CHANGED stories of life

THE STORY OF MARLIEKE

Let me tell you a little something about my 19-year-old self. I had dropped out of high school, was spending most of my days indoors, and most of my social interaction was with my computer screen. Even though I pretended I was totally fine, somewhere in the back of my mind I did realise I wasn’t doing that great.

That is why I signed up for a DTS (Disciple Training ship School, which is a sort of bible school) in Scotland for six months. The fact that I was leaving wasn’t very surprising, I was yearning for some adventure. The fact that I was about to do a DTS was a little weird though. Most days God was the last thing I wanted to think about, and now I was going to spend half a year in search for Him? But this was literally the only thing I could think of doing.

That is how, a couple of months later, I arrived at Stanely House in Scotland. I’m going to be honest, the first couple of days I felt completely miserable. I felt lonely and completely out of place. Mostly because everyone there seemed to completely fit in. Everyone just seemed to have everything figured out. They all just had this awesome thing going on with God. This deeper connection with Him that just gave them some sort of glow or something. Simply put, they had something that I didnt have. I didn’t know how to describe it, but it made me incredibly jealous. I wanted it too. I was missing out on something phenomenal, I could see that. It made me realise how empty I had been feeling. There was a huge gaping hole inside me that needed filling up, and all these people around had something that could do just that, and so much more.

After a couple of weeks and some really good talks with one of the DTS-leaders, I decided to just take the leap and open my heart up just a little. Almost instantly did my heart feel lighter than it had felt in years. I was exhilarated, simply because I finally felt something. Little did I know that God had just needed this little crack in my armour to start His real work. Which brings me to the last part of my story.

About a week later, we had this thing called a Holy Spirit party. Which basically means a lot of dancing, music and just whatever the Spirit tells you to do. If you want to sing, sing! If you want to just lie on the floor and soak in His presence, do that. It just means spending time with God in the best way possible.
And boy, did God want to spend some time with me. I think I only made it to the second song before I just started laughing out of nowhere. It started as a snicker but eventually I ended up rolling on the ground from laughter, I could barely walk. It was the most amazing experience of my life, hands down. I was completely filled with His joy and His overwhelming love. It felt like God was telling me, ‘I have made you so incredibly beautiful, why on earth would you ever feel negatively about yourself?’. And He was right!
(For the people who know the Narnia books. I always compare this moment to the moment in the books where Aslan has just risen from the dead. He has risen and the first thing He does is go playing around and laughing with Lucy and Susan. That is how I felt.) 
I still get an epic grin on my face when I’m writing this down. I just don’t have the words to describe perfectly how it felt.

So yeah, that was how God came back into my life. It wasn't with a bang or anything, but it was beautiful, and I wouldn’t change a thing.
Oh, and for all who are wondering how long my little Holy Spirit moment lasted, I laughed for nearly three hours straight. Seems a little unreal now, but at the time, those hours flew by in no time.

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