For the most part, I followed the rules and kept myself out of trouble. Because of this, most people would call me a "good" Christian. Now, I didn't try to correct the people who said this. I just went along with it. But deep down in my heart, I knew something wasn't quite right with their assumption. I now know why I felt uneasy with people calling me that. It's because my relationship with God was "transactional." I would do some "good" things, or in my case this usually meant not doing the "bad" things. All with the primary goal of getting what I wanted. I would then silently, or not so silently, complain if this didn't happen. In addition to this, I would get upset if people were getting what I wanted when I just "knew" they were doing far worse things than me.
Sadly, this was what I thought it meant to have a "relationship" with Jesus and what it was supposed to look like to be a Christian. This was so far from the truth, but I wasn't looking to change. I didn't even know I needed to and when I thought about it, I got uncomfortable, so I avoided it like the plague. But change showed up anyway! And it never left!
I know I sound like a broken record because I have written and talked so extensively about all the "changes" associated with my traumatic brain injury (TBI), but it really did change EVERYTHING! Following my TBI, nothing would ever be the same. I can honestly say it turned my life upside down!
But something else quite amazing and wonderful happened. My relationship with God was dramatically changed as well. I believe the reason this hadn't happened before was because I hadn't yet fully grasped the power of the gospel. I didn't quite appreciate the magnitude of what Jesus had endured for my salvation, how undeserved I was for any of it, and how there's nothing I can do to earn God's grace and love.
I began to understand how big God was and how small I was in comparison. The more I understood this, the more I moved down the ladder of importance and God started moving up to where he should have been all along. As me and God started changing our respective positions, I became more willing to follow Jesus wherever He led me, regardless of my level of understanding. I recognized God as the one in charge, the one in total control of my life. I am still learning to fully understand what this is supposed to look like for me, but living this way is proving to be unexplainably joyous and fulfilling.
So, yes, it is true that a brain injury turned my life upside down. But the same thing happened to my relationship with God, and upside down ended up being right side up!