Written by Alexandra Sam, Art by Tammi Yu
It’s been a really long time since I wrote something and meant it or since I thought of myself as a writer. My sister, Erika, once said to me, “That’s how you know you’re in a bad place when your creativity is being stifled.” I guess that was true to an extent. I never thought that I would be here – writing, and sharing the things in my life that have brought me to this place. I could never conceive of myself being this person. I used to do a lot of bad things. Those that know me know I wasn’t a pothead by the conventional definition of the term, but I did blow a lot of money and time on being stoned when there were more productive things I could have been doing. I would love to be able to blame it on something that could possibly substantiate an excuse, but in actuality I was just bored.
Stupid and bored.
I was seduced by the allure of the drug culture. YEAH MAN GET HIGH AND HAVE FUN. Everything was better with weed. Getting drunk? Smoke. Watching a movie? Smoke. Going to the beach? Smoke. Studying for finals? Smoke. Like I said, stupid and bored.
And even so, I wish I could apply the stupid and bored excuse to my promiscuity, but no. I don’t even have that to rely on. I wanted to be a sexual being. I liked knowing that I had the power to bend someone to my will because of my sexuality. I gained a certain measure of satisfaction from watching my number go up. I liked knowing that I was wanted. It didn’t matter if it was sexually or not, the attention instilled in me self-esteem that further perpetuated my problem. I haven’t met a guy that hasn’t fallen for me, and I always came out on top.
My sister once asked me, “How does it feel being the one that got away for more than one person?” It felt extremely empowering, to be frank. I believed that no man would ever conquer me, until one did. Through a completely bizarre confluence of events involving a near-death experience on the 210 freeway I ended up at church with a guy from school that I was interested in, and that was the beginning of my walk with the Lord.
I speak so candidly because I’ve learned the hard way that transparency builds trust, and I want to be someone that my readership can trust. I honestly never in my life thought that I would be the person that I am now, that I would have this outlook on life, that I would be humbled and ashamed by my previous behavior and poor decisions. But here I sit, utterly humbled and completely ashamed. Testimony is a very important part of my walk with the Lord, and If I can touch one person, if I can reaffirm one person’s faith in the Lord, if I can bring one person to God, I will rejoice with Him in having told this story.
So here is the story of how Jesus Christ became my redeemer. I fell in love with the guy from school, but he wasn’t in love with me. He was in love with the person he wanted me to be. I changed for him. I stopped messing around and started getting my priorities straight. I went to church with him and his family every Sunday. I had always had a casual relationship with God. I talked to Him whenever I needed to and made deals when I saw fit. I was raised Catholic, but just barely, so my understanding of salvation was a little cloudy. My relationship with the guy from school began to worsen. He exposed every one of my sins and then hated me for it, he tortured my spirit, and put my sanity in jeopardy. I kept thinking to myself: Is this what it means to be a Christian? Is judgement all I have to look forward to?
The answer came to me when a mutual friend suggested that I attend a different church for a while so that I could come to know Jesus Christ on my own. That was when my eyes were opened to the singularly most beautiful thing I have ever encountered: mercy.
Mercy is an interesting thing. You always want mercy for yourself and justice for others, but Jesus Christ does not discriminate. He became my redeemer and because of Him I know what true love is. Everything is done within Him and mercy is what He will always offer.
I don’t have to fear any kind of rejection from the Lord because all of my sins have been taken care of in Him. The love that I had been looking for in my previous relationship, unconditional and steadfast, I realized I always had it with Jesus Christ. His love for me encourages me to not falter in my quest to establish a real and intimate relationship with Him. I have no fear in laying out my sins before Him and crying out to Him because I know I am a child of God.
Now I live a different life. Previously, I would have never foreseen a life of such fulfilment and anticipation. Sometimes it is a struggle to overcome the influence that my past has on me, but when I turn to Jesus Christ for help I am encouraged and emboldened to live with Him and not in the world. There is a far greater sense of freedom and security in the Lord that I feel now and meditating on my relationship with God, growing in Him and spending time with Him is absolutely exciting! I have a whole new world ahead of me now. Even though I know things won’t be easy one hundred percent of the time. I am also blessed with the knowledge that I will have God with me every step of the way.