Do you ever feel like you are lost and alone wandering hopelessly in this world? Are there days when you feel that you don’t have the strength to continue on in life? Life is hard. There are so many struggles that we face today that brings us pain and sorrow. There are moments of disappointment when life does not turn out how we want it to and we wonder why? Why is there injustice and hatred in the world? Why must we go through so many challenges and difficulties in life?
On New Year’s Eve I attended my friend’s, Sandrine’s, baptismal. It was such a beautiful way to end the year and to start a new year. The death of our old sinful life to a new life dedicated in following the footsteps of Christ. But that is not to say that we will not fail. We will continue to fall, we will continue to sin, we will continue to be disappointed. But we will have God to lift us up when we fall, the Holy Spirit to reveal our sins and change us for the better, and Jesus to give us hope in our pain and sorrow.
Sandrine’s testimony touched my heart and reminds me of the hope I have in Jesus. You can read her testimony below. I love how her testimony is an open love letter to God. She spoke from her heart. There is so much truth in what she shared. We go through life chasing earthly treasures. Making money. Advancing in our profession. Getting the best possessions. All these things never truly satisfy us. It only makes us wanting more. What is it that we truly want?
It is not until we hit rock bottom, when we are broken and in desperation that we find what we are seeking in life. We are looking for hope. Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for a better place. A hope that transcends the hardships and sorrow of today. As a Christian, I still experience disappointment, pain and sorrow. Life is still a struggle. But I find peace when I lay all of my burdens upon Jesus in my prayers. Jesus promises to bring comfort and peace to everyone. Matthew 11:28-30 reads “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Often times when I bring my disappointment to God, He, in turn, will reveal His faithfulness to me. It may not end the way I want it to but it ends beautifully in God’s perfect timing and God’s perfect purpose. I trust that He is faithful. For I only see the “here and now” but God sees something infinitely bigger. Trust in Him. Lay all your cares on Him. Set your heart and mind on Him. Place your hope on Jesus.
Here is Sandrine’s testimony:
I grew up to become somebody. Make money. Be important. Have a career. But I was angry. I was judgmental. I’ll do better. I’ll be better. Sure I was Christian. But it didn’t mean anything. Because I was doing it on my own. I was one of those who thought I don’t need a church. I don’t need to worship. I don’t need anyone for that matter. I wasn’t ready then.
And then life happened…
I grew up. In the spam of 10 years I left my country, my family and I lost so many people I don’t have enough fingers to count. I was lost. I grieved. I was angrier. I was sadder. I was afraid. I was struggling. At the same time, I gave life twice.
When my daughter was born I hit rock bottom. But in all that struggle there was only one thing that kept me going. The one thing I clung onto. Resurrection. Death is not final. I will see my mom again.
So that one day, in front of the wall, I chose life. And to make it happen I had to forget my pride. I had to ask for help. And I had to be willing to receive it. To accept that I can’t do it on my own. I was afraid, but I opened up. And my heart started to change. But I wasn’t ready yet.
My husband and I knew that we needed a church for our kids. But we couldn’t agree. And it was for the kids, not for me. For my kids. It’s always when you least expect it that it happens. The day that your child is hurting so bad you would give or do anything to take their pain away. Then You sent someone my way. The only thing he tells you is “come and see”. We came. We showed up. But I wasn’t ready yet.
I don’t know when exactly You opened my eyes ? But for the first time, I realized that all that time when I was afraid and I thought I was all alone, I was mistaken. I look back now and I see it. You gave me a wonderful husband that has loved me through sickness and in health and that continues to love me. A family of my own. A shoulder to cry. Friends to laugh with. A church to worship You. I realize that Your grace Lord was always there. I just had to accept your invitation. So I leaped in. I held my breath and I get go. I gave You the control. And I see all that You have rewarded me with: Love. Hope. Joy. Peace.
I know that believing in You is not like wearing pink glasses. It doesn’t become all perfect all of a sudden. It will still require work. There will be challenges and pain and doubts ahead. But today I want to tell You Lord that I am ready. And when I fall and when I doubt, I will remember that I am not alone. I will remember not to be afraid because You are my God.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.