By Serah Hare
I got married at the age of 20 and after one year, our marriage was falling apart. I was being ignored, rejected, and unloved, and I didn't know why. I had put all of my worth and happiness in this person who now wanted to leave me. This wasn't the way I thought my life would go. I felt like I was part of a joke or in a dream that I would soon wake up from.
After getting a divorce, I moved back in with my parents and tried to start a new life. Though I knew in my head that I didn't need a man to love me to be complete, I didn't believe it in my heart. To comfort myself, I sought the ways of the world. Although I was attending The Porch, I had one foot in the church and one foot in the world. I attended church on Sundays, but would then hang out with my friends who were constantly getting drunk. These things that looked fun were hurting me on the inside.
In spring of 2010, JP taught a series called “Life Redefined.” I remember thinking that he was following me around and talking about what I had just done over the weekend. I was being destroyed on the inside by the guilt and shame from the poor decisions I was making to get drunk, which would lead to inappropriate relationships with men who didn't care about me.
I tried to live life my own way, but it wasn't working. I continued making poor choices and struggled to follow Christ on my own. I looked to an imperfect man to define my worth, and when that didn’t work out, I turned to the ways of this world to satisfy my thirst, which only left me feeling more empty.
It took me running out of things to seek comfort and satisfaction in to realize the only thing that defines me and truly satisfies my soul is my identity in Christ. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Man does not define me, divorce does not define me, the mistakes of my past do not define me. I have been washed clean with the blood of Christ, and through Him all of my sins have been forgiven. I am no longer a slave to sin, but alive in Christ (Romans 6). What a beautiful truth we have in Christ!
Throughout the past two years, I have begun to truly understand the gift of my salvation and what it looks like to follow Christ. I joined a community group that holds me accountable in my weaknesses and spurs me on to follow Christ and God's word (Hebrews 10:24-25). I also started Equipped Disciple, a ministry that has been instrumental in transforming my life to being rooted in Christ and making God's Word the firm foundation of my life.
Ultimately, I have come to find out, it's not about being single or married in this short life here on earth. It’s not even about the sins we commit, that we wish we hadn’t. It's about living for Christ and letting Him be the source of your identity. We are all children and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17), which means we get to live a life defined not by our sin, but by our Savior.