I was fifteen and tired of the life I was living. I went to church every Sunday only because it was expected of me. On the outside I wore a smile but on the inside I was empty and hurting. I looked for ways to fill this emptiness and in doing this I began to push myself farther and farther from God. At one point I thought that perhaps if I pursued a relationship, things would get better. However, I soon discovered that this would not work; boys simply had no interest in me. It was at this point that I turned to romance novels. In them I found a place of escape and pleasure.
Over time I became hooked to the novels. I was so consumed in them that nothing else mattered anymore. Yet somewhere deep in my heart, I knew this still was not the life I was meant to live. The emptiness inside only grew. I did not know where to look next; drugs had always been out of the question. So I continued to live the way I was; with a smile on my face and an ache in my heart.
Then there came a time in my life that changed everything. It was Labor Day weekend and I was at a church convention in Swartz Creek, Michigan. The weekend was more than halfway over, I was seated among hundreds of people, and there God spoke to my heart. The sermon that night was titled “Let Go and Let God.” As the pastor spoke, it was as though God himself was telling me, that He is the only one that could fill that emptiness inside of me.
At the end of the service, as is custom, the altar call was made. I knew without a doubt that I had to go to the front, but somehow, my feet were not following my heart. As the congregation stood to sing the hymn, I stood in my place. By now tears were streaming down my face and I couldn’t sing anymore. I closed my hymnbook and made my way to the front, each step bringing me closer to my knees. I got to the front, fell on my knees, and cried with bitterness.
After that night, I was someone new. I had accepted Jesus as my saviour and friend. There was no longer a difference between the smile on my face and the joy I felt in my heart. I discovered I could be happy without material things, that I didn’t need romance novels to feel fulfilled. I realized that God wants to bless us and make us happy, but He wants to be number one in our lives. He deserves nothing less.