Where Real Life And Real Love Collide

Jordan Ranew

We having a saying here in the south, “I’ve been going to church nine months before I was born.” That was me. I grew up in a Christian home where we went to church three times a week; Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday night. I accepted Christ when I was seven years old after taking a bath and talking with my mom. Church for me was more of a daily routine than something I enjoyed doing. The sermons went over my head, and I had a hard time being able to relate them to things in my life because nothing ‘bad’ had really happened.

My world first got a ‘shake’ in it when my dad decided to help his friend start up the church ‘The Revolution’. And boy was it a shake to me! To be honest, I was mad. I had been at the same church for 18 years, 19 if you count the southern saying, so, yanking me out of there was appalling to my little ‘safe’ world. Later I would discover it was the best thing to happen to me.

I was walking around as a lukewarm Christian for several years, yet God kept trying to get my attention to be on Him. I pushed Him aside and a year later He allowed me to have my world shaken up again. I developed Anorexia at 19. It started off as a slow process, like swimming in the ocean. You slowly venture out a little more once you feel you’re safe and before you know it, your head’s going under and you’re treading water to try and stay afloat. It consumed my life and my family’s. God wanted me to fall on Him so He could show me that He is capable of giving me the strength to beat it, but I didn’t give Him the credit He deserved. Ignorance on my part.

After overcoming an eating disorder, I should have felt empowered and alive, but I still felt a void in my life. Yeah, it was great to be able to eat again without fear, but that wasn’t enough for me. I didn’t know what I was searching for and gratefully, I didn’t try to discover it in drugs or alcohol. Instead, I discovered it in seeking attention. Attention from girls commenting on an outfit, or attention from guys telling me I was pretty. The sad part was that those words weren’t enough to fill my void. So I started to ‘venture out’ a little further. I started to seek attention in the arms of guys. It felt great at first; I have to admit. God became an annoying gnat in my ear and satan started to look like a million dollars. I knew what I was doing was wrong but I continued to do it anyway because it seemed to fill my void. During all this time I was still attending church. The sermons started speaking straight to me as if the pastor knew what was going on in my life. I tried to make excuses for my behavior and sin, and it worked for a little while. I was knocked to my knees one night on a drive home from a guy’s house. All the feelings and emotions that came from my sin finally caught up to me. I realized I was being used and abused and I was allowing it. I am not, by far, a “good prayer”, but that night I just cried out to God. I told Him how angry I was for feeling the way I was feeling; I let Him know how stuck I was in my situation and how scared I was. That’s the neat thing about God and prayer, you can talk to Him like a best friend and He actually knows how you feel. That night my void was filled. I felt the biggest arms wrap around my little body and hold me. That’s when I knew not only was I safe, but I wasn’t in this pickle of a situation alone. I am not going to lie and tell you it was smooth sailing from there because it wasn’t. It was hard to choose to turn guys away and actually sit home on a Friday night, alone. But at the same time I grew so close to Him.

 I wouldn’t change my past for anything because having gone through those experiences, allowed me have a relationship with Christ that I can’t explain. God is still God no matter how messed up you think you are. He sees you with love. All you have to do is ask for forgiveness and He forgives you! It’s so simple. He no longer sees me as the lukewarm, anorexic, attention seeking Jordan, but He sees me as His child whom He loves beyond my imagination! Won’t you fill your void with the only one who can truly fill whatever it is?

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3 responses

  1. Leslie Padgett

    Jordan you are an incredible woman, I look up to you and the great relationship you have with God. I know there have been struggles for you but as we both know, God is amazing and is always with you. I am truly touched by your story that I just read and want you to know that I miss you dearly and I am always here for you, I admire your strength!

    March 12, 2012 at 7:45 pm

  2. Erin Dowgiallo

    Jordan,
    You are beautiful inside and out. I’m so proud of you and how brave you were to speak out on what you have been through. I’m always here for you and you know that after about 12 years. Your a true inspiration and i love seeing how much you have grown in the Lord. I love you and this has truly touched me.

    March 12, 2012 at 9:41 pm

  3. That is awesome, I hope my little girl turns out as great as you have.

    March 15, 2012 at 5:28 pm

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