I am relatively new to Christianity. However, in the past two years, I have experienced more love, community, and grace than I previously thought possible. For much of my life, I felt a nagging insecurity lurking in the back of my mind. Petrified at the thought of being misjudged by others, I developed a knack for blending in, always agreeing, fitting in, or being perceived as “cool.” This led me to seek acceptance from friends and others around me.
In college, my friendships were shallow because I was terrified of my individuality, afraid to differentiate myself from the group. Conformity became an instinct. My friends were atheists and stoners who regarded Christians as fools, thus I was an atheist and stoner who regarded Christians as fools. I had no intention of ever stepping into a church again.
At about the same time, I started dating Laura, who is now my wife. A year into the relationship, she asked me to start going to church with her. She claims (though I am suspicious) that she wasn’t expecting me to convert but that I would support her and be a part of this aspect of her life. After attending church for a few months, I had a profound change in perspective.
Instead of writing off Christians based on shallow notions of their beliefs, I began the dreaded task of looking inward and questioning the way I was living my life and why. Over time, Jesus became less of an abstract figure and more of a presence in my life, to whom I turned for guidance, grace, and love. I gradually began to feel more comfortable in my own skin. I know the process of spiritual renewal is continual and I look forward to a lifetime of repentance, grace, and fellowship.
Blake is a partner at City Life Church, and attends Texas State University