As promised, here are some interesting journal entries from my first year as a Christian (I became a Christian on 5/1/11). Looking back, it seems like it was a difficult year riddled with doubt. However, that’s the year that I started this blog so I can see that God made good things come out of my struggles.
5/5/11: I’m concerned about the moment I gave my life and if I felt the right degree of sorry-ness about my sin.
. . . So far, the only thing that is different is the feeling inside of me. I shouldn’t rush to make things different though just for the sake of proving/earning something. And yet, if I am still being selfish, what was the point of “giving” my life?
5/6/11: I’m starting to think that anything can be sin depending on your motives behind it. What am I supposed to do, repent 1 million times a day?
9/1/11: I have to be careful not to turn this into a self-improvement process where I ask God to change me in ways that I know will make me happy.
10/19/11: I feel very religious…just like going through the motions. I know that is not what it is supposed to be like, but sometimes I guess we have to be satisfied with it until God answers our prayers for more faith.
11/6/11: It makes sense to be upset by sin, but not for the reason I am. I am upset because I hate struggles. I think I hate wrestling with the sin more than I hate the sin itself. If I just went with it, it would be no struggle. If I confidently went against it, it would be no struggle. So struggling with it is a sign that I know it’s wrong. That is a good start, but I don’t know what the next step is, since I have tried repenting and it seems to be taking a while or I am doing it wrong.
. . . The thing is, I can’t keep telling myself He is going to answer my prayers if there aren’t little triumphs along the way to build my faith. Thank goodness there have been some triumphs or I would have given up long ago.
11/6/11: Some people might look at me and say “this church thing is causing too much stress on your life.” But I would disagree with them, and say “it is better than the alternative, especially in the long run.” Also, the stress is my fault. Yes, Christianity might have triggered it, but the fact that the propensity towards stress was there to begin with is the real problem.
11/8/11: I think I am getting the wrong view of God. I know this is only temporary, but recently I have been reading Revelation and it is very disturbing. Personally, I’m just being honest, it makes God seem evil. And yet, I can’t imagine why so many people would believe in a God like that. I must have the wrong perspective. I know I have the wrong perspective because there is no such thing as a “bad” God…saying God is bad is basically saying He doesn’t exist, and I know He exists so therefore He must be good…it’s just confusing at times. I was totally fine when I was reading A Case for Faith, but I can’t recall what I’ve read.
11/9/11: Yes, it’s stressful being a Christian, but I am learning new things everyday which kind of makes up for it.
11/13/11: I look at them [my parents] and see that they have more life experience and more maturity, and I constantly have the feeling that what they believe must be true since they are smarter than me. Then again, it’s not like everything in their past had a positive influence on them so I suppose they are not completely free of the negative influences of their past which makes them, as all humans are, not perfectly knowledgeable and unbiased about everything in the world.
11/29/11: My parents think my motive in being Christian is that I want to be a good, happy person. That is not really my motive though, or shouldn’t be anyway. My motive is acknowledging truth and discovering truth.
12/9/11: I think what I’m missing is love and what that feels like. I love my parents but it is unspoken love, so this loving God out loud thing is new to me.
. . . I need to understand why I am so self-conscious all the time. I don’t like myself a lot of the time and I’m afraid that the self that I see is the self that others see, that You [God] see. However, I know that is not true and if you see me as your precious daughter then why should what I think matter? I always assume that what I think it the ultimate, objective reality of who I am, but if I want to get even more real, why not turn to you?
12/25/11: Just a disclosure for this entire journal, God, is that if my reasoning is wrong in any way that I am willing to look at it a different way, just show me.
1/8/12: Why is this so hard? Just take my mind please. Am I holding on to it? I hope not. I am trying to let go. You can do everything. Sorry for ever doubting that.
1/12/12: You’d think someone so holy, righteous and loving would be easy to love, but it’s really not as easy as it sounds. I am pursuing Him so fervently because I love truth, not necessarily because I love Him. Yes, I love Him most of the time, but I don’t think it is the main motivation behind my fight. My motivation is the pursuit of truth, and the energy to continue comes from God loving me. So please, God, show me what’s holding me back. Nothing in this world is worth spending more attention on than you.
4/2/12: I often get teary-eyed at Iasis [a church], so I wonder if that is a sign that I need a breakthrough and letting myself cry is a crucial step that I have not taken. In this case, my tears come from really thinking about how great Jesus is. Since I do not get emotional about the subject very often, I wonder if I even love Jesus all the times that I am not getting emotional. When I do get teary-eyed, it feels so different than I feel 99% of the time I try to pray and read my bible – it actually feels extremely real. I’m not saying it never feels real other times, but when it feels extremely real, it is so amazing that I don’t see why we shouldn’t strive for that all the time. But if we did get it all the time, would we take it for granted?
Next week, we’ll take a look at some journal entries from after college and how my relationship with God began to radically change. Stay tuned!