I got the sad news about the death of a very good friend of mine on a day I was fully engrossed in the animation ‘Naruto’. It came as a shock as my body could not stop shaking; the world felt so cold that I could no longer stand in it. Gasping for breath, I slumped on the bed for few seconds and when I woke up, I wanted someone to tell me it was just another nightmare.
Yearning for comfort, I wrapped my sister’s arms around me. With tears rolling down my cheeks, I reminisced on the worse I treated her before we departed from each other; how I laughed at her when she was being serious or how I sneered at her because she had a poor body shape and a very annoying way of behaving. In this moment I realized I had failed to be a dependable and true friend, which made me despise and judge myself for my wrong doings.
From that moment, I detested fellowshipping with God because I felt guilty and unworthy of a relationship with Him. I could not bear to look at myself in the mirror and even with all these, I was mad at my friend for not letting me know of the burden she had carried all by myself and it punished me more than the reality of her death.
With my face down and my shoulders heavy, I walked to school every day with an emptiness raging on the inside of me, I did not want to have no friend because I could barely rely on myself. Not loving myself made things harder because I had the perception of not deserving and rejecting love. Somehow, in that loneliness of mine, I built a wall of inferiority, social anxiety and phobia of love. I was going through a lot that no one else could see. Death seemed like the easiest way out of the misery; somewhere so small, I wondered why I was that way, why I had come to hate myself so much? Not once, did I go near the bible and even the times I went to church, I was busy judging myself instead of listening to what the preacher had to say. I thought to myself when I was down and depressed, ‘what could anyone say to make me feel better? It is a lonely world and no one cares’.
Weeks passed by, the punishment I had given myself was grave. I tried to open my heart in school as I strolled with some girls whose words were filled with vanity. I became more aware of the happenings in my environment as I secluded myself from everything, I heard girls chatter about love, birds chirp about nature and family discussed family issues. I had lost interest in life, dwelled in disconnection from life for a longer time than normal. There was one person that made life worth it, my aunt, who told me beautiful stories in my native dialect at night.
One particular day, she drew my attention back to wanting to know whom God was and if He really loved me. He showed me that He truly loved me by playing my memory back to the past when He saved me from death. I was in junior class when my brother and I had to take a cab to school, in order to get a cab we had to cross the road but on this fateful day, my brother crossed thinking I was by his side so when it got to my turn to cross alone, there was a car following the wrong side and driving in full speed, it hit me; I was blank and when I opened my eyes, people were gathered around me but I stood up as though nothing happened. In amazement, they advised me to thank God because it was only God, if not I would have broken a leg. Another experience was when I had a chest infection, it was terrible, how I am alive, I do not know but it was God. Several memories kept slipping into my memory, not just about what He had done for me but also what He did for me. That very night, before sleeping I prayed for forgiveness and freedom.
I had a dream that night, I was in a classroom with my classmates making noise. In the midst of the confusion, I saw my friend appear to me, she smiled at me and walked towards me to whisper into my ear that I am forgiven. In a flash of light, I saw Jesus and my friend disappeared, I got on my knees and He stretched His hands towards me and said again “You are forgiven”. The next thing I knew was He took my hand and we (Jesus and I) passed right through the wall into Heaven and He showed me around, as we passed by a particular room, I heard a voice and He told me it was God speaking. In astonishment, I asked if I could see God but He told me not now, for the time had not yet come, we went down a staircase made out of pure gold as I could see my reflection beneath me, by the side were lit candles and people going back and forth. When I asked what the people were doing, He said ‘God’s work’, that no one relaxes in Heaven, God’s work continues. I woke up and tried to deny myself of the dream because I could not believe it to be true.
Courage and redemption came to me in December, when I finally gave my life to Christ. I forgave myself and God did too, I felt liberated, happy and grateful. I smiled at God and He smiled right back at me, I knew I had taking a great step forward in life and away from the past, I was more proud of myself than ever. After my experience with God, I realized that the problems we deal with personally are loving and forgiving ourselves and if we cannot achieve these two things in life, it will be difficult to journey through life.
“Let there be light…
the light was good”.
Be willing to accept God’s love and to live with yourself. Sometimes, it will be hard for you to fathom your desire for light when there is darkness but one thing you should know as a human in spite of anything, light is good.