Question:

I am 19 and have been through a lot in my life. When I was two my parents were divorced. Between the ages of around 5 to 12 I was allergic to corn. My family had been very close to God and at that time I grew up in the church and wanted to follow Him for my whole life. I went every Sunday and to church camp. I thought I had my morals and beliefs down pat.

I went to church one night because there was a man that visited and claimed God used his powers through him. I didn't really believe it, but I really had no choice so I went and sure enough it was real. I wasn't allergic to corn after that prayer. My dad told me I needed to pray every night and thank God, but instead I only did it a few times.

When I was 14 my dad lost his job. We had to move and I felt like everything just started to go wrong. I was getting in fights with my mom about my dad because of issues with the divorce. At 15 I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

We had stopped going to church in, I think, a very pivotal point in my life where I needed God the most. We stopped going because my dad had to work instead. I had been such a good kid and did not want to do anything wrong, but I constantly saw others doing wrong and getting good things out of it. I wasn't getting anything but what seemed like destruction in my life. I eventually just developed this attitude where I would go out and take what I wanted. I drifted from God and took advantage of Him because I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I knew he would forgive me anyway when I was done, for which I feel unexplainably bad.

I started drinking my senior year, which was something that I had promised to never even do. I just felt like I needed to change some views on some things, and then it got fun. Well, I ended up blacking out and having sex with a girl I knew. I was a virgin before it. I never would have done this or even be attracted to this girl, if I was not drunk at the time. The girl wasn't even suppose to be there. It was just supposed to me and the guys. In a way I was raped, according to law, but I still feel like this is all my fault. I held myself to such a high standard. I feel like I'm not worth the crumb on the bottom of someone's shoe. This was something that crushed me because, not only was I dating my current girlfriend, but I never wanted to do it until I got married anyway.

I asked and asked for forgiveness. Yet, even though she forgave me, I feel He hasn't. I tried to go to church, but I am scared. She is also Catholic and only goes every once in a while. I want to be the person I was before this stuff happened to me, but I can't seem to change. I feel that she won't try and live this life style with me because she never has. It happened a year and a half ago but I still feel so lost.

So my questions are: Why did this happen to me? Why did my life get changed so dramatically with my diagnosis and everything before it? Am I going to Hell because I can't seem to find Him? Why am I having such a hard time going back to church? How do I get my girlfriend, who we have talked about getting married, take up my lifestyle even if she has not tried to for the last three years? Will I ever stop feeling this awful? If it does not work out with my girlfriend, will I ever be able to find a good Christian girl who will be able to accept what I have done?


Answer:

I will say at the start that I'm a blunt, straightforward man. What I'm about to say doesn't have a trace of meanness in it, though it will probably hurt to hear them being said; but I am doing so out of love and concern for you.

Like many people, it appears your religion is built more on a foundation of emotionalism than real conviction and knowledge of God. Instead of holding yourself to the fixed standard of God's teaching (the Bible), you judge situations based on your emotions at the moment. "Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He who says, "I know Him," and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked" (I John 2:3-6). It isn't that you are unaware of some of the major things that God teaches, but you allow your personal emotions to override what you know you ought to do.

If I had to guess, it sounds to me that you are in denial. Drinking alcohol is exactly the opposite thing anyone with diabetes should do. Perhaps it was your way of trying to get even with God or your parents. Without talking to you, it would be hard to pin down.

For a type 1 diabetic, alcohol upsets the delicate balance you need to maintain over you blood sugar levels. "If you're on insulin, or certain oral diabetes medications, such as a sulfonylurea (glipizide, glyburide) or meglitinide (Prandin) that stimulate the pancreas to produce more insulin, drinking alcohol can cause a dangerous low blood sugar because your liver has to work to remove the alcohol from your blood instead of its main job to regulate your blood sugar" ["Alcohol and Diabetes," Mayo Clinic]. You more likely blacked out from low blood sugar.

You're upset that you committed fornication while drunk. But I can't help but notice that you never talk about your drunkenness, even thought that too is a sin and drinking alcohol is illegal for someone under the age of 21. "Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God" (I Corinthians 6:9-10). Alcohol lowers inhibitions. Are you responsible? I know you want to claim rape, but the fact is that if you were obedient to God and not drunk, the sex would not have taken place; so, yes, you have responsibility for what happened.

Why did it happen? Because you chose to sin and get drunk. Are you going to hell? I don't know. Are you going to stop pursuing a sinful lifestyle and live righteously? (II Corinthians 7:10-11). Why can't you find God? It isn't because He isn't there (Isaiah 59:1-2), but because you are trying to do things your way.

"Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, "The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously"? But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble." Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up" (James 4:4-10).

What lifestyle are you referring to? The one where you get drunk at parties? Or are you talking about living for God now? I'm assuming that your girlfriend prefers the party animal you. You want to change, but she is ambivalent to religion.

By the way, when I talk about doing things God's way, I'm talking about following what God said in the Bible and not what some denomination tells you to do. Denominations are not always right in their teachings but God is always right. "Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: "That You may be justified in Your words, and may overcome when You are judged"" (Romans 3:4).

Are there good Christians girls who can understand that a boy she loves had made some bad mistakes in his youth? Of course. Most need only look at their own lives and their own mistakes to understand what you went through. You don't have to force this particular friendship to work if it is just not working out.

"Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles -- when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead" (I Peter 4:1-4).

Thank you. I really needed that.

I do feel like I base what I should do on emotion, and maybe that is why I am having the problems I have. I know I was responsible for what I had done that night, and before that did not know getting drunk was a sin until after I began asking why did this happen. I know that I had sinned and was taken in by the devil that is why that happened to me. I did not continue to let that happen or drink like that ever again. I now know what to do to try and make my life for Him and not for my wants in life. Through this, I now see it as a lesson He taught me by saying if you turn away from me this will happen more and more. I was not a party animal but wanting social interaction. I met my girlfriend before I even tried alcohol, so she knows who I was. She is just hesitant to try and follow me in moving away from this new life and follow God because she has never been a devote Catholic or Christian. You have helped me with a lot, and I guess I need to come to means with God and accept what happened to me was bad, but for a greater good, which is to get back on track with Him. So I thank you again.

I'm glad you partly got the message. I didn't say cut back on your drinking. I noted that the law is not to drink before 21. A Christian's duty is to obey the laws of the land (Romans 13:1-2). I also noted that you have an additional reason not to drink: your body can't handle alcohol well. But if you are serious about following Christ, then realize that God called us to soberness. See: New Testament Beverages.