In a day and age of "anything goes" and "Just do you, boo," it is easy to become confused and a tad distressed, especially if you are in your early 20s. You are no longer a teenager, but you're not quite an adult yet, either. The tide of the world's ideas and morals begin to push and pull you stronger than ever before. In high school, you had your close group of friends who share the same morals and values you do. When you got to college, you stayed close to those church friends of yours and people who want to lead you to Christ. But as the years pass, you are ready to branch out into different groups and walks of life. You see the importance of understanding life from a vast view of perspectives in order to become a more loving and vulnerable person. It is wonderful, exciting, and adventurous.
The only downside is this. You are no longer in a bubble. Each day comes with a different itinerary of temptation. The devil is there and he is crouching at the door when you walk out in the morning. Sometimes, all it takes is for you to say, "In the name of Jesus, just get away, fool!" But other days it feels as if you are wrestling with him again and again. You doubt yourself, you doubt God, you ask yourself is it really all worth it? Can I really continue to follow Christ? It's so hard! It would be so much easier to fit in! People like me better when I cuss and drink and behave recklessly. I'm cooler that way. I'm in the Army for goodness sake! I can't be a little b----!
And, then, other doubts follow afterward. "Am I really ever going to get married?! Nothing in me wants to be married. Will I ever have the desire to? But can I really wait until I'm 30 to have sex? That's a long time! Will I even be attractive then? If I have to wait that long I might as well join the nunnery!" And then Satan's voice is loud and very annoying. "You can never do it, Sarah. So just give it up now. No one else is waiting, why should you wait? Enjoy yourself! Have fun!"
But then a quiet voice comes from within. A voice of unrelenting love. It is so gentle and so tender. It has the ability to calm any tempest and mental anguish. It says my name. God says my name. It is beautiful and wonderful and I would travel the galaxy to hear it again. "Trust. Me". And then I begin again..."But God...it's so hard..." And again, I hear Him. "Trust Me, my child." And before I can debate again, an otherworldly peace comes over me. It is so strong and thick and deep I can almost touch it. I am surrounded like an ocean. I am immersed in safety, love, and the permission to be vulnerable. I unleash it all on Him. "God, I need your help! I struggle with wanting to drink, I struggle with lust, I struggle with loving myself. I struggle with pleasing others... I struggle with loving my body, I struggle, Lord! I need you. I need you to take away these desires right now. The desire to become intoxicated. The desire to be "One" with someone, the desire to be accepted by the opposite sex, the desire to be liked by everybody!"
I begin to feel weight lifted off me and the responsibility to determine my own future. Over the next second, minute, day, and days afterward, I feel desire leave me. The desires I have asked God to save for a different stage of life. I no longer have to be a slave to my sin and my mind day in and day out. I no longer have to desperately attempt to subdue my sinful flesh. I am free to love and to live life to the fullest.
"For your father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matthew 6:8) and "Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether" (Psalm 139:4). And I am reminded that I do not have to continue living day-to-day fighting these demons by myself. No, I have the creator of the universe, capable of doing anything and everything. I have Jesus Christ, sent for this exact purpose.
"For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery" Galatians 5:1.
We all have things we harbor in the darkest corner of our hearts and minds. We all have things we struggle with. But one thing I can say is: give it to God today. Choose freedom over your flesh. You won't be disappointed.