No Fear of Death
I first encountered death as an unborn child. When my mother was struggling to birth me during the delivery process, she had to undergo surgery—and I struggled for breath and life. Though I could not possibly have memories of this experience, somehow it affected my psyche and left a scar inside me. Throughout my childhood I was haunted by nightmares of dying. I would try to imagine what it would be like to die, and I was always led to a dark and empty pit. The fear of death overwhelmed not just my mind, but my body and ultimately my soul!
Moving into young adulthood, with friends, school, and work, I managed to keep my fears at bay. Now, at the age of 26, I have already achieved what the world calls success. I have a great job as a visual effects designer for movies, which has provided financial stability for me. I have a supportive family and loyal friends— and I'm blessed with many talents.
At this point I acknowledge that I have achieved this success by being driven by pure ambition and focus. I have wanted money, success, and fame. Perhaps I have even abused the talents God has given me. My mother asked me one day, “How much money is enough for you?” And I had no answer, except “More.”
I wasn't brought up in a devoted Christian family, though my grandmother was a believer in Christ, and my mother used to tell me Bible stories and taught me life lessons from the Bible. At a very young age, I believed there was a creator, a being more powerful than myself or anything in the universe, and this was God. I know the seed of faith was planted in my mother, and in me, ultimately, though I grew into adulthood before it sprouted into life.
With all my success, a few months ago I started feeling really empty. The road I was on had led me to nothing but emptiness. That's when the question of dying—the dark and empty pit—began to return. Dreams returned—dreams about God and His calling me to turn to Him. Night after night, the dreams returned.
After one particular dream, buried feelings of the past, the fear of dying, came rushing in. I began to cry and writhe in pain—a pain that I had never felt before. I loathed myself to the point that I considered taking my own life. I had everything, yet I had nothing. I was broken. I faced honestly my own mortality.
For some reason, I picked up a book I had read when I was 18 years old, but at that point was not able to absorb. The book was, The Purpose Driven Life, by Rick Warren. Rick starts his book by stating that life is not about us but about God. Now that I was completely shattered, reading this book was the beginning of my journey to God.
In the past, I had avoided church and refused to read the Bible. But after inviting Jesus into my heart, my life has changed. I attend church faithfully and read my Bible on schedule every day. I am more patient, loving, accepting of others and myself. I hunger to know Christ more, and when given the opportunities, I share my story with others. I have found the treasure I was searching for: Christ! And even death cannot separate us from His love.