Staying Anchored in Christ Saved Me from My Low Point"Give God the right to direct your life, and as you trust him along the way you’ll find he pulled it off perfectly!"
I spent about 10 years of my life drifting aimlessly, getting further and further away from God. I accepted Christ when I was seven so as you can imagine, there wasn’t necessarily a “radical conversion” or dramatic series of events that led me to Christ. In middle school, I loved my youth group. We learned about God, studied the Bible and practiced sharing our testimonies in ways that really grew my faith.
But in high school, my family changed churches and there wasn’t really a strong youth group that could help me develop the skills (spiritual disciplines) of resisting temptation, steer clear of peer pressure and develop Godly values. On top of that, the seed of insecurity and low self-esteem that was planted within me at a young age had grown into a full-blown tree. The bullying I experienced at school watered that tree. And there was the pain that came from my parents’ divorce and the deaths of many family members. I suffered from depression for 15 years because of what I experienced and how I felt about myself.
So in that decade of drifting, I slipped into a sinful lifestyle and allowed myself to ignore God and the help of the Holy Spirit. I say “allow” because it literally was a choice I made again and again and again until it became a lifestyle. To keep it real with y’all, I did a lot of things I’m not proud of and was involved with different guys and “friends” who did not value me as the amazing person God made me to be. Yes—I said God made me to be AMAZING!
On the surface I looked “successful”—graduated from high school with awesome grades, got into all nine colleges I applied to and graduated college—but on the inside, I was hurting so much. I turned to “a lot of things” to try and numb the pain or make me feel better about myself. So about those things—sex, lying, drinking, experimenting with some drugs, didn’t prioritize my relationship with God, which basically looked like not spending time reading the Bible, not going to church consistently and not getting involved with a campus ministry when I was in college.
The thing about sin is—it grows and grows and grows until it takes over your life, killing you from the inside out, day by day. The Bible talks about this in James 1:13-16 (TPT), “When you are tempted don’t ever say, ‘God is tempting me,’ for God is incapable of being tempted by evil and He is never the source of temptation.Instead it is each person’s own desires and thoughts that drag them into evil and lurethem away into darkness.Evil desires give birth to evil actions. And when sin is fully mature it can murder you!So, my friends, don’t be fooled by your own desires!”
My sin of engaging in sex before marriage turned into an unplanned pregnancy and then an abortion when I was 25. And to break down the sex thing, I wanted to be “liked” and feel loved by guys because I didn’t feel loved at the time by my dad and didn’t love or really even like myself. I wanted to feel wanted but sex is a temporary experience that can turn into lasting damage. I forgot that God loves me unconditionally and that He sent His only son Jesus to die as the ultimate act of love (Romans 5:8).
But, back to this sinful life I was living—the Bible says in Romans 8:1 (AMP) that there is, “Therefore there is now no condemnation [no guilty verdict, no punishment] for those who are in Christ Jesus [who believe in Him as personal Lord and Savior.”
Having an abortion was definitely when I hit rock bottom. I could no longer focus in my graduate school program, was hardly eating and was having trouble sleeping. Sometimes I cried, other times I felt so numb. But, even in the midst of all my mess, I knew God was still there and that He would forgive me not only for my abortion but all of the other sinful choices I made over the years. That’s why we call God El Nose, The God Who Forgives, Jehovah Goelekh, The Lord Our Redeemer and Jehovah Rophe, The Lord Our Healer.
Ironically, the abortion turned into a turning point for me. I was tired of feeling worthless and depressed. I accepted a friend’s invitation to church, started spending more time reading my Bible and watching sermons online to get reacquainted with God and I started writing in a prayer journal, which I’ve been doing for four years now. And, I started going to God with my sin. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
I literally cannot imagine my life without God. As I begin my 30s, it’s my heart’s desire to do life with God, rather than without Him as I had been doing. I’m not going to lie to y’all—it’s challenging submitting to God. It means that I have to ask God about pretty much everything. God, is this the job for me? Does this outfit reflect your light? If this person doesn’t love You, why am I dating them? God, how do you want to direct my Tuesday? What about my Saturday? God, do I really have to forgive my dad? Jesus, what about me needs to change? How can I become more like You?
But the thing is, the Bible says that those who are anchored in Christ will always be protected and blessed by God. You can’t put a price or level of popularity on that—Instagram and TikTok have nothing on God! Psalm 37:3-5 (TPT) puts it this way, “Keep trusting in the Lord and do what is right in his eyes. Fix your heart on the promises of God and you will be secure, feasting on His faithfulness. Make God the utmost delight and pleasure of your life, and He will provide for you what you desire the most. Give God the right to direct your life, and as you trust him along the way you’ll find he pulled it off perfectly!”
Ryan Lindsay Arrendell loves Jesus, herself, people & writing. Ryan wants you to know that she loves herself because for years, she didn’t! Thank God for Jesus. Right now, she’s at Yale Divinity School preparing to become a pastor & community leader. She enjoys serving the Lord, biking, dancing, cooking & spending time at the beach. Follow her on Instagram at @formerlyrandi.