I’ve been a Christian all my life – I was born one and I grew up as one. But somewhere along the way, I lost my faith. It didn’t happen overnight, and the sad part was that I did not even realize it was happening. Perhaps it began when I left home for college – the different lifestyle and the hectic academic schedule did not leave any time for church, and though I would think of home and Sundays, I did not make an effort to find a place of worship close to campus. And so the folly of youth made me drift away from God and all that I had been taught about him, until the day I was forced to take a long and hard look at my life and admit that I had strayed away from the path I was meant to take.
It was a rough time – I was due to graduate in a few months, I had trouble finding a job, and the sword of student debt was hanging over my head all the time. To make matters worse, my boyfriend of four years broke up with me since he felt I was a deadweight dragging him down, and my family was too far away to be of any real comfort. I was holed up in my room, alternating between bouts of crying and self-pity. That’s when the tolling church bells from afar jolted me out of my reverie, and I suddenly remembered a hymn I had sung as a child in church – count your blessings, name them one by one; count your blessings, see what God has done.
I began to list out all that was wrong with my life, and next to this, I wrote down all that was right with it. I realized I had much more to be thankful for than complain about – I had a loving family who were ready to welcome me back home with open arms; I was in good health and was about to graduate from a prestigious school; and best of all, I had the rest of my life in front of me and a plethora of many paths to choose. So what if I had failed in love, so what if I owed some money – there were other men in the world, and there were many jobs besides the ones I wanted.
And so I packed my bags and headed back home after graduation; and to cut a long story short, I found a good job close to my parents’ place, saved some money by living at home, and paid off my debts in a few years. And best of all, I met my husband of five years now – he had moved into the house near my folks. If I hadn’t moved back home when I did, I would not have found the happiness I have today. And I owe it all to the fact that I discovered Jesus again, long after I had sent Him out of my life.
Since the day I heard those church bells toll all those years ago, not a day goes by when I don’t get down on my knees and thank the Lord for all the grace He has bestowed on me. I am reminded of the story where an angel takes a man through a tour of heaven; there are tons of letters waiting to be read in one section and hundreds of angels rushing about to respond to them, and one lone angel in another section with hardly a handful of letters on his desk. When the man asked the guide angel what each section was, the angel replied – the one with many letters is the Request department, and the one with hardly any is the Gratitude department; sadly, while man asks God for many things, he fails to thank Him for the gifts he has been given. I want my letters to go to the lone angel – maybe God will then give him a companion to take care of the additional workload.
Since I found Jesus again and started following his path, I am more grateful for all that I have and less bitter about what I don’t have – this positive attitude has made a world of difference in all aspects of my life.