In this life, you're the one place I call home
In this life, you're the feeling I belong
In this life, you're the flower and the thorn
You're everything that's fair in love and war
—"Head Over Heels" by Switchfoot
I guess I should start the story with saying what I'm NOT. I'm NOT a super talkative, endlessly bouncy person. I'm not perfect. I sin a lot. Lust used to be a huge problem for me, but God has been able to change my perspective and show me the right way and context that He made for love and sex. I'm not super big and buff and tough and mean. I often deal with anxiety, worry, fear, insecurity, timidity, and my emotions.
So, in short, I'm a pretty messed up guy. For every good thing in me, there are, like, five or six bad things. There is absolutely no reason for God to love me.
But guess what? He does! He loves me anyway—for no reason except for the fact that He wants to. God loves me because He loves me. That's it. He loves...because He loves. And because He loves, He chooses to love. There's nothing good in me or in you or in anyone for God to love us, because the bad we do far outweighs the good. But if God loves me, then He definitely, *definitely* loves you too. There is no doubt about that. :)
God's taking me through a journey. I remember when I was stuck in sexual sin (mainly looking at half-naked women on my iDevice and masturbating), filled with fear and worry, plagued with insecurities (heightened by the sin BTW), and gripped by crushing anxiety, including social anxiety. I remember one time it was so bad that I couldn't read a Bible passage in Sunday school without my hands shaking, barely able to keep my voice from doing the same.
Now, I love being around people—especially those who feel lonely, afraid, shy, are hurting or doubt themselves. True, being a natural introvert, people tire me out after a while. And many times, I still feel awkward or out of place in a large group of people. (Probably due to my natural hipsterness. XD) I still doubt myself and wonder if I'm doing the right thing or sharing this the right way or whatever.
But I love sharing and allowing God to use me and my experiences to help others. And I'll throw myself out there to let God help others through me—no matter how uncertain or self-conscious I feel, or how scary it is, or how many people are looking (or listening or reading).
I understand that I'm not perfect and while I still feel insecure sometimes, my security in God far overpowers my lack of security in myself (though it doesn't always feel like it). My struggles with sin aren't over either. I still sometimes feel anxious. I still worry. I still fear, even as I was deciding whether to write this or not. I still struggle with lust, and even fell earlier today, but God has picked me up again and again.
I'm determined to protect my purity and the intimacy I'll one day share with my future wife. I've confessed and been open with my parents and friends about my struggles, which God has used to help me so much. And now, through God's grace, I have the freedom in Christ to share my struggles and heartaches with you, a total stranger, so that God can encourage and empower you with my story. :)
God has showed me so much through these trials and pain. I have so much love and joy in my heart, no matter how much fear, worry, and anxiety try to choke it out. God has done a work in me and is going to complete it (Philippians 1:6), and He has an amazing plan for my life which has just begun.
At a church camp this summer, God gave me a vision and confirmation of some of the things He has for me to do. I'm excited to start helping out at church, for my senior year in August, for college next year, and everything in between and beyond.
God has a perfect plan for my life, and I'm excited, thankful, and ready for the journey. :)
—Langston - age 17, 11th grade