By: Ivan Cooley
Church has helped me to put something in my heart. It has helped me to understand that it is not all about me.
When I first came to Mercy, I was an empty shell. I had severed the relationship with God because I felt as if things weren’t working out in my life—that God didn’t favor, love, or care about me. I was at the point to where I didn’t want to die, but I didn’t like the quality of life I was living either. When I started coming to Mercy, I started seeing people act out of love for one another. I started getting into the Bible through our Bible studies. That’s where I really started to learn about Jesus. The thing about Jesus is his desire just to be compassionate to people and teach people how to live. Even though he was ostracized in some circles, he remained true to who and what he was. A lot of the things he did, I admired. The life that he lived on earth I felt was one that we should try to emulate.
I actually tried doing that. And I fell way short. But one thing I noticed was that when I tried to live like that, the easier it was for me to interact with people with whom I usually did not get along. It helped me to look at the other side of the story, not just my own.
It helped me to see where people were coming from and try not to judge. Instead, I focused on trying to live a better quality of life.
The truth is, I find that when I keep God with me I do not do as many unhealthy things as in the past. I am hopeful for things to come.