We are Found: Southampton
I love this post. It is so refreshingly honest and humble. Amy has been kind enough to share with us her beautiful testimony of wrestling with God and His promises. I pray that our minds will be renewed with Amy's as we see the power our God has to shine light into the dark. A xx
I am ashamed, afraid to put this out there because people will see.
People that I sit next to in lectures, who I talk to at church, my friends and family, guys. I am afraid that people will see me differently, lose their trust, that friends at church will say “You don’t deserve to serve God in that way,” “You shouldn’t pray for other people,” “How can you worship God like that – you have sinned big time.” Afraid that people will see my sin and not God’s grace.
The reality is that I’ve messed up. In fact I’ve been messing up in this particular way most of my life, but I only realised about a month ago. The truth is that I idolise relationships but not just any type of relationship – the kind of dating/marriage you see in films and on TV. The picture perfect boy-meets-girl story that’s miles away from reality.
This became such a big part of my life that I was addicted to the romantic storylines in TV and films. I spent more of my Christmas holidays watching couples videos on YouTube than hanging out with my family, who I hadn’t seen all term. The addiction impacted upon my degree too: many hours were spent during what was intended as a “15 minute break”, but inevitably lasted a couple of hours, on YouTube or iPlayer devouring storylines of couples, hanging on for that “I love you” moment or their first kiss.
In the New Year, God showed me this had to stop, so I took the drastic but necessary measure of leaving my laptop and smartphone at home. By removing the key external influences God has focused my attention on the inside, showing me the way this relationship-worship has degraded my heart and warped my views of both guys and dating. It’s painful to admit that when I first met a guy I subconsciously assessed his “datability”, looking for any tell-tale signs that he was taken. I had reduced guys to mere objects, there for my emotional gratification only.
Yet at the same time there were signs of hope, guys whom God had protected my view of to a greater or lesser extent. These guys were (are) 3-dimensional beings, more than their looks or faith. They are people with hopes, dreams, fears and aspirations, my brothers and my friends.
Without the internet to turn to for distraction, my heart has been laid bare; there are times I’ve been crying my heart out, consumed by my brokenness, unable to conceive that such a pure and holy God could love me.
But He does. And time and again by His grace He has shown me that. I’ve never been more certain that God hears and answers my prayers than now, and never more aware of how little I deserve it.
God in His mercy is still using me; in the midst of my brokenness He meets me with his grace, shows me daily His love, and fills me with His power to bring life and hope to others.
“For God, who said ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.” 2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (NIV)
Yes there’s still a way to go, but I am excited. Excited because God’s brought me so far already, that although I’m under no illusion the next while will be easy, I can’t wait to see those fictionalised images replaced with God’s truth. For as Hannah said we have a God who “does not hold back from making us new.”
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)
A village girl at heart, Amy moved to Southampton in September to study Medicine; having most looked forward to taking up sailing, finding a new church, and seeing God move at Uni. She has loved being involved in churches and CU at home and is super excited to see what God has planned for this next (quite long!) chapter.