The point, for me, in writing and sharing my testimony, was to outline my discovery process, to reveal the journey that culminated in my becoming a Christian. It was not intended to negate the first 52 years of my life. It was simply to point out my need, indeed all people’s need, to have a relationship with a loving God.
I was not a bad apple. I was not in a constant state of misery. I experienced wonderful moments of joy and creative epiphanies. I was never damaged goods, despite my having believed I was. I did many good things and was kind to many. I simply was blind and lost, like many people who lack a spiritual grounding. Now that I can see and am found my life is better, richer and more meaningful. But my life before my return to Christ, on the whole, was not a waste or meaningless. I was just as deserving of love and relationships, though perhaps not as able to enjoy them as deeply as I do now.
I would no more negate or regret the life I led before my return to Christ than I could anyone else’s life, who may be on a different path than I am now. I have nothing but compassion, love and respect for the person I was. This is an important component in the life of a survivor. All living things are somewhere in the process of survival and they are to be treasured. Even the old, the angry, the disagreeable among us. The least of these. This is what it is to be a Christian. It is not easy, but that is what our religion, and many other religions and spiritual practices call on us to do.
There is nothing to be pitied but much to be loved and appreciated in a soul in search of meaning and belonging. That journey doesn’t begin or end when one turns to Christ. Nor does it begin or end when one’s life is interrupted by tragedy or abuse.
I believe Christ is, was and always will be in everyone’s life, whether or not they believe in Him. That is the nature of the Christian faith. It’s what makes us so annoying to non-believers!
So please don’t pity or ridicule the lives being lived without Christ, yours or others. Those living in a world absence of spiritual grounding and purpose have so much more to teach us about our own lives than we can possibly imagine.