By Andrew Bors
I was raised in a Christian family and grew up content within the routines of our religion. We went to church every Sunday. I went to Sunday School and recited Bible verses and said my prayers when it was time, but beyond that I did not seriously reflect. My belief was a pleasant but impersonal thing, like the sunlight shining through a window. I was too young to have consciously thought about my personal faith and relationship with God. I moved through the days of a typical suburban middle-class lifestyle, but things soon began to change.
When I was in third grade, I was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy. This meant I would grow weaker over time, eventually requiring the use of a wheelchair. It was likely that I would not live much past the age of 30. My life would be severely confined. At first, though, I was too young to think much of my disability. I could not keep up physically with other kids, but otherwise I tried to live as normally as possible. Academics were important to me, and I felt that I could fit in through my performance at school. And I had a tight, loving family, and that was good enough for the time being.
But as things began to grow more difficult physically, I found myself mired in doubt and began to question everything that I thought I believed in, God included. My body was beginning to break down. The future seemed bleak. I fell into reflection regularly and wondered why there was so much pain in the world. I understood that even while I struggled, so many people were facing far greater trials than I was, and it just did not make much sense. Strangely, these doubts only made my desire for God stronger. It was now clear to me how much I needed a savior—I was a sinner, I could not navigate through life by myself, and I was afraid of death. I felt distant from God, and this made me all the more aware that I needed Him.
I knew I wanted to seek God and know God fully, but I did not know how to approach Him. Still, I could not give up the nagging feeling that there was some greater purpose to existence; that the world’s beauty and intricacy were not random; that the faithful people I knew would not be conquered by death. Looking back on it now, I believe God was at work in His own ways. And things slowly began to change. I joined a Christian fellowship my freshman year in college. Getting to know other Christians and discussing my faith honestly with them was a critical step for me. I felt I could see God at work in the lives of others and could feel Him at work in mine. I lay awake at night and prayed and tried to open my heart to God. I enrolled in a course on Christian theology in which I read, among other things, St. Augustine’s Confessions and Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s letters from prison. And I began to seek God more earnestly, to desire a new relationship with Him, not one based on Him fulfilling my desires and me turning away when He did not, but one more personal, based on love, faith, and prayer.
As a member of New Life Dresher—and now as a support staff member—my faith has continued to mature, and while I still have room to grow as a Christian, I have no doubt that I’ve found the right environment in which to do so. It has been wonderful to be a part of this community, to work with the people I work with, and to contribute in the small ways that I can. And when I find myself in those quiet moments of fear and uncertainty for what the future holds, as I occasionally still do, I think about those verses in 2 Corinthians 4:
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
I am comforted and renewed by these words, and I am comforted and renewed by the knowledge that my life is in His hands—and that is the ultimate serenity in this world.