How Jesus Has Changed Me

Hi, everyone πŸ™‚ Today I’m sharing some changes I’ve experienced since following Christ. But I must preface this by saying that none of this is magical, or special, or mystical. There was no wand waved and the skies didn’t open up. After reading the Bible in 2018 and becoming a Christian, I’ve simply experienced a few changes that just sort of happened– they weren’t something that I purposely worked on. These changes have had a huge positive impact in my life, and that’s why I would like to share them with you today πŸ™‚

The first change I noticed was that I stopped hoarding. I had amassed a huge library of books, both physical and Kindle copies. Magazines, too. I had box upon box of books, most of which I never read or cared to read. I hoarded other items, too, but my biggest problem was books– nobody bats an eye if you hoard books!

I also had a big (and I mean big) collection of Tarot cards and oracle cards because I used to be in the new age, and I will share about that in the future, but I had maybe 30 decks, and that’s a modest estimate. Tarot and oracle cards are expensive, so when I began to get rid of them I sold a few to the local bookstore so that I wouldn’t “waste” them.

That didn’t last long, however. Before I knew it, I was throwing away these items that I didn’t want near me. I stopped selling them, because I figured if those cards weren’t good for me, they weren’t good for other people! I began to not care how much they cost, and the value that had been attached to them was suddenly unimportant. Books and cards went to the recycling bin or trash.

Even pseudo-Christian popular books I had purchased got thrown away. And… I didn’t care. I would have flipped my lid if I threw away even ONE card just a few months prior! But then, I just did it, no problem. Something so “precious” became junk in my eyes after I experienced the love of God.

Today, I have a completely different view of books. I have less books than ever, but I enjoy them more… because I actually read them! x-) Oh, and no cards!

The second change was deeper and definitely more impactful. I reached forgiveness. I’ll try not to air out too much dirty laundry, but I come from a background of abandonment and neglect, kicked out of the house at an early age. A few months after I turned sixteen, I was already out on my own, working and going through high school, paying bills, experiencing hunger, living from couch to couch.

To this day, my family won’t bat an eye at tossing me out at age sixteen– it doesn’t seem abnormal to them.* I was a sheltered girl who was a total nerd and loved animals and reading, and the reason for kicking me out was they suspected me of having sex. It befuddles me how they could think I was having a life of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll… while sheltered at home. While at school I was called a prude for not liking any boys and for refusing to wear revealing clothes.

So that really hurt me. And I ended up in a weird place where I hated my parents, but still craved their love. And no matter what I did, I wasn’t getting it. I acted out for a while, nothing. I went to college and landed a job with my own office, nothing. Over time, I began to blame them for every abuse I suffered as a young girl on my own (I was an easy target). The resentment was crippling.

Fast forward a couple of decades, only months after reading the Bible, and I realized I had done something I could never do, even after having read dozens of self-help books– I had forgiven my family. Whatever they said, whatever they did, I didn’t suffer about it anymore. Although still wrong (forgiveness doesn’t mean that a wrong becomes right) I was able to stop ruminating and stop having nightmares and stop blaming. I just… let it go.

Just like that πŸ•ŠοΈ

This big deal in my life… poof. Gone. My heart, my entire being, was suddenly full of God’s love– a love I had never experienced before– and I forgave all. It’s hard to explain how decades of pain can be lifted and vanished so quickly, but it just did. The times when I do have a memory of my past, I no longer feel resentment. I have finally reached a place of love and forgiveness!

The third change was me reaching a sense of security, but allow me to explain this. I don’t mean that nothing bad is ever going to happen to me. I’m aware that some preachers preach this, and shame on them– that is not in the Bible. I read it. All of it, for the sole purpose of never being lied to about it. Being lied to is one of the few things that actually offends me.

What I mean is, I have a sense of, no matter what happens, Jesus is with me. He loves me. If I were to get into a car accident, or if my house were to burn down, that wouldn’t mean that He loves me any less. And even though that would suck, He would still be with me. And how great is that??? Maybe things won’t be perfect in this life– I’ll grow old, I’ll get sick, I’ll die– but everything will eventually be okay when I’m with Him. That is the security I mean.

Security has been a big issue in my life, because I’ve not always had it (being on my own so young). And when I went headfirst into the new age in my mid-20’s, I was taught that everything that had happened to me I had attracted to me. It was all my own fault. I became a bundle of nerves, hyperfocused on not “attracting” bad stuff to me, hyperfocused on prosperity, hyperfocused on this feeling that everything was my fault and the moment I even had one negative thought, my house of cards would come crashing down.

It was insecurity to the max.

The book of Job and the book of James did a lot to get me out of the “good things or it’s my fault” way of thinking (that both the new age and some Christians teach.) It’s a giant, unrealistic guilt-trip to believe that if my life isn’t perfect, I “attracted” it to me. That life must be perfect, always. Ugh. Thank goodness that heavy burden has been lifted! I’m no longer crushed by fear and expectations of perfection, but I face life knowing things can go wrong (things will go wrong) and that’s normal, and Jesus will be here. I feel secure.

These aren’t the only changes, but they’re three of the changes that snuck in and I can’t pin-point how or when, and that was kind of a nice surprise πŸ™‚ All glory to God, because I didn’t do anything. All I did was read the Bible in its entirety and learn to trust God. I think these changes are common concerns, things we all go through at some point or another, so you might relate to at least one of them. I think hoarding, unforgiveness, and feeling insecure can be common concerns. Since I think that’s the case, I thought it would be encouraging to share how getting closer to God through His Word can help πŸ€—

Well, that’s all for today. Thanks for reading this post, which is much longer and much more personal than what I usually write!

μ•ˆλ…•! Bye! Ciao!

jarilissima

* I want to add that it’s not my intention to paint my family in a negative light. What happened is in the past and I’ve definitely forgiven and reconnected with my family since.

55 comments

  1. Forgiveness can be so hard. There are times I feel like I have forgiven someone until they wrong me again and I realized I just put my feelings out of site for a bit as I unbox all the previous wrongs. I am definitely still working on that one! And I also struggle with the feeling that God is punishing me for a previous wrong when something bad happens to me. Deep down I know this is not the case but it is still something I struggle with. Great post! Very thought provoking! Great job on all your positive changes too!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for sharing that, Robyn. That’s very honest. I think it’s hard *not* to feel upset if someone wrongs us again and again. That’s natural.

      What has helped me in that regard is to set up strong boundaries. Though I’m in contact with my family now, I know there’s a chance that they will hurt me again (because they do it over, and over, and over again…) so there’s parts of my life that are off-limits to them. That has helped me immensely, while still keeping in touch.

      And that’s something I’ve struggled with in the past, too! That could be a whole post in itself that I think many people can relate to. Thanks for your kind words πŸ™‚ Have a wonderful week!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a tremendous post, Yari, on several levels. I’ll list just 2 here. First, for Christians, this is a fantastic testimony on how and why Christians need to be reading their ENTIRE Bibles (which I ranted about in my blog today).

    Second, this is a great testimony to unbelievers regarding the transforming power of God to change lives from the inside out. I pray many unbelievers will read this great testimony and take it to heart.

    I’m looking forward to your post on your experiences with new age, and pray God will use that one to reach out to those trapped in that huge and satanic lie.

    Continue to write on these things, Yari, you are making a difference!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks so much, Mr. David πŸ™‚ Your words are very encouraging! And yes, reading the entire Bible is so important. Honestly, we need more rants about that!

      I’m glad you enjoyed the testimony. Sometimes it’s hard to put into words the immense changes that have happened to me. It was especially difficult to share about me reaching forgiveness, because I really didn’t have “3 easy steps!” or anything like that. It really just… happened. The Bible allowed me to forgive, which is something that the *dozens* of self-help books I’ve read weren’t able to do. (And I have a long list, including bestsellers like “Running on Empty.”)

      I will definitely share more about my experiences in the new age, but I can preface it by saying that it is no longer an occult, scary-looking thing. The new age is wrapped up in pink and glitter these days, quite literally, with very pretty books and lots of mention of the word “love.” It is very sparkly, with lots of beautiful crystals and shiny colors, and nice art. See the cover of the book “The Soul Searcher’s Handbook” by Emma Mildon to see what I mean.

      Thanks again for stopping by and for all your encouragement! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great comments, Yari. Regarding what you said about the “sparkly” nature of the new age, this is crucial to unmask to people. It may be gift wrapped as something wonderful, but inside it is dirty, dark, and deadly.

        Looking forward to more of your posts, young lady!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Oh, it’s definitely a veneer. And I find it important to point out because when I first started looking into the new age, it was all dark books with skulls and pentagrams on the cover. Easy for parents to look at and say, “I’m not buying you this book!”

        Now it’s all “love and light!” and pink and sparkles, and even adults can pick up these books not knowing they are super occult. It’s like a bait and switch, in a way.

        Just had to add that! ☝️😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well Yari, considering the relatively short time frame involved and the magnitude of the issues that have changed, I’d be saying that you are doing very well. The comments that you have made on my posts from time to time have been balanced, even when we may disagree on some point, which is really a good thing because it shows a consistent level of accommodating maturity. It really is an amazing journey of discovery that we are all on and it only gets better with time. And you will discover that reading through the Bible once is just the beginning because each time you do it, you will be amazed at what you missed the last time! Really happy for you and I join with Mandy, David and others in saying how proud of you we are. May God’s peace, grace and blessings be poured upon you and yours. Love in Christ – Bruce

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks so much for your encouraging words πŸ™‚ And you’re absolutely right about reading the Bible more than once!

      My first time reading it was really just one giant surprise after another. Mostly because I had a lot of pre-conceived notions about the Bible based on “pop culture” (the things that are repeated over and over, but are not actually in there).

      So, the first time was a shock, and a little confusing, too. But I found that the more I read it, the more it became clear. Especially the New Testament, which is such a short read compared to the Old Testament, and you can go over it several times quite easily.

      I still have a lot to learn, of course, but as you mentioned– yes, it is an amazing experience πŸ™‚ I do learn a lot from other Christians/blogs, including yours and the others you mentioned.

      Thanks again for all your kind words!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for sharing, Yari! The Holy Spirit keeps working on transforming us. Many of the things of this world that were once dear to me, no longer have any value and the process continues. I have a post on the drawing board titled “collections” that also touches on what you describe.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sure thing! And thanks for reading, Tom πŸ™‚ I can definitely relate to being attached to things of the world, thinking I can’t even live without those things, then so easily letting them go for Jesus πŸ™‚

      And I think I found 2 posts by searching “collections” on your blog. I’ll go ahead and read them, thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      • RE: collections

        I had in mind a future post that I haven’t even started on, but I searched my blog using “collections” as you did and found the “Hanging onto stuff'” post from 2018 and it pretty much said all that I had wanted to write. The one about “Idols” is pertinent, too. Thanks for reminding me!

        Liked by 1 person

      • I just read and commented on those two πŸ˜„ 😁 I wasn’t sure what you meant by a board titled collections, so I used the search feature. Everyone’s blog is set up a little different, so I can’t always find stuff very well.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. This blog, Yari – how impacting on several levels! Your hurtful past and deep experiences are being used by God to reach many, I am sure, and will continue to be as you follow Jesus. What a life-changing decision it is to listen to God’s still small voice in your heart and then to follow Him. Thank you for being so open and honest. And your ability to forgive is such a ministry of the Holy Spirit. I dare say that every one of us on planet earth have those in our lives we need to forgive. You are allowing your story to teach us. God bless you! I look forward to reading more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for the wonderful comment, Ms. Patty ❀️ Reading the Bible and following Christ has definitely been a life-changer (in a positive way!) that it was hard not to add too much in one post πŸ€— The forgiveness really took me by surprise, because I was so resentful for so many years, so I am *very* thankful to God for that!

      I do hope I reach people and inspire them to look to Jesus (or at least pique their curiosity about the Bible) because if that happens, that would be wonderful πŸ™‚ Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I enjoy your posts about your faith, Yari. I am glad that it brings you peace and focus on what’s important in your life. For reasons related to my sexuality, I’ve had a much more… tense… relationship with religion; but I do not doubt the healing and reassuring power of one’s faith and connection to God. I enjoy and appreciate the little glimpses that you share here and there! πŸ™πŸ‘

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for reading πŸ™‚ And that’s definitely understandable. I hope you’ve not had bad experiences with Christians in that regard. I know some people can get fixated on that one specific topic and become quite mean, defeating the whole purpose of being a Christian, in my opinion.

      Thanks so much for giving it a read, even if it’s outside of what you may believe. I appreciate that!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’ve had very bad experiences to be honest and perhaps something I’ll post about one day from the context of my views on religion as a parent.

        But I know and have learned that people are not black and white. For every unaccepting person there are 10 great people like yourself. And from what I can tell, you embody what being a true Christian is about.

        Anyway, don’t mean to hijack your post. πŸ˜‚ I really enjoy your views on religion. I think they mostly align with mine.

        Liked by 1 person

      • That’s really sad to hear. I’m sorry that ever happened to you. We all deserve to be treated with respect, and Christians are supposed to treat others with love– there’s no “except.”

        And thank you, that’s such a huge compliment! I’m by no means perfect, and still learning, but if I can be a good example then that’s great πŸ™‚ And no hijacking at all πŸ€— You’re welcome to share your thoughts here! Anytime!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Just skimmed this as I can’t read it all the way through right now..but this is a powerful testimonial. I appreciate your vulnerability and the transparency. It’s making me think I have not forgiven my parents fully as I still resort to the past like a crutch. I can’t wait to finish!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Such a pleasure to read what has been doing in your life. Reading the Bible to ensure you know the truth from the lies most tell is awesome! Congratulations on that one!

    What an impact this may have on othersβœοΈπŸ™

    Liked by 1 person

  9. God is amazing. Thank you Jari for sharing your tremendous testimony. As you know we read in the Bible that we are a new creation in Christ Jesus and this is what the three things you have shared testify to. It brings tears to my eyes to see how God can change us. Praise God.
    Thank you Jari β™₯οΈπŸ™πŸŒΌ

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks so much for sharing such experiences and how your life has changed since!! I’m so happy to see that you’re in a good place after all the obstacles you faced. It’s amazing how things can change over the years and I enjoyed reading how Jesus changed your life. πŸ’–

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Forgiveness is so vital for us to live free. Just as Jesus has forgiven us… so we must forgive others too. Blessings! Pastor Natalie 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is such an encouraging post and has blessed me deeply. What a quick transformation in such major areas! God is so good. Thank you so much for sharing so honestly. I hear your love and forgiveness and thank God for it as it will heal your wounds. My transformation has taken at least ten times as long, and I’m still a hoarder! But one day I might need them! πŸ˜€ Blessings to you, Yari

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply to My Life in Our Father's World Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s