He sees you.

My Jesus Story began seven years ago when I received the devastating news of my boyfriend's unexpected passing in a car crash. Upon hearing the news, I was fully aware that my life was about to change forever. Having developed a resilient exterior over the years, I was able to accept the reality of the situation with a sense of shock rather than denial. However, this initial acceptance masked the deep emotional pain that would follow, a state that would last for the next five and a half years. In an attempt to deal with the pain and agony that was coming, I tried to align my heart and mind with the harsh truth, and acknowledge that tragedy unfortunately welcomes a great deal of sadness, depression, and a lot of tears. But deep down, I became lost and broken in a matter of seconds. I didn't realize at the time, but this pain and poor coping mechanism would be the beginning of the Lord's pull on my heart.

At the time, I don't think I had given any thought to whether Jesus would heal my broken heart. I mean, I knew He was a healer; I believed the series of testimonies I'd heard in church and had even witnessed others being healed by His power and grace. But for some reason, and as silly as it sounds, I didn't think it was available to me. I thought, "They have it worse than I do, which makes them deserving of it." (The phrase "someone always has it worse" never sat well with me.) Right, they are deserving. Wrong to believe that there's competition in tragedy. Pain is still pain, and grief is still grief.

My perception of God was skewed, seeing Him as a ruler rather than a loving Father who desires to heal our pain and restore us with peace, love, and joy. As time passed, I developed unhealthy habits and hid my pain, thinking it was a badge of honor. But behind closed doors, I was struggling. I was suffocating under the weight of my grief, trapped in a vicious cycle, and I didn't know how to escape. I realized I needed to surrender, but most importantly, I needed to believe that Jesus wanted to restore not only my pain but also my faith. I needed to trust that He wanted to heal my broken heart and restore me to a place of peace, love, and joy.

In December 2022, I cried out, "God, I'm all in." I was exhausted from trying to fix myself and realized that He was the only one capable of doing what I had been trying to do on my own for so many years. I began saying no to all of the unhealthy habits I created over the years and started moving forward, describing healing as army crawls with the Holy Spirit as my encourager.

As I started my walk with the Lord, I knew I needed a firm foundation of wise counsel from the church to encourage me. So, I sought out Victory Groups, which are regularly offered at the church. I chose groups that would not only draw me closer to God but also connect me with women who could serve as wise mentors, helping me live a healthy lifestyle. One group that holds a special place in my heart is "Building a Resilient Life." It was there that I met my close-knit group of sisters in Christ, who have provided guidance, encouragement, and sharpened my connection with the Lord - all things I had been praying for.

Inviting Jesus into my broken space was the turning point. As I drew close to Him, He drew close to me, revealing Himself as a loving Father who wanted to heal my pain and restore me. And along the way, I discovered that Jesus doesn't just heal us; He also wants to give us unconditional love and guide us to a better life.

Seven years later, the Lord has shown Himself strong in my life; my faith has grown stronger and remains unwavering. If I could tell my 22-year-old self what was on the other side of that unfortunate event, I would have welcomed Jesus and grief much differently. I would tell her that the God she viewed as only a ruler would restore her and show up as her anchor of hope, main source of happiness, love, and joy – a friend and favorite resting place.

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