How Do I Know I Can Do More Than I Think – Alicja
I want to share with you a deeper reflection on how I know that I can do more than I think.
My name is Ala. I work with students. I was born and grew up in the country. One of the local customs was to participate in funerals. When someone from the village died, everybody else assisted him or her to a cemetery. I was about 5 years old when my mother took me to a funeral for the first time. Then I understood I would die as well. I wasn’t afraid of death; I wanted my life to be interesting, I wanted to be happy.
As years went by, I was setting goals which were to bring me to the desired happiness. And for me, this happiness consisted of three things: I wanted to have money, to get higher education and to have a family. I began to work really hard on these goals. At the age of 15 I became “a garlic businesswoman.” My parents were farming a piece of land (of the size of an average building plot) and I was doing the rest: planting, cultivating, picking and selling in a nearby town. I gave up my friends. I was happy to have the money.
When I was 18, my father had a car accident. I saw the site of the crash one hour after it had happened; all there was left was some trash. Then I realized something: very often we build our wealth and acquire material things through hard work, but we can lose them in the twinkling of an eye. Therefore it’s not worthy to dedicate yourself to them to such an extent. That was my conclusion.
I went to college. I was very idealistic about being a college student. I thought everyone who had a higher education was an intelligent and interesting person. However, I was surprised and disappointed to find out that the reality was a whole different. One of the professors rated us according to our birth dates. I had a very smart and talented friend, and the professor kept wondering how it was possible that a woman born under Aquarius had such a deep knowledge. He asked her difficult questions and gave her poor notes. I understood that incompetent use of information could lead astray, and I gave up fighting for knowledge.
Finally I fell in love – with an older brother of my elementary school friend. After a year he met another girl and we broke up. I was 23; I had a whole life ahead of me, but at that moment my world had ended. My dreams were shattered. I really wanted to know the meaning of my life.
I have always heard about God. As a little girl I believed He knew everything and could do everything. I had the same conviction about my parents (somehow I saw a link between their abilities and God’s features). As a teenager I understood that my almost adult life required much effort and strength that I was short of to meet God’s standards. I wanted to get rid of a sense of guilt arising from the awareness of doing something wrong or not doing something I should do, so eventually I assumed God didn’t exist. It was easier to live with such a conviction. Nevertheless, I found an old proverb to be true – the proverb saying that we run to God only in trouble. I was afraid to live purposely. So I told God: “If You really exist, do something with my life, because I have run out of ideas.”
Two weeks after this sincere prayer I met with my friend and she told me about changes that had taken place in her life. I was especially intrigued by one sentence: “Jesus is my friend.”
I was curious how it was possible for someone to call God his or her friend. This thought made me start searching. I began to read the Bible; I spent a lot of time talking about God with my friend. A few months later I met another person who wanted to talk with me about her friendship with God. Then I heard about the following truths:
1.God loves me very much and wants to have a relationship with me.
2.My sins separate me from Him. Holy God cannot abide in the presence of sin.
3.God wants this relationship so much that He bridged the gulf between Himself and us – and that bridge is His Son Jesus.
I told the person that I already knew this. “It’s not enough to know. If you want it to be true in your life, you have to make a decision to accept this gift of friendship,” she replied.
I knew I wanted this friendship. In prayer I expressed my faith and thanked God for the death of His Son for my sins. I invited Jesus into my heart, asking Him to become my Lord and Savior. It was a quiet, peaceful decision, made without any fuss. Only God and I knew about what had happened… and indeed a lot had happened.
The first and most important truth that appeared in my heart was the fact of being special to God. He never stops loving me and accepting me as an individual. But He can’t accept my sins. This awareness made me turn to God as a source of my self-worth.
I always felt hurt by others. But then I realized it worked both ways: I hurt them too. The only solution to this problem was forgiveness. Later I noticed something: when I forgive, I receive joy and strength which I longed for so much.
God didn’t take away diseases or conflicts with other people. He only changed the perspective from which I looked at problems and difficulties. What is the perspective now? I live here on earth to praise God. Praising Him means expressing my true attitude toward Him, both through actions and words. I have a goal. I have somewhere to go. This goal helps me choose from various possibilities of how to use my time, money and strengths. This goal influences my attitude toward other people. It makes me want to respect them and love them. And I can see how God enables me to do it.
I lived in Donieck, Ukraine, for a few years. I met a lot of students there. One of them was Wlad. He lived with his mother and a step-father. Unfortunately, his step-father didn’t like him a lot. Wlad was a very talented young man, but he didn’t believe in himself. He was often sad and used to stand in some corner with his head drooped. One day he was appointed to conduct a meeting. He had to stand before a big group of students. So I gave him such an advice: wear something elegant, look people in the eye and smile. Wlad was very creative and made a good job. And I complimented him on his effort. It was all I had ever done for him. But three years later he sent me a letter in which he expressed his gratitude for my help. He wrote it had been a turning point in his thinking about himself.
Today I look at life from the perspective of a woman over forty. I’m single. I guess if I lived without God, I would be afraid of future, of lonely old years. Because especially we, women, need to have someone to live for. We need to be loved and adored. I have these basic feminine needs, too. And God satisfies them in His way. I’m involved in lives of many other women. And sometimes I get compliments (not only from women).
I understood that only in God I could find fulfillment and satisfaction, regardless of whether I was married or single. A man can let you down, he can make mistakes; but perfect God – never.
I know my God because He allows me to get to know Him. With Him I can do more than I think because HE IS A GREAT GOD.