Jesus IS my crutch
by Jennifer Cardinal
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In my walk with Jesus I have had people question me at times “Are you okay?” Well-meaning people , people who love me and care for me and are honestly just asking me out of concern. They witness me being vocal about my faith and assume that something must be “wrong” with me and I need a “crutch” . They don’t understand why I seem to be kind of a bit crazy about this Jesus thing. ’Not that anything is wrong with believing in God but it seems like you talk about it a lot and think everything has to do with God. Sometimes life is just life and not everything is about God.’
This got me to thinking. After all, I do believe this is a very valid discussion. Is Jesus my crutch?
I think the best way I can answer this question is through my testimony.
I don’t think I have ever publicly shared my testimony before. It is a story that is pretty humbling and verges on embarrassing for me to share. I should preface this with the fact that I did not grow up easily (who did , right?) and by that I mean that I struggled a lot. I suffered from low self esteem, I rebelled, and I got into a lot of trouble and did a lot of things that hurt me and others around me. I definitely was not a golden child and I too often went down the wrong road looking for acceptance in all the wrong places. Looking back I can say there was a “void” in me and I searched to fill this void , namely through other people. I looked to friends to validate me and accept me and I did whatever to just fit in even if it meant doing something I would rather not do or that I knew was wrong.
As I grew older and became a young woman … I turned to men to fill this void. I hopelessly believed in the “Cinderella” story and felt if a man could just love me that would fill that void and I would be complete. As a young woman I got married, I got divorced, and I went on to have several relationships with men after that … coming to each one broken and with this gaping hole in my soul that I wanted them to fill. It was an impossible task. No man could of ever filled that void. I was this huge pile of need. I cried myself to sleep just about every night , I didn’t eat, I closet smoked, I wanted to die. I remember lying on the tile floor in my studio apartment at the time desperate in tears, wishing I had the guts to kill myself. These were definitely not my shining moments … I was beyond wounded, I was incredibly broken, I was desperate. I honestly can say now I truly feel sorry for any man that crossed my path during that time … he was in for one hell of a ride with me. It was even because of the fact I was trying to please a man and win him over that I turned to Jesus. You see, I did not start my relationship with Jesus out of honest merit … it was because I wanted to make someone love me … he told me at the time that he was leaving me because he wanted to be with someone that was more “religious” (I am sure there were many other reasons , like I was a total mess!) so did I turn to Jesus because I was seeking Him … no , I actually used Him to try and get what I wanted. In hindsight I can see how God used whatever it took to get to me and I am humbled and grateful beyond words.
So I started going to church with my best friend from college at the time (whom I should mention cared for me and ministered to me and is the one I credit to bringing me to Christ) and it was in this place … in that pit where I felt like life was never going to come together for me, where I fought and faked my way through my pitiful life but inside I was dead … God found me in that place and He did not care what it took to get me there. I can’t explain in words really what happened … if you have ever had those moments when you are touched by something that you know is outside of yourself … something that is bigger than you … something that tells you there is more. It is love, It is hope, It is sob-filled joy. It was there in that small church in Walnut Creek , Ca for the first time I really came face to face with Jesus. Did all my pain stop? No … it was just the beginning of my journey and I had a long way to go … but it was a beginning which I so desperately needed. I can remember going for walks in the middle of the night (not the smartest thing I know) and feeling Him walk beside me , holding my hand and giving me something to grab onto … and I could feel that space, that void … I could feel Him touching it and filling it in with something I had never experienced before… it was love but it was beyond any love I had ever felt before.
It was at that moment and ever since that Jesus has been my crutch. So is there something wrong with me? Yes … if left to my own devices I would probably not even be alive today for I believe that life would of had me take my own life whether it was through an act of mine or just through sheer lack of taking care of myself. You see I am a mess , my story is not a neat one … it is filled with a lot of embarrassing and pathetic moments but leaning on Jesus I have found a peace, a joy , a love and my soul has been filled up beyond anything any man or person or thing could of ever done. Am I perfect? Have I arrived? Hardly … I continue to grow and strive to better myself but the difference is that God is my crutch now , actually He is my life-line … I see Him in everything and I need him desperately in everything. I am weak and broken beyond words without Him. Anything good that has come of my life has only been because of Him. Each time I fall away and start living life on my own I am reminded of this. The more I press into Him and give Him all I am … the more peace, the more joy, the more love I have. He is my Lord. There is nothing more worthy to me that I want to give my life to.
It is said that we as believers should share our testimony. Our testimony is our story. It is through our story that we can touch the lives (even if it may be just one) of others and give them a hope by sharing what the Bible calls ”The Good News”.
This is my story. This is why I talk about God all the time, this is why I see Him in everything. He is everything to me and I really have done nothing to deserve it. That void is gone , He has filled it up. I am so proud, I am so fortunate, I am so grateful.
This same God exists for each and everyone of us.
It is my prayer that my story will find at least one person to bless. And it is to you that I say there is a God that is bigger than any hole you have , A God that knows you , that understands you, that loves you and can come along side you … just reach out to Him … He is there. I can’t promise it will be easy but I can tell you there is more… so much more. It’s a journey well worth traveling.
to contact me please do so personally at firstname.lastname@example.org
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