I spent pretty much all of my adolescence pushing boundaries and seeing just how far I could look over the edge without actually falling forward. This ranged from timing how long it would take my mom to notice I hadn't cleaned my room yet for the weekend, to see how high I could get before losing all feeling in my legs. Much of my experiments were all in my head, and I had the kind of determination to succeed as a person with OCD, trying to not step on sidewalk cracks.
I viewed this secret part of myself as a quirky personality trait. But in reality, I was testing just how far I could stretch God's grace.
Growing up in a Christian home and attending Sunday school nearly every week, Jesus was a reoccurring topic in our house and something I was taught to reference when shit hit the fan. But in 2007, my father left my mom, sisters, and I, leaving me with the subconscious idea that if my father on earth couldn't love me enough to stay in my life, why would my heavenly father? This was my gut reaction to all hardship thrown my way: if God is all-powerful and can tame the strongest of waves, why couldn't He take the time out of his day to calm the tsunami inside of me?
Eve, from the book of Genesis, ate the fruit from the forbidden tree because humanity was created to be curious. And without curiosity and free will, life itself would have no purpose. In this life you are expected to face trials and tribulation, otherwise, we wouldn't have a need to turn back to God. And although this is such a tough pill to swallow, we have to remember that He never gives us challenges we cannot handle.
"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it." — 1 Corinthians 10:13
I learned the true meaning of heartache before I reached second grade, but God didn't make that a part of my story to push me down and keep me there. It set a fire in my belly to seek the truth, and to constantly test what was right from wrong... even though I often found myself in the wrong. I chose to listen to the devil when he tempted me into breaking rules and basking in deception, but no matter how far I wandered, Jesus never stopped calling out to me. We have been given grace upon grace like a wave is immediately followed by another, and I know that God will never leave me stranded in a sea of doubt without teaching me to swim.