Walking With Jesus: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

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It’s my first time openly writing about my faith. It could go either way – the internet might come after me like in the old witch hunts, or the algorithm might help this article reach fellow struggling Christians, letting them know they’re not alone.

Jesus written on notebook Credit: pexels-tara-winstead
Photo Credit: pexels-tara-winstead

A little backstory: I grew up in a super strict Christian household, but I never truly knew Jesus personally. I only heard about Him from my mom and pastors. During my teenage years and early twenties, I believed God was a distant, uncaring being. My parents served in the church, but it seemed no better than a corporate company. It was filled with people who acted holier-than-thou who gossiped and slandered each other like a forest fire. It felt like “Gossip Girl” with God in it. Not an appealing image, to say the least.

You can probably guess that I wanted no part in this so-called Christian life. Life humbled me, and I remembered two things from my teenage years. First, a Bible verse from Jeremiah 17:5: “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.” Second, a prophecy from a pastor named Rev. Peter Kumar. I don’t remember the exact series of events, but according to my mom he called specifically for me when I was around 15 or 16 in the midst of the church service. In his prayer, he said, “You will struggle with your relationships. It will be failure after failure, but in the end, only God can turn it around into victory.” Those words stuck with me. As a teenager starting to take interest in boys, it was the last thing I wanted to hear. Back then, I might have even thought, “Who is this Jesus? Such a jerk.” 

Fast forward to my early thirties. I did struggle with relationships, both romantically and in every other aspect – even with family and friends. I have a few trusted friends, and my relationship with my parents wasn’t great either. I probably have some unresolved “traumas” or something similar. At my lowest point, completely alone in a foreign country with no job, friends, or family, fresh out of a serious four-year relationship, I had no choice but to turn to Jesus. Therapy was too expensive, and I couldn’t afford it (I wish I had 100 euros to burn every day). My only alternative was Jesus or losing my sanity.

Walking With Jesus Isn’t Easy, Although It Gets Better With Time

When I sought Him, I found Him. It wasn’t a heavenly experience or a miraculous encounter like other testimonies I’ve heard. No, for me, it was the will to keep going, the strength to look within, accept defeat, and strive to be a better person. Jesus also gave me the grace to overcome deep depression. I kid you not, there wasn’t a day I didn’t cry myself to sleep for a whole year, maybe even longer. Not many people know this, not even my closest friend, although my rock bottom did bring me closer to my mom. I didn’t have access to antidepressants, therapists, or psychotherapists – not because I didn’t want them, but simply because I couldn’t afford them. I had used some of my savings to pay rent, buy groceries, and cover my master’s degree expenses.

Heavens healing Credit: pexels-tara-winstead
Photo Credit: pexels-tara-winstead

Yet, every day, I find small miracles. I experience moments of peace and find the strength to clean my apartment, wash dishes, and cook for myself despite my mind telling me to sleep forever because life isn’t worth it. I take baby steps, and like a crazy person, I “talk” to Jesus, pretending He’s sitting with me at my tiny dining table and tucking me into bed every night. Does it make me feel crazy, stupid, and completely delusional? Absolutely. However, for some supernatural reason, I truly believe He is there, listening to me, and present with me in all my struggles. And for me, that’s enough. Since then, I’ve embarked on a journey to get to know Him better and walk alongside Him.

My walk with Jesus is far from smooth. There’s this expectation that when you find God, your faith will give you a constant peace, like you’ve reached heaven or nirvana. I learned that It can only be true when I’ve reached a certain level. Yes, there are levels in spirituality, just like there’s level in human relationships: strangers, acquaintances, co-workers- friends, bff, partners, soulmates and so on. It’s the same in Christianity. Here are some struggles I face and what I learned from it.

Walking With Jesus Requires You To “Die” Daily

Remember the verse I mentioned earlier, Jeremiah 17:5? Well, I learned its meaning the hard way. My strength, plans, education, savings, career success, mental stability, health – everything can be taken away at any moment. The difference between billionaires and ordinary people? Luck, timing, and opportunity. Even King Solomon, one of the richest men on earth, acknowledged in Ecclesiastes 9:11 that the race is not always won by the swift or the battle by the strong. Food doesn’t always go to the wise or wealth to the brilliant. It’s time and chance that happens to us all. And who controls time and chance? Obviously, God. So the sooner we learn to seek and rely solely on Him, the better. Though easier said than done, truly.

Jesus paid it all Credit: pexels-tara-winstead
Photo Credit: pexels-tara-winstead

Our strength, intelligence, and plans will fail us eventually. People around us are imperfect, burdened with ego and sin. As long as we exist in this world, disappointments are inevitable. It’s impossible to expect people to heal completely from their traumas before interacting with us and “not hurting us.” It’s like asking the Earth to stop spinning. However, Jesus teaches us that in following Him, we must deny our flesh and take up our cross. This doesn’t mean we have to suffer every day, but it does require us to reject our ego, way of thinking, and pride. Yes, pride is a significant stumbling block.

Strangely enough, when we accept that the world has fallen and that people are imperfect (including ourselves), we find peace. We learn to forgive ourselves and others, and that’s when true peace emerges. We begin to accept people as they are, without placing unrealistic expectations on them. Because only Jesus alone can fulfill our (good) expectations. Even the best of the best in the world, like money, can only do so much. The righteousness of the most “holy” person on earth is like a dirty rag in front of the Lord. Now, I’m not being legalistic by saying we must do A, B, C, and D to be a good Christian. There’s no such thing as “good” or “bad” Christians. In my book, we are all “I try my best” Christians. We are all striving. And that’s the best we can do.

It Also Means He Wants Your Radical Obedience And Trust

Radical obedience is a tough one. As a control freak, my default mode is taking matters into my own hands. Let me share a real example: trusting God for a life partner. Trusting Him in this area is challenging, but deep down, I know Jesus won’t let me die alone. Or if I do, He will give me the grace to live life to the fullest. How will I find my life partner if I don’t actively try? I asked myself. Wrong mindset. I forgot that Jesus is in control. He knows the number of hairs on my head and what is meant for me. 

Fast forward when I felt ready to date again, I quickly learned that my attempts to find a life partner through various means – dating apps, meeting strangers, and filtering for specific qualities – led to more disappointments. I realized that genuine connection, character, and a personal relationship with Jesus were what I truly desired in a guy (of course, tall, dark, handsome, with a big cuddly dog in tow don’t hurt). It became clear that I needed to trust God’s plan and not rely on my own understanding. Well, it wasn’t easy. I feared dying alone and questioned how I would find a life partner when the odds seemed impossible. In the midst of frustration, I cried out to God, asking Him to show me if there was someone specifically created for me. And then, unexpectedly, this man appeared who seemingly ticked all my boxes.

As we got to know each other, I made a pact with Jesus, if I got my heart broken again, that would be the last straw, no more romance for me. I prayed before every date, asking for God’s guidance. Though this guy didn’t share my beliefs or believe in marriage, his behavior, character, and our conversations about spirituality captivated me. This time, I approached things differently. I realized that only God could change him, and I couldn’t force a relationship. Surprise surprise heartbreak numero tre is here. We attempted to remain as platonic friends, and surprisingly, even if it’s hard for me, it has worked so far. Had I forced a relationship with this guy, forget about being friends, I have a policy once an ex always an ex. He would have been a stranger to me then.

I questioned God, why I still fail, even this time I tried His way. However, I sensed a calling to pray for this man’s salvation and to trust in the Lord’s timing. Though I’m uncertain about the outcome or the duration of this journey, I’ve made a promise to no longer pursue romantic relationships unless it’s the one that God has ordained for me. Despite my fears, I must remind myself that He is a good Father who knows what is best for me and He will give the best for me. While I don’t know the result yet, I hold onto the belief that Jesus will make things happen in His timing, and His plans for me are good, whatever it is.  On the other hand, I know for sure not obeying Him only leads to more troubles in life.

Isolation Is Sometimes Necessary. He Wants You To “Hear” His Voice

In the months that I slow down and feel a little isolated, I still find peace, and I learn one thing: God wants to have a personal relationship with his children. He wants us to learn to hear his voice. He has a personality, and the Holy Spirit is an individual, He is a friend. Can you say you’re “friend” with someone by just having an occasional 5 min talk every 2 weeks? Of course not. You become friends with someone after a regular contact period, sharing moments together, exchanging thoughts, opinions and so on. It’s the same with God, Jesus and The Holy Spirit. They too have personalities, and I’m learning to know them.

Jesus loves me. Credit: pexels-tara-winstead
Photo Credit: pexels-tara-winstead

For example, to me God is the dad, Jesus is my brother, lord and savior, and the Holy Spirit is my friend. Different roles, and they’re kind of like a 3 in 1 combo deal, you speak to one, the other 2 will know 😆. Jesus is after our heart, he doesn’t care about anything else. He died for us because he loves us so, and he wants us to reciprocate. He wants us to learn to hear his voice so we can communicate with him. I found it truly liberating that I can actually ask him to help me defend my mind from negative thoughts. It’s seriously better than any world class therapist. I’m grateful for therapists and doctors, of course, they’re awesome. Can you Imagine, if you can be best friends with the creator of this world, you won’t need anything else. I must stress that this is a journey, a relationship that each of us has to build day by day. And I believe if only I can constantly be in His presence, my life will be set and I won’t have to worry about anything. That is my relationship goal, to put my trust 1,000% in Him.

Trusting Jesus or What Are The Alternatives?

So we’ve learned that following Jesus is HARD. What are the alternatives then? I’ve asked myself this question countless times. Since I started my walk with Jesus, worldly pursuits no longer satisfy me. Dancing, partying, relying on friends and human relationships, they all eventually fail me. Even traveling and indulging in good food only bring temporary joy. It may not sound appealing, but this is the reality of our broken world. The alternative is embracing a YOLO mindset, living according to my desires, numbing my feelings, seeking temporary happiness, and heading towards eternal destruction like many others. Believe me, I’ve had profound conversations about life with unbelievers, and they too feel a sense of emptiness. What gives me hope is getting closer to Jesus, striving for a heaven on earth mindset. I aim for supernatural peace and joy that isn’t dependent on my circumstances. And even if I never fully attain it in this life, I know I’ll experience it in heaven when I leave this earth. So to all my fellow struggling Christians out there, Jesus sees us and he is proud of us for trying our best. Let’s keep up the good fight. As the apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 4:7 “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith”, that’s the best we can do after all.

One comment

  1. Thank you Lord Jesus, thank you Abba Father, You answer my prayer.
    Walk with Jesus hand in hand my lovely daughter, cause you are lovely princess of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus love you so much, and we love you so much.
    John 15:7-9 NKJV
    If you abide in Me, and My word abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you, abide in My love.

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