Hello to Honesty: Struggle Bus

Ahhhh, what to talk about this week? I’ve shared not being in school and my journey to becoming healthy. I even shared my thoughts on being in a relationship (in my case, the lack thereof).

I try to not queue posts for this segment since I’m always changing my mind about the topic. I actually have three unfinished documents specifically for HtoH. However, after much consideration, I wanted to share something that I’ve struggled with since I was in high school and didn’t know I was struggling with it until this past year. This time, it’s not my weight I’m talking about. This is my testimony; my struggle bus.

I knew of God and what He has done from the people I went to school with but I had followed a different religion then. I came to know God when I was either fifteen or sixteen with many questions and childlike wonder.  When I was seventeen, I decided to give my life to Christ and got baptized.

Early on in my Christian life, I was constantly craving for the spiritual high I had experienced when I attended my first worship service. I thought attending a Christian university would fulfill that. It didn’t. It wasn’t until I moved back home from college when I began to wonder why I was always thirsty (in the most Christian sense of the word).

This past year, my life was at rock bottom spiritually. I ran away from my problems and I ignored God. I know for a fact the only time I had listened to God back then was when I talked to Him and made the decision to move back home. I know it’s terrible but when people asked how my walk with Christ is going, I answer that everything is fine. I was the furthest from God as I could possibly be.

I struggled with so many worldly sins since I was baptized. Pride, being the basis of all my problems. Stupid, stinking, pride. It’s alright to have pride in yourself but not to the point where you sound like a pompous jerk every time you speak. Being a Christian does not make me better than anyone else. Let me type that again in all caps, bold faced, underlined, and italicized. BEING A CHRISTIAN DOES NOT MAKE ME BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE. I walked around as a pharisee when I thought I walked with Christ.

One random summer day, I listened to my Christian music for the first time in forever and Francesca Battistelli’s “If We’re Honest” started to play. Tears were just streaming down my face. I had listened to the song dozens of times before but for some reason the song hit me really hard in the feels. That night I knelt at my bedside and prayed out loud asking for forgiveness and guidance on the path of righteousness.

Every day, I think about who I am in Christ and how I can show Him through me. I still get irritated easily and I vent my anger like a tantrum-throwing two year old. It’s still a problem and I’m working on it. I can say that I’ve come a long way from when I gave my life to Christ the first time.

I believe our generation is filled with prodigal sons and daughters. Many of us need to sleep and eat with the pigs before we can humble ourselves and realize we need to return home. Before we can return to Christ.

The chorus in Francesca Battistelli’s “Keeping Score” begins:

I know you’re thinking that you’ve finally gone too far

And you’re certain He’ll be closing the door

But you’ve gotta believe the things you’ve done aren’t beyond His love

He’s not keeping score

The wonderfully mind-blowing thing about God is, He still loves me despite my sins and my flaws. He loves me for who I am and I am perfect in His eyes even when I tried to find acceptance by worldly means. He loved me so much that He died on the cross bearing not only my sins but all our sins on His shoulders. Our sins were and are forgiven and our slate is wiped clean.

It’s never too late to rededicate your life to Christ. He was and is always waiting for your return with open arms. He was always waiting for me with open arms and wrapped me with His love and grace.

To turn this back around to my struggle bus (because I’m a punny person), I basically live on the struggle bus but I have Christ as my bus driver, the mechanic when the bus breaks down, and my traveling companion so I won’t be lonely.

Live long and prosper,

Ellen Jones Vang

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