Discovering the God Who Draws Near to Us

by Alisa Valks

Although I grew up in a Catholic household, I would say that eight months ago God seemed untouchable to me.  I believed that someone had to be perfect to have access to Him. This lead me to believe that when I left church, I left my faith and my religion there too.

I began university this past September, and signed up for a faith study with CCO. They told me that God wanted a relationship with me. They told me that God loved me so much that he became human to be with me. They told me that he died for me so that I could be forgiven. They told me that he is always ready to welcome me back with loving arms.  Before I learned those things, I had never even considered that a personal relationship with God was possible. Suddenly, God wasn’t untouchable anymore, He was closer than I could even imagine. When I heard that message, it was as if the door to my faith opened a crack, and a little bit of light was shining through. I still held back though, I couldn’t fully open the door to my heart completely to Him.

We left campus for Christmas, with plans to finish Discovery when the next semester began again. Over the break, I couldn’t stop thinking about Discovery and everything I had been learning. One evening, I opened my Discovery book. I flipped through the pages, re-reading all the notes I had made, and prayed.  I prayed that if he loved me as an individual, that he would show me.

I was desperate for proof that I could have a relationship with God, that He really loves me. I prayed to God, “Why should I? What will happen if I let my guard down and let you into my life? What if I open my door to You?” He instantly answered and surrounded me with indescribable love and comfort. It was as if he was telling me He would never leave my side, never stop loving and providing for me.

That evening God showed me His love for me, and for the first time I accepted it, and asked him to be at the center of my life. I completely opened the door to my heart, to my relationship with Him.

I was able to finish the study in January, and the final lessons really reaffirmed my decision to place God at the center of my life. Nothing in my life has brought me more joy than opening the door to have a relationship with God.

Discovery taught me so many things that I will forever be grateful for. I wake up every day feeling extremely joyful, fulfilled and purposeful. I have a new found excitement to live my life according to God’s will.

 

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