09 April, 2016

You are never alone, I promise you that.

Blair Pettrey - blairpettrey- christ

Maybe you know who Robert Robinson is - but perhaps you don't.

Robert Robinson was a labeled a 'wild youth. Robert was quite young when his father died, and with a mother left with little to no help - this meant two things:
1.) Robert had to work from a very young age  (far different than our typical situations here in the US in 2016)
2.) Because of his immediate necessity to 'grow up' - Robert had no example to look up to, and thus found himself looking up to the wrong type of people.

Falling into ' bad company ', Robert struggled for many years to even know, let alone follow, what was 'right' vs what was 'wrong'. One day, Robert through a mirage of circumstances, met with a woman that pointed her finger at him (among a large group) and said he would live to see his children and grandchildren.Realizing what living to see not only his own children, but his children's children, meant, Robert realized he needed to change the way of his rebellious living.

Despite his perhaps difficult situation growing up as a youth - at 20 - Robert 'made peace with G-d' and realized his calling in life.

How I wish I, Blair Pettrey, could have found peace and understanding at such a young age. But I perhaps align myself to Robert - knowing that we had to face battles - they were necessary for our walk - and yet even in moments of doubt knowing Christ was there.

And just like Robert, however, I know that Christ consumes my heart and my life. And everything I have, is because of Christ and Christ alone. And that is something I have failed to share for too many years.

I have focused so much on my 'trials'.

And not only have I stopped writing -
I stopped sharing the glory of Christ.

But the catch: I'm not perfect.
In fact, I'm quite far from it.
Yet despite every hurdle I've ever faced, the only thing that has continuously been there, no matter what, is my savior.

I have had family be too hurt to communicate with me in times. I've had friends that have changed. But the only thing that has consistently been with me since I first found him at 13  - is Jesus Christ.

And I know many will think 'what the heck' hearing me proclaim this - because despite my sincere and compassionate love with our Savior - I have been anything but a strong example of what a follower appears to be.

And while most probably barely got past the first sentence, if anyone has continued to read this proclamation beyond - I urge and beg that you continue reading.

My path and walk with Christ has not been easy nor has it been 'typical'. I have had battles, trials and heavy situations that in moments over took me. Circumstances so hard that I doubted how a loving Heavenly Father could put them on a follower. Situations so unbearable, I truly had no idea  how I would ever get through them.

I've been through the worst of the worst. And I've seen quite good as well. And then I've lost that good to only see even worst of the worst.

But never has my savior left me.

When I thought life was so tremendous because I had finally found 'the love of my life' - Christ reminded me HE was the only love of my life. When I thought I would finally have peace and security, Christ reminded me that HE is my only peace and security and removed it all. Facing perhaps the most difficult and hardest situations of my life, CHRIST reminded me that despite any battle or journey, HE is always with me... And that is the only way I survived.

So, let me explain the relativeness of Robert Robinson and I.

Just like Robert, I was raised in a 'Christian home'. But I didn't know Christ. It wasn't until at 13, despite my upbringing,  when someone randomly messaged me on what was then called 'AOL instant Messenger' - asking me 'what my relationship with Christ was' - that I even began to know Christ.

And let me tell you - being a 'Jesus Freak' at 13 and in middle school? It's not "cool". Being a Jesus Freak in high school? It's not cool. Being a devout follower of Christ is never 'cool'. And I struggled with that. I struggled with typical adolescent issues - and I struggled with the fact I was trying to share Christ with the world at such a young age - and I struggled with so many battles.

And even though from 13-17, despite every poor decision or circumstance that I even placed upon myself - I thought I knew what was best. I loved Jesus Christ, but I thought I knew what was best - and I fell so short because of that.

And that assumption of knowing 'what was best for me' continued from 17-30. I thought I knew what people were best. I thought I knew what paths were best. I thought I knew what circumstances were best. DESPITE having time and time again, Christ show me that my choices were not what was best.

And so I struggled - thinking Christ had left me. Thinking if I join this church - I will feel and find Christ again. Thinking if I do enough good, Christ will find me again. Thinking so many things in the past 13 years that I would somehow 'find' and 'feel' Christ again. Failing to admit that Christ never left me - I left him.

Because Christ doesn't leave anyone.

Christ is here and available for anyone and everyone. It's merely us that choose to accept him. To accept His presence. To acknowledge all that Heavenly Father has truly given to our lives.

And yes, I know none of this is cool or hip or anything else of the sort to admit. And even if I publicly profess and shout my love for Christ - nothing in my life is going to become easier.

But with Christ, I don't need things to be easy.

 Because I have faith that things will one day be perfect, as my savior has made me through the atonement.

And so we fast forward 17 years - from that moment I was first asked 'what is your relationship with Christ?'. And here I am to tell you what I could have never known or understood to say at 13.

 My walk and journey have been hard. Situations have happened, and circumstances have been difficult. And whether or not they are the fault of my own choices and decisions or if life just threw a heavy curve ball my way many of times - this is still my life.

But 17 years later - despite those curveballs? I'm here. And here is knowing that Christ is my Savior. And truly, that if Christ was not the love of my life and my heart - I would not be alive.

I would not be where I am without Christ.

Thus, if any of you question, doubt, or don't know our Savior - I encourage you to get to know him. Getting to know Jesus Christ doesn't mean you have to go to church (though, sure that helps your walk). Knowing Jesus Christ doesn't mean you're perfect.

In fact, knowing Jesus Christ means you know you're far from perfect. Knowing Jesus, means you know that you fall short every single day.

And yet, knowing Christ means you know: despite imperfections and falling short -that there is hope.

My heart has ached like I never thought it could. My life has been shaken and rocked like I never thought was possible. I've lost everything in times- everything. And yet losing everything, I knew and I KNOW that I have everything, because I have a Savior who gave His everything.

Robert Robinson went on to write one of the most 'common' and known hymns in the Christian church - 'Come Thou Fount':

Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for thy courts above.
My hope for anyone reading this, is that you can somehow find the love of Christ in your heart.

It's not easy to understand that Heavenly Father loves you.
It's not easy to understand that He sent His son to redeem our troubled world. 
And it's not easy to believe a Heavenly Father loves and cares for us when life is hard.

But we do have a loving Father in Heaven.
And we do have a redeeming Savior,
And His name is Jesus Christ.

You are never alone, no matter how alone you may feel. 
And if that's the most beautiful and important awareness one can have about Christ - 
than have that. 
You are never alone, no matter how alone you may feel.

"We, of course, have plenty of wisdom to pass on to you once you get your feet on firm spiritual ground, but it’s not popular wisdom, the fashionable wisdom of high-priced experts that will be out-of-date in a year or so. God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface. It’s not the latest message, but more like the oldest—what God determined as the way to bring out his best in us, long before we ever arrived on the scene. The experts of our day haven’t a clue about what this eternal plan is. If they had, they wouldn’t have killed the Master of the God-designed life on a cross. That’s why we have this Scripture text: No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, Never so much as imagined anything quite like it— What God has arranged for those who love him. But you’ve seen and heard it because God by his Spirit has brought it all out into the open before you. 10-13 The Spirit, not content to flit around on the surface, dives into the depths of God, and brings out what God planned all along. Who ever knows what you’re thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God—except that he not only knows what he’s thinking, but he lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us. We don’t have to rely on the world’s guesses and opinions. We didn’t learn this by reading books or going to school; we learned it from God, who taught us person-to-person through Jesus, and we’re passing it on to you in the same firsthand, personal way."
1 Corinthians 2:9-13