsibility. Let me break it down to three things.
1. It means that you (all believers) confess your helplessness to combat sin and the forces that continue to trip you up.
2. It means that you confess Jesus, who has acted in history to provide your deliverance.
3. It means that you confess God's trustworthiness as you abandon yourself to him and rely on him alone to bring your deliverance.
After you have believed, and asked Jesus into your life Jennifer, you are no longer controlled by sib. Will you still be tempted, of course. But the point is, sin can no longer control you! Control is the word I want you to focus on! Because of the act of grace (cross) Jesus did, you can 'choose' to do the will of God and live a righteous life. Christians all know that faith in Christ produces a true change of life and character. Please give that some thought Jennifer. Don't go over that quickly. This change in you is all about 'sanctification'. This is so important to Jesus! You can read about it in John 17 (Christ's High Priestly Prayer). Jesus appeals to the Father to sanctify us through his Word so we might be sent into the world to glorify God by doing his will. Read this support scripture 1. Thess. 5: 23-24. Understand how. Important you are to your Father in Heaven. The Spirit and the Word ( John 17:17), are agents God uses to sanctify you 'through and through', that you may increasingly reflect the presence of Jesus in your life. What I'm saying Jennifer, you are not walking alone anymore. You do not have to make this change by yourself. As a believer, you are sealed with God's very spirit, and it's his job to line up your desires with God's desires.
The Spirit graciously works in you, the believer, eradicating your sin nature and replacing your bent toward evil with a love that inclines us to God and to good.
Understand Jennifer, this love which God alone can shed in your heart, a love planted in a moment of sanctifying grace, must and will grow as the Holy Spirit nurtures the new thing he has planted in you and as the process of sanctification continues. Holiness, of course, is an ideal. But as you grow in relationship
with Jesus Christ, you do become more and more like him.
Now, in regard to the frustrations you are encountering daily, understand that if you keep doing what you've been doing, you'll get what you've always got. Life is about choices. When you make a choice, you also choose the consequences. You are responsible for your actions! God gave you free will, so when you choose to use it, you indeed reap what you sow. So many people blame God for the bad things that happen to them - that's just bad theology. With love, I suggest that ' you take charge of your circumstances and stop allowing your circumstances to take charge of you.'
If you know this boyfriend is not right for you, be honest with him and yourself. Life is to short to play head games. Nor should we use people or allow ourselves to be used. From the little that you have shared with me, I glean that you are not ready for a relationship. I think your focus should be on your relationship with Christ. You need to be in a church where you hear the Word preached. The Bible clearly tells us that 'faith comes from hearing the word preached.' You need to be around other Christians so you can feel the support you need. I would recommend that you find time for a good Bible Study.
What I'm saying is, Jennifer the ball's in your court. Jesus has done his work, now you must pick up your cross and follow him. You won't know how to follow if you don't read and understand the Scriptures he wrote to you. Wisdom comes down from above. Get to know the One who knows you the best and loves you the most.
I have tried to be straight forward with you, my friend, I hope you see what you need to do. You need to take control of your life. If you ran your business as you're running your life, where would it be today? What I'm saying, my friend is, God wants your life filled with peace and joy. He has plan. He's not the big Santa Claus in the sky, he's your Creator God, your Father, your Savior, Redeemer, and friend. He believes in who he created. He asks you to believe in Him and yourself. Figure out what you want in life and set reachable goals. Take Him along with you. Jesus says, " Come, let us reason together." " I am with you always, even to the end." It's this relationship that you need to cultivate right now my friend. It's real and it's right!
Blessings upon you as you seek the Light.
Rev. Ramona Stonecipher