The Moment Everything Changed
The Blog is up!
The idea for this blog started to really come together in the last few months, I wanted to give myself a deadline to start so it would actually happen. (Well, actually, my husband lovingly encouraged me to set a date because he knows me and knew I wouldn’t do it if I didn’t set a deadline). When I looked at the calendar I knew right away the date I would choose, November 7th.
10 years ago on November 7th, I decided to invite Jesus to be at the centre of my life. My relationship with him is at the heart of everything I am and that I do and so this is where I want to start my blog. I want to let you in on my heart and the decision that has allowed me to be good soil.
I was in my second year of university and I thought I had my whole life figured out. I was living on my own, in Ottawa at the time; doing well in my program; I had a good job; and, I had lots of friends. I thought I had all the ingredients for a perfect life. That was until I broke my ankle. When this happened, I was crushed. Everything I had held so dear didn’t matter anymore. I couldn’t go to school, I wasn’t able to work and I couldn’t go out with my friends. I felt hopelessly bound to my room, all alone, watching hours of mindless television. Needless to say, I started to get restless. One day I was rifling through my bedside table searching for something to occupy my mind. I found my old Bible and journal - that had only been used a few times - under a pile of stray class notes.
Faith and God had always been a part of my life, but at that point, it was a very small part. For some reason, that day, I felt compelled to start reading the Bible. Growing up my faith had always been a source of great comfort, so maybe, I thought, it could help me now. It didn’t. The more I read about Jesus, the angrier I was. If He was so loving, why did He let this happen to me? Next, I turned my attention to my journal. As a teenager, I had attended a retreat with someone who challenged us to write a letter to God. I wasn't entirely sure where it would get me, but I thought why not challenge myself to do this now; what did I have to lose! The first letter went something like this:
It’s been a while. I don’t even really know what to say.
I’m mad at you. Why did you let this happen? I can’t do anything.
I kept writing to Him day after day, and as I did, I started to realize how much I held my identity in the things I did. Who I was, was wrapped up in what I did. When those things were weeded out of my life, I felt empty and alone. None of those things were bad per se but they acted as distractions that prevented me from asking the really important questions in life, like; Who am I? What was my purpose? At the same time in my life, a missionary from the Catholic group on my campus kept continually inviting me out to events, even though I kept rejecting her. Eventually, I said yes to one of them. The event’s theme was “All that matters is that Jesus be proclaimed that is what brings me joy”. I left the event keenly aware that I didn’t know what brought me real joy or what really mattered to me. Everyone at this event seemed to radiate joy, maybe there was something there that I was missing out on.
I dove into reading the Gospels. As I did, I encountered the person of Jesus. I man of deep mercy, compassion, and love. My angry letters turned to ones of thanksgiving and praise. A few weeks later I attended another Catholic event on campus.
It was a night of prayer and there was a song being played. The first line of the song is “Chains be broken, lives be healed, eyes be opened, Christ is revealed.” Hearing those words pierced my heart, I desperately longed for Christ, and for the freedom, he promised in the stories I was reading. But how? The next line is, “I have decided I have resolved to wait upon the Lord.” I felt like God was speaking directly to me through these words, “Decide”. I had a choice, did I believe that Jesus was Lord, and if I did was I going to choose for him to be the Lord of my life?
I did, I prayed to Jesus and said, “I give you everything, my whole life, I am yours!”
When I finished praying I was overcome with an indescribable peace and joy. It was as if the whole world stopped for a moment and I finally knew my deepest identity; a daughter of God.
So many seeds were planted before this moment, but it was in this moment that the conditions were just right for those seeds to sprout. The soil was cleared from all the rocks and weeds that were taking up room in my life. I finally had the space to see my life clearly. The soil was rich with truth, beauty, and goodness; words of truth, spoken to me through scripture and the events I attended, the beauty of the people around me living a relationship with Christ and, the goodness of the missionary who kept pursuing me.
On the surface, nothing changed, but in my heart, everything changed. My life suddenly had new meaning and purpose; I was seeing everything through this new paradigm. It’s like if you lived your whole life seeing only black and white, and then, all of a sudden you could see in full colour. From that moment on I knew my purpose; to be loved, to love and to share this love with others.
For the last 10 years, I have been on a journey to cultivate rich environments where I’ve flourished and those around me have flourished. My hope is that through sharing my own experiences of what has worked and in some cases what hasn’t worked I can help you flourish more, and you can help others flourish, just like how others helped me.
Looking forward to beginning this journey with all of you!