A Leap of Faith
My name is Rebekah, and this is my transformation story:
I never doubted the existence of God. That was never the issue for me. I could see beauty and order in the world. Growing up, there wasn’t a Sunday I wasn’t in church hearing God’s word. So when I was 4 years old, I remember being very frustrated that there was a God that couldn’t be seen by human people. My mother explained to me that we cannot see God with our eyes because of our sin, the bad things that we do. She told me that Jesus, even though he was perfect, didn’t sin, took the punishment for our sin. If we believe that to be true and we follow Jesus, then we could see God one day in heaven.
But even after I took that step of faith as a child, I struggled tremendously with self-worth. For some reason there was a constant need in my heart to measure up to some standard. As a teenager I started looking for my value in my relationships, which caused me to enter into unhealthy relationships, leading to fear and pain and destruction. To counteract my emotions, I put an enormous value on my work ethic. I had a paying job from the age of 14 or 15. By the time I was 21, I had accumulated enough to move out of the house, finish college, and assert independence the best way I knew how which wasn’t great.
As I entered my career, I moved to Washington, D.C. and climbed the ladder super fast. I got married to a wonderful man, who was also an achiever. We easily accumulated wealth, had strong leadership positions in the federal government, and we were miles ahead of others our age. But for some reason it was never enough to fulfill our deeper desires.
When my husband first mentioned going into full time ministry, I thought it was a phase that would pass just like some of his other interests. But the more we ignored God’s calling the more miserable we became. I finally just broke and realized there was a disconnect between what I was pursuing and what God wanted for me. I had put so much value into my career and accumulated wealth, it had become a hinderance to allowing God to be fully in control. I kept hearing God ask me over and over “Am I enough? Am I, God of the universe, enough?”
Soon we sold everything and moved back to my hometown so that he could go to seminary and start full time ministry. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to give up so much. It wasn’t just stuff, it was like giving over parts of myself. Over the past almost 10 years, I’ve given over various things that I’ve used to define “Me” over to God. As I’ve done that, I find a peaceful release. It’s not always immediate, and I still worry at times, but there’s an enormous, unexplainable peace about no longer living up to the world’s changing standard.
You see, constantly trying to measure up will always lead to fear, disappointment, faulty self-image, and eventually destruction. But the message of Jesus is a God so loving that while we are still sinners, still trying to measure success by earthly standards, he came down to man’s level to rescue us from destruction. As a child I learned that Jesus was my savior from sin, my conversion story. As an adult I’ve learned that I am only complete in Him. In Jesus, I can be an image bearer of the mighty God, regardless of reaching benchmarks, obtaining other people’s standards or being someone other than me. God loves me where I am and that’s my transformation story. Thanks!