By Ryan Wilson
My relationship with God through the years has been a roller coaster as I have looked for other desires which I thought could make me happy.
I grew up in a Christian home and accepted Christ when I was seven. At the time, I’m not sure I fully understood His love for us, but I understood the essentials of Christ’s sacrifice for our sins on the cross. That understanding grew as I remained involved in the church throughout high school; however, there have been many highs and lows as I matured in my faith.
During my freshman year of college, I had a falling out from my relationship with the Lord, and turned my back on Him. The freedom from my Christian home and friends left me with no accountability, and I began to take part in the party scene, including drinking heavily and smoking marijuana. The turning point was during the spring semester of my sophomore year, when I went to jail for trying to order drinks at a bar using a fake ID. I felt very alone and ashamed. I couldn’t stop thinking about the fact that I had gone to jail, and felt like I had lost my identity.
Looking back now, I am thankful for that time in jail, because it helped shape my life and prevented me from continuing on a bad path. It forced me to reevaluate my life and turn towards God for guidance.
I joined a college Bible study the next semester at my church in College Station, TX. It helped slowly turn my life back towards a meaningful relationship with Christ. While it wasn’t a complete 180 degree turn, God was working in my life. He never allowed me to stray too far and fought for me to come back to Him.
A Continuing Presence
Once I graduated from Texas A&M two years ago, God continued His presence and placed a desire in my heart to develop meaningful relationships with other Christians. I was involved in a small Bible study through Northwest Bible Church in Dallas. Although the Bible study was short-lived, it showed me the potential of having these types of Christ-centered relationships. I then started attending Watermark Community Church in Dallas and got plugged into a community group a year ago.
God has done a lot of work in my life throughout my time in Dallas, and that has helped me understand that He does have a purpose for your life; things do not just happen because of circumstance. I find a lot of comfort in knowing that everything has been set forth for us since the beginning.
Watermark has really helped me understand God’s grace and love. Although I still sin and struggle, I’m able to be held accountable through community, which has helped strengthen my faith.
God has placed a desire in everyone’s hearts for a relationship with Him, and it is only through this relationship that we may feel complete in our lives.