Ten years ago, I took the plunge.
I was 13 and I decided to get baptized with my best friend at Camp Akita. I was ready to publicly declare my love for God.
“This is everything I want,
This is everything I need
I want this to be my one
Everything my heart desires
Lord, I want it all to be for You, Jesus,
Be my magnificent obsession”
Magnificent Obsession by Steven Curtis Chapman was the song played right before the muddy waters of the waterfront came over me. It’s a powerful song and I took it very seriously when it came to picking what song would play at my baptism. I recently just came across this song again and it reminded me of the commitment I took.
Not a year after getting baptized, I remembered sitting down with my dad and telling him that I didn’t want to go to church anymore. I just didn’t like it. He encouraged me to continue going (more like I didn’t really have a choice, but he was so good with words that by the end of our conversation, I was fine with going to church again). I got more involved and soon forgot why I “hated” going to church. But there was always a struggle with my relationship with God. The pendulum swinging dramatically back and forth between my blazing passion for God to my insensitive, cold heartedness for Him. Fast forward to present day.
I can count many times that my faith has been tested and it’s amazing to me how much I still don’t fully understand the love that Christ has for me.
“So capture my heart again,
Take me to depths I’ve never been
Into the riches of Your grace and Your mercy
Return me to the cross,
And let me be completely lost
In the wonder of the love
That You’ve shown me
Cut through these chains that tie me down
To so many lesser things,
Let all my dreams fall to the ground
Until this one remains”
I am beyond flawed, yet He pursues me with this intense love. It’s unexplainable really and it’s so incredible how many times I can make a mistake and I know that I’m still covered by His grace and mercy.
I think my faith was ultimately put to the test once I got to Southern. Crazy to think that I chose to attend a Seventh-day Adventist University, so it should be easy living my faith there, right? It wasn’t. And here’s why: it was so easy to use the given worship services and convocations as my time allotted for God. Even after getting really involved in a local church, I still felt empty. My learning experience took a few years, I’ll admit–not that I’m out of it because I’m still learning, but I had to find my own way. My own way of how I experienced God. That the way I experienced God was different than my roommate, my friends, my brother and my parents.
It was my own.
The older I get (I say this lightly, knowing that I’m still VERY young), the more I can see God and how He’s worked in my life. Now, these things He’s worked in haven’t come easily because it’s taken a lot of faith. What excites me is that my understanding of wanting God to be my magnificent obsession (at age 13) was almost childish–in a really good way. I hadn’t experienced life as I have now, my love and desire of myself to be fully for God was so innocent. I’ll be honest, in a sense, I want that back. I can’t let my own selfish desires of what I want out of life to get in the way of His plan for my life.
I’m writing this, to encourage each of you, as I recommit my life everyday to Him, to do the same. Make HIM your magnificent obsession. I can honestly say, in my young 23 years of life, I have no idea where I would be (certainly not where I am today) if I hadn’t made that commitment a decade ago. He has carefully led me to every school I attended, mission trip, job–you name it. I’m not sure I can say that there are few things in my life that hold significance where I can say that God had no part of. He’s led my entire life.
Here’s something else.
When you commit that, it’s almost agreeing to the understanding that you won’t always know what’s going to happen. There will be grey area. There will be waiting. Then will be peace. God has an incredible plan for your life. The great unknown is terrifying sometimes and that’s where TRUSTING that He knows what He’s doing comes into play. He’s got your back and He’ll carry you through.
If you don’t believe me, let’s chat. Boy, do I have some stories for you!