Finally, I reached my lowest point. I hated myself, I hated my life, and I just wanted out – to end my life.
I grew up going to church, and remember accepting Christ as my Savior when I was five. But I don’t think I actually knew what it meant and I didn’t really care. For the most part, I thought of myself as “a mostly good person,” so I didn’t think my sin was “that bad.”
After a lot of ups and downs with God, I eventually lost hope in the false image of Christ I had, so I poured all my energy and efforts into academics and became very self-focused. I aimed to make my life as good and comfortable as I possibly could so that I would never have to care about or rely on others because that was easier for me and far less painful.
But I was in denial about my great plan because I started suffering from depression and suicidal thoughts. Deep down, I knew this was no way to live but I never felt like I had an alternative so I bottled everything up and somehow kept going. I stopped going to church and continued to find fulfillment, identity, and purpose in doing well academically. It made me feel good and made others think well of me. I was lacking in friends and community and I knew I was empty because I grew jealous of everyone else who had everything that I didn’t.
Finally, I reached my lowest point. I hated myself, I hated my life, and I just wanted out. Every morning, one of my first thoughts was, “The easiest way to get out of this is to end your life,” and I would sometimes think about how and when I would kill myself. I didn’t officially plan my suicide but God brought several people into my life at the right time to encourage me to go to church again and if He hadn’t done so, if the Holy Spirit hadn’t prompted me to go, I don’t know if I would be alive right now.
I attended Restoration and heard a sermon on just believing in God and His authority without demanding signs and miracles. I remember going home that night and opening my Bible again and saying something like, “God, I don’t understand what’s going on or why I’m going through all this. But I believe in You and that You’re taking care of everything.”
I started meeting with a Restoration Church member after that and for the first time, someone didn’t condemn me for thinking awful thoughts about God or for feeling as hopeless as I did. Here was someone who struggled with trusting God in adversity herself and had doubts and fears and had rejected God at times but she was still happy. She wasn’t wallowing in condemnation, she was delighting in God. She went through the book of Romans with me, and a few weeks later, I confessed Jesus as Lord and Savior, admitted my sin before God, and repented.
It wasn’t an easy process and I don’t think there was any one moment where everything suddenly changed and I was filled with joy. It was a gradual, painful process that continued through for months. I had to let God bring me to repentance in several difficult areas and He had to really work in me to help me understand that how great my sin was, what He saved me from and what He saved me to. When my worship was turned toward Him alone, all of my purpose, fulfillment, and identity became wrapped up in Christ as well.