I’ve known about Jesus as far back as my memory will take me.

I grew up going to church almost every week, I knew all the basics of the Christian faith, I went to Christian camp every summer, accepted Jesus into my heart when I was five years old and was baptized in water when I was eleven. As it seems I did all the “right” and “acceptable” things…per-say. I considered myself a Christian and recognized truth but I didn’t love the Lord.

Despite all of this it might surprise you to know that out of my twenty-one years of living I took my very first steps to try and walk in actual relationship with Jesus two and a half years ago.

I began with brushing the dust off my Bible.

I can scarcely remember touching this book for the majority of my life, attempting only a handful of times over the course of my entire childhood and teen years with the conclusion that it was boring, confusing and to be quite honest..intimidating.

Still, I knew the basics of Christianity and I firmly believed. For me it was never a question of my belief, but a question of whether or not I would live out what I believed in. I had the option to experience total freedom in my life through Jesus or to continue to see the world through the lens of my broken and unhealed heart.

I began to understand little by little who Jesus was, not just retaining the head knowledge that “Jesus loved me.” But more and more it was revealed to me how incredible and perfect He is; and this crazy, unconditional, powerful, personal, sacrificial love that was for me. Then the most unlikely thing happened, I began to fall in love with this Jesus.

So I went to Australia in 2013 to learn more about God and do missions for six months in what is called a discipleship training school. I saw the whole thing as a big adventure and went in to it having not a clue what to expect other than learning about God. I never would have expected this exotic adventure to result in my life being as radically changed as it was and that two years later I would still being living in Australia doing missions all over the world and pursuing my dreams.

I was absolutely blown away to realize who God is, how big and beyond words He is to express, His glory and majesty, His beauty and purity, His tender care and mindfulness of all the days of my life. The King of the universe is my true Father and the creator of all things is my very best friend.

I’ve still been so imperfect on this walk. I’ve pushed and I’ve pulled, I’ve been weighed down by my questions, I’ve been stubborn like an undisciplined child, I’ve hated rules, I re-learned the same lessons over and over and I haven’t done all the right things that a “good Christian” should do, I’ve disappointed people and I’ve broken promises. The past two years have been full of trials, opposition and temptations; there have been times with a lot of pressure, times of stress and frustration, learning and painful growing, times when I felt stretched to the limit and times when I didn’t believe my prayers worked.

But Jesus has captivated my heart.

The past two years have also been full of uncontainable joy, laughter, and the birth of new friendships, victories and celebration, answered prayers and promises fulfilled, it’s been full of vision for my life and dreams beginning to take form and take flight.

Jesus has never given up on me and that is what amazes me the most, He is the closest and most faithful friend I have. He is my absolute reason to live.

I refuse to live my life halfheartedly. My ambition is to offer God my very best life because I only have this one life to offer Him. My heart is desperate for others to know the reason we have for life, to know that there is more to life than what they’ve been living for, to experience the freedom that they might not have even realized that they needed.

Sometimes the Lord will let me feel the smallest piece of how His heart breaks for His lost children and I come absolutely undone. There will be times that I go where no one can hear me and I cry and scream, “Lord they just need to know you! Then need to experience you and then they’ll see!” I can get so distressed about all the people who don’t know Jesus but God is total peace for my heart when I feel that way. He washes over me and reminds me that He is in control.

I have struggled, pushed, pulled, wrestled and resisted God for so long in my life. There was no peace, no rest, but when I stopped struggling, stopped pulling away and finally let go God was right there. He wrapped me in His arms again like I was a little child and with tears filling His eyes said, “Shh daughter, it’s okay, it’s okay, you’re safe now, you’re where you belong, I will take care of you.”

A friend of mine once shared a revelation with me that she had. Which was that after God creates us He holds us in His arms and tearfully sets us free into the cold world with His heart desperate that we may find Him and choose Him one day of our own free will and be reunited back into His arms and into His love. This is what it felt like in that moment with the Lord when I willfully chose Him, like I was finally back where I belonged, like I had returned home.

I can testify that my life has been entirely changed by the love of Christ, there are not words strong enough to express. There is nothing my heart desires more than Him. He takes what little I am capable of in my life and breathes on it to make it something beautiful and for that reason and that reason alone is my life beautiful, the breath and the life of God infused in it to the very core. I am overwhelmed by His goodness.

This relationship is on offer to anyone from any walk of life at any time. It’s a free gift from the one who loves you more than you could ever imagine or comprehend. Jesus Christ.

 

-Eliza Reynolds

Originally Written for Jesus Loves Me This I Know...