Pilar Arsenec ~ The Struggling Christian {Story 28 of 30}

I had an entire month to write this and I kept stalling. When Sarah first asked me to share my story, I agreed. Although, I struggled with the prospect of sharing.

I have been through a lot in my life, more than I care to recount. I will spare you the details as it would only glorify the devil.  Let’s just say, I have had a hard life as I am a survivor of various abuse.

I am also a struggling Christian.

The Christian walk hasn’t been an easy one for me. I have been following Christ for twenty-five years and continue to struggle.

Forgiveness doesn’t come easy for me either. Forgiving my abusers or forgiving those who have wronged me.

I intellectually know and understand God has forgiven me, yet and still, I have a difficult time forgiving those who have hurt me.

I had a choice to write something else, but chose to write this.

I am not the Christian I ought to be.

Yes, I have some good qualities, but for the most part, I should be further along in my Christian walk and maturity.  I am not further along because I’ve made bad choices in my life.  These choices lead me down wrong roads. As a result, there have been many repercussions.

For most of my Christian walk, I’ve always felt like the turtle in the back of the race, always trying to catch up with everyone else.

Perhaps I am not the only one who feels this way? 

Maybe you have struggled in your walk with Christ too?

On the outside, you are faithful. You go to church. You attend bible study. You do and say all the right things.

On the inside, you struggle with your faith, you doubt, and you want to give up. But you’re too afraid to admit it.

Let me just tell you… you are not alone. There are many Christians in the same boat and one of them is me. Truthfully speaking, we are all under construction. A work in progress. And that’s ok.

God meets us where we are and offers us grace.

I’m so thankful for His grace. Aren’t you?

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Pilar Arsenec is a legal secretary by day and a writer by night. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, reading, writing, singing and cooking. You can connect with her on her blog, Ordinary Servant.

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For most of my Christian walk, I’ve always felt like the turtle in the back of the race, always trying to catch up with everyone else.

Have you ever felt like Pilar?  I have.  Many times.  I love to study and read, but no matter how much I study God’s word, I always discover more.  More I need to know.  More I need to understand.

I reflect on past years when my walk with God stagnated…didn’t move back, didn’t move forward.  I simply stalled.  I also see years I jumped back thanks to poor choices, purposely turning my back on what I know to be true.

But, the good news is…For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9)

Grace.  God give us grace – unearned favor.

Unearned.  You can’t earn more.  You can’t work and get more.

It is by grace we have been saved through our faith in Jesus, his death, and his resurrection.  We have not been saved because of who we are or what we have done.  It is a gift of God. A free gift.  No earning possible.  You aren’t saved by works or deeds or goodness.

I am thankful to Pilar for her openness.  Often, it’s hard for us (i.e. Christians) to simply say…I don’t get it. I am struggling.  The outside looks awesome, but the inside is messy.  Really…that’s everyone’s story.  None of us really has it ALL together.

I will always remember this part of a prayer from my Walk to Emmaus: Lord, be with the one needs this most and with the one who thinks she needs this least.  

Both people…those who “think” they have it all together and those who admit they don’t need Christ…need Him equally.  So, run the race Christ has set before you.  Not your neighbor’s race or your spouse’s race or your child’s race.  Your race.  Run slow…run fast…whatever God has for you.  Just run toward Him.

Comments

  1. life is hard. God is good. i struggle. God is soverign.

    thank you for this word – much needed today!

  2. Crystal Davenport says:

    Wow…thank you Pilar….this is me, too. I am a wreck on the inside but put on my “mask” to most of my church family weekly. This shames me that I am not “real” enough to my church family. By nature I am an introvert…its very hard for me to share what I am feeling. But GRACE…God’s wonderful Grace has saved me completely. I know this. He is still working on me.

  3. Thank you for taking the time to read it. Blessings to you.

  4. “I am not the Christian I ought to be.” Great springboard for discussion! We could all jump in on this sentence and contribute how we connect with it.

    No, we are not the Christians we ought to be. We are works-in-progress. My prayer each morning: “God, just this day, help me see the steps you want me to take and give me the courage to take them, one at a time, trusting Your purposes are being pursued.”

    Thank you for the encouraging post!

  5. I love your honesty. I was in a similar place for a long time. I don’t think there’s such a thing as a Christian who is where they ought to be. I think we all struggle to be the best that God made us. However, many people hide behind the rules and check boxes instead of truly having a relationship with Jesus. It’s much easier to hide behind a mask and pretend that everything is great instead of being real about our messiness. I think that’s why it’s so important to tell our stories and help others know that they are not alone. Thankful for you, friend!

  6. Pilar, thank you for sharing. You are not alone, sister. My together is messy. Trust me.

    Sarah, thank you for the poignant reminder to not run someone else’s race. Always need to here that!

    • You’re welcome, Elisa:) I often try to run others’ races. Their races always seem more appealing. But, I know the God of the Universe has my race all mapped out, and it’s better than anything I could dream up;)

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