I recently had to answer a question about how "the Lord has impacted my life." I didn't think I could answer such a broad question, but I'm proud of what eventually came out:
When I think about Jesus and his place in my life, what comes to mind is the word “presence.” Even before I trusted in Jesus as Lord and Savior, I can recall moments when the presence of God was very real and even palpable. During the darkest times of my life, especially in those times, Jesus has never stopped chasing me. Through a tumultuous childhood, the death of my Mom, wandering teenage and college years, doubt, fear and depression, Jesus has never let go of me. I have learned the Lord’s presence is sometimes best perceived in our “dark nights of the soul.”
With a diligent love and a persistence that is beyond my understanding, the Lord has met me in my darkest places and then changed me. Jesus has never left me feeling condemned or worthless when he exposes my sin. Instead, the Lord is quick to heal and bring grace to my soul, even in times of painful exposure. Lately I have been doing a lot of reflection on my past and I can see a very real change and saving grace. If it were not for Jesus, I would not take risks, seek adventure, grow in love and trust, be a husband or a father (especially not a good one) or simply enjoy life.
The presence of Jesus in my life has taught me how to be more fully human and let him be more fully God. I experience a great freedom in embracing my humanness because it allows me to receive grace as a created child of God. In this grace I enjoy my life, the world and the people around me more fully—with genuine joy. But most importantly, aside from the many blessings Jesus gives, I am constantly seeking the presence of God. Jesus’ presence in my life has given me a thirst for something beyond, something already here but not yet fully present. Bono sums up this pursuit of presence for me nicely:
You broke the bonds
And you loosed the chains
Carried the cross, of my shame...You know I believe it
But I still haven't found what I'm looking for