Los Angeles, CA

May 10, 2023 by  
Filed under Faith, Faith Articles

When I was 17, the Los Angeles Times printed a front page news article entitled: “Strength in the Face of Adversity.” That article explored how I managed to overcome a nightmarish childhood and still made it into the prestigious school, U.C. Berkeley.  During my time at Berkeley, I worked hard to maintain a 4.3 GPA while managing a busy schedule combining several jobs and a long list of extracurricular activities including Editor in Chief and President of the honors society. I won’t go into the details but, suffice it to say, the LA Times found it newsworthy that I had accomplished such accolades because my life had really been that bad.

I was featured on the news, interviewed by talk radio and contacted by individuals who were personally inspired by my story.  They all wanted to know how I “managed.” At one point I attempted to articulate a core response by writing: “I manage because I expect myself to manage and because I believe that God only gives you what you can handle and I never plan to let him down.”

Back then, I had a sense of God’s character and role in my life and while the world seemed to be impressed with the implications of this, I was not satisfied with myself or my life. While I was driven to overcome circumstances by my belief that God had set expectations for me, I was plagued by an underlying belief that happiness-even God’s love-had to be earned. Deep inside my life’s accomplishments was a sort of attempt to earn love and a sense of self that I felt I was lacking.

I realized just how unsuccessful I had been at life the day that I chose to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. In my eyes, that was the moment I truly became an over-comer because the revelation of God’s love began to melt the weight of the world in a way that no other external or worldly accomplishment could.

My life truly began to change when I took a leap of faith and accepted that God’s love was expressed in the sacrifice of His only begotten son.  I also accepted that inner peace and true happiness were by-products of faith in this simple fact.

My life is not perfect now and I am still plagued by an occasional drama or two in my life. But, I can honestly say that my faith in Jesus Christ has formed a solid, protective layer of peace around me and I no longer have that empty feeling that seemed to get bigger and wider with every hardship. I have come to a place where I truly know that God loves me and that I don’t need to feel like I have to overcome life and earn anything from anyone. Now, I can actually enjoy my accomplishments because I know they were inspired by God’s love and my desire to love him back by doing His will.

Life is much more fulfilling for me than it was before.  Even though many people might say that my life changed long ago when my circumstances changed, I know that the moment I accepted God’s love that was the most beautiful life-altering moment of change in my life.  And, it continues to transform me till this day, in a way that nothing else ever could.

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