Autumn's Story [learning to find True Love]

1:29 PM

I was raised in the Christian home. No, this is not the reason I am a Christian. Though I was raised with my parents influencing me in the ways of Christ... I didn't believe any of it. I never said it out loud, but I never really believed it. I felt convicted when I went to church or read my Bible, but I was convinced I could ever be a real Christian. Even when I was eight and sure I wanted to be baptized, I don't think I really understood what I was getting into because I changed my mind. I was tainted with sin, I could never be a strong Christian like my sister or my friends. I was all of twelve years old and I knew this. I was also a twelve year old who had a strong desire for romantic love, which lead to an impure mind at an early age. 

For the longest time, I remembered always wanting romance in my life. I can't remember a time in my life I was free from such thoughts. I was so desperate for love that deep down I knew if love came into my life I would abandoned everyone for it. I was convinced I would fall in love with an ungodly man and no matter what everyone said, I would run off with him and disappear from everyone I knew... all for this idea of 'love'. When I was about thirteen, this idea started to fade as the presence of God started to come more into my life. I still remember the day I was hit with the horrible truth of my sins. I was watching a documentary as a school project, but it's been so long I can't remember the name or even what it was about. What I do remember was the ending. It showed Noah and his family in the ark and the world outside. The documentary closed with no words, but the images posed a daunting question: God's people were on the ark, the pagans were not. Do you know where you would be? 

I remember walking into my room like a zombie that day. Was... was I on the ark? Was I a Christian? Did God love me? The questions swirled about in my head like a tornado of questions I couldn't answer. As much as I kept saying "Yes Autumn, you are a Christian" it didn't feel right. It wasn't the right answer. That week at church, a similar question popped up, but it was more direct: When you die, do you know where you're going? For thirteen years I had lied to myself and always thought 'Why of course I know where I'm going!' But for the first time, that terrible, two lettered word flashed in my mind and it was all I could see. 

When you die, do you know where you're going? 


I had to go to the bathroom at that point. During this time in my life, I wasn't a good person. I was a bully to my family because I had a cold heart that was afraid of being hurt. I was rough. I was rude. I hadn't cried in maybe a year or so. On that Sunday all those years ago, I walked out of the sermon to go into the bathroom to cry. I remember holding my head just whispering "Okay... okay..." as I cried, trying to stop but I remember how hard it was to fight down the tears I had been bottling up for so long. I remember thinking 'Oh God, help!'... And He answered my cry.

It's a very strange thing to say, but I accepted the Lord as my savior while in a church bathroom. I had said the words 'I accept you' when I was nine, but I didn't mean it. Though I didn't say the words, I felt my heart open and I felt Him take His rightful place inside. When I came back to sit down with my family to enjoy the rest of the sermon, I wrote a note on my notepad. I had, once again, been thinking of getting baptized. I didn't know if I was ready. In that moment, I knew I was and I scribbled down in my notes, "I need to get baptized. Now." 

I can't remember how much time went before I was baptized, but it must have only been a few short months. Of course, to my thirteen year old brain, that was forever. I was baptized with my sister and two best friends. My testimony was all of three sentences, but it was still my testimony.  

After that, my relationship with Christ flat-lined. I was baptized. Okay... now what? I read my Bible ever day. I prayed every day. Well, not ever day, but I though I did it enough to be okay. I went to church. I was a Christian, yes, but I didn't know how to grow. I wasn't grow and I didn't even realize it until I was seventeen.

For years, the idea of being 'in love' had fled from my mind. I still remember when I was seventeen and me and my sisters were driving home from ballet class when I admitted it: "Like... You know. I want a boyfriend. Like, I really want a boyfriend. Wouldn't that be nice?" At the time I didn't realize how toxic the words coming out of my mouth could be. That was when I started to struggle with singleness, and that was when the fear of 'Will I abandoned everything for a boy?' came back into my mind. I was scared that if I did ever have a relationship that yes, I would just abandon everything for it. I didn't even realize that the fear of doing such a thing was making me build spiritual walls around my heart.

That year was a year of growing and realization for me. I started to really grow in Christ with help from the godly women I'm proud to call friends. We were all struggling with singleness and all read the same devotional together to build each other up. Still, I had a longing for a romantic relationship and I wasn't allowing my relationship with God be my focal point in life. I was still convinced I would fail in my spiritual walk due to a relationship... until God sent me a message. I witness a friend go through a very painful time that was centered around a troublesome romantic relationship and did much of what I assumed I was going to do with my life. Though it didn't feel like there was a message in it for me, it hit me like a lightening bolt later that God was trying to tell me something: "Don't you dare think you know what you are going to do. I am the Lord and you cannot mess up the plans I have for you. Don't you ever assume you know what you'll do with your life. Don't assume you are going to leave Me. Cling to Me." 

 I did. That was when I really started to grow with Christ and walk with Him. I had an option. I could have tried to figure it all out on my own, but instead I fell into His arms and He's carried me ever since. There are still hard days. I still struggle with my singleness, but I don't live every day wishing I had something I currently don't. I don't wish for a romantic love because not only am I surrounded my the love of friends and family, I have the love of Christ and He will never leave me alone, He will never abandon me, and He will always love me. 

About the girl:

Autumn is a California girl, born and raised, who loves writing, ballet, theatre, and Jesus

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2 of your thoughts

  1. It seems a tragic thing that anyone should be shamed for wanting to be the object of someone's affection. I'm sure this is a familiar story for many, if not all, the home-schooled girls who may read it. But, what does this have to do with Christianity? This is about control. Not self-control, not loving guidance. Just CONTROL.

    Many seek their own will by invoking the name of God. That is the way of damnation. It is difficult to raise a child. But it isn't so difficult that it justifies distorting scripture to achieve goals that could be accomplished with better parenting skills. Teaching self-respect is the beginning and unwarranted shame has no part in that.

  2. I appreciate hearing your testimony, Autumn! Thanks so much for sharing your experience, and I'm so glad you've found rest in Him. Stay strong! xx


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