My Christian journey has been like climbing a mountain - Roxanne White
At the tender age of nine, she asked to be baptised and with the overwhelming struggles of Christian life, 24-year-old Roxanne White has made many mistakes and has had several regrets. A renewal of her relationship with God was her only way back.
"Letting down my guard and putting myself on the enemy's playing field, thinking that I was strong enough to resist whatever he would throw at me is one thing I would change if I could go back in time," White told Family & Religion.
She added: "My brother inspired my first step, when he requested to be baptised and they thought he was too young, he said 'if the devil can use me, God can use me too' and at that moment I knew I wanted to give my life to God ... but things changed somewhere between my teenage years and that point, I had lost myself, got involved in things that resulted in a disconnection from God as well as persons I cared about. I was at my lowest; I had tried to fill the empty space with things and people, but it wasn't working."
It was in 2013 after attending a week of prayer sessions that White heeded to the call and decided to strengthen her Christian life.
"My Christian journey has been like climbing a mountain. Some aspects of the terrain have been easy to climb and the scenery (experiences) awesome and I feel like nothing can touch me. Then there's the rough side. Sometimes I lose my footing and slide or fall down, back to where I am coming from; all bruised and discouraged, simply because I don't always listen to the guide (Holy Spirit) that has been given to me... This stretch of the journey has been very challenging, mostly because I still have not gotten the hang of giving up control. I still try to do too much by myself, thinking that my way is better. It has started to really hit me and I'm starting to get glimpses of the things that God wants to give me. I just have to stop resisting first," said White.
With a wide range of temptations and battles to overcome, White told Family & Religion that the hardest ones for her include having to say no to relationships and truly forgiving those who have wronged her.
"Constantly having to say no to relationships that seem as though they would be perfect and painfully explaining to someone that we can't be together even though we connect on many levels and share some important ideologies, is difficult. The second-hardest thing is letting go of past hurts and forgiving persons who have and/or are hurting me, some of whom express no remorse for what they did or are doing.
"I sometimes feel that life would be much simpler if I could just hate them and there is the struggle between how I feel and what I know ought to be done."
But with support from young Christians like herself who are seeking to continuously grow in Christ, White is thankful that she has her friends and a praying mother to help her weather the storm.
"We just have to spend some time examining yourself as found in 2 Corinthians 13: 5, especially those who have been raised in church. It is very easy to become complacent and develop a form of ungodliness, lacking the real thing. Honestly ask yourself if you genuinely love God and want to have a relationship with Him or whether you are trying to buy your way into the kingdom with your good works."