EDITOR’S NOTE: Following Jesus doesn’t mean we need to try to be a good person. In fact, it is the Holy Spirit who shapes our character the closer we draw to the Lord and His fruits begin to manifest in us. Like Joy found out, it’s not about being a good person. It’s about pursuing Jesus regardless of how good or bad we are. He is the one who fulfills us and makes us more like Him.
My story is a story of failure. I tried to gain fulfillment on my own, and every time I was left searching. Once I realized that my story was not about me, but was about Jesus, only then did I find satisfaction.
Jesus gets all the credit. Jesus has to be center stage, not me, but it took many failures to realize that.
In high school I began a search for fulfillment. I was a happy person, and I had great friends and parents who loved me, but I just felt like there had to be something more. I turned to guys and friends seeking love and approval, but nothing was enough.
I was told religion would satisfy me, so I went to church and tried to be a good person. I thought being a good person would get me into heaven, but really, what is good enough? I tried to be a good person, and failed miserably.
I was doing it all wrong. Nothing satisfied me.
Yet, Jesus kept pursuing me.
I entered college still looking for fulfillment. I searched, but I never found it. I again turned to guys, but this time was sexually abused. My heart broke. I was depressed and filled with shame, but Jesus saw the situation differently. Jesus kept pursuing me.
Jesus never gave up on me. He used my broken heart to turn me to him, so he could repair it.
God brought me to a point of utter dependency. I was a freshman in college, in a different state, without close friends, and Jesus used all of this to get me to reach out to him. My whole life I went to church, but I lacked the heart of Christianity, a personal relationship with Jesus. I was not living a fulfilled and satisfied life because I was looking for love in all the wrong places.
Friends, do you see how crazy this is? I went to church, but I did not know Jesus! I did not know that his love would be the only love that could satisfy me! I had never before experienced the life change that he provides.
I began to finally understand that only through a personal relationship with Jesus could I find complete fulfillment. After realizing this, I learned that God truly loves me, even with my brokenness, and has a wonderful plan for my life. I learned that I was broken and searching, but God was perfect and holy. I learned that I can know 100% that I will spend eternity with my savior, and it had nothing to do with being good enough!
God desired to be with me, but in between us stood a wall of all my sins, my past, and my failures. Since God wanted so badly for us to be together in a relationship, he sent his son Jesus to die for my sins, so that I could know God.
Before college I knew about God, and I believed in Jesus, but not until college did I make the individual choice to make Jesus the king of my life. Before, everything was about me. I was the king of my life, but now Jesus is king. I no longer only give God my Sunday mornings, I give him my whole life.
Today, I still fail. I still make myself king. I put myself on the throne every time I do what I want instead of what God wants. Thank goodness for grace and forgiveness! I am learning that relationships are not one time decisions, but are lifelong journeys. I am on a journey to try and make Jesus the main character, and that everything I do would be about him.
I believe that Jesus will use me and my story to help women. I invite you to join me on this journey. Check out my posts. Invite other women to join us on this journey.
Experience Jesus. Experience His joy. Experience His freedom.
My name is Joy Pedrow and I’m eternally grateful for Jesus Christ.