Rachel Duelo

Tilburg, Netherlands

The Search is Over

I spent the first 19 years of my life on a self-centered ambition of more.

More love. More attention. More happiness. More friends. More boyfriends. More achievements. More hobbies. More travel. More popularity. More beauty. More success. 

It was never enough.  

As a college Freshman, I kept this search for satisfaction going. I hoped a new city, campus, friend group, and higher education would be the more I was looking for. To my demise, it wasn't. And I was tired of looking. So tired, I felt hopeless. For four months, I spent night after night crying in my dorm thinking, "God, there has to be more than this."

I grew up with a view of God who was just sort of, "there on Sunday's.” He wasn't personal to me. I remember hearing at church on Christmas and Easter that, "God loved me,” but I wondered why my life – full of pain – seemed to contradict that. Why were my parents divorced? Why was I mistreated? Why did my life feel so empty? If He "loved me"… Why? To avoid conversations about God in a Christian small town I actually identified as a Christian– even though I had NO idea who God really was or what I really believed. From then until college, I actively rebelled against God and decided to find the more my heart longed for on my own terms. 

But during the first four months of college, I was curious, could God be the “more” I had spent my life searching for? I started asking friends in dorms, classes, and parties just the same, “Don't you think there is something more in this life than this? Do you think it's God?" Nearly everyone I met would respond the same: "What are you talking about? What's got into you? Oh, you're just drunk!" 

They kick you out of the dorms in America for Christmas, otherwise, I would have stayed. My parent's homes were places I avoided for nearly my entire life for both the pain I encountered in them and the mistakes I felt ashamed of. This was a real breaking point for me. 

I'll never forget that Christmas morning. 

I wasn't sure if God was real, or that he could hear me, but I fell to my knees and prayed anyway, "God there has got to be something more to this life. If you are real, reveal yourself to me." 

That same day, my grandparents pulled me aside asking if we could "talk.” It was very uncharacteristic. My meek and trembling grandma said, "Rachel, your grandpa and I have been praying for you. This morning we think God said He wants to reveal Himself to you. Does that mean anything to you?" In that moment, I was sure God was real. 

They told me if I went back to my campus, I could go to a Christian organization to hear more about Jesus. Without hesitation, I went. The people I met were radiating joy – it totally freaked me out. They seemed to have something I didn't. To my surprise, they did not reject me; they actually embraced me. 

The next day I met with two new friends from this organization and poured my heart out for hours – confessing every sin I had ever committed (not that they asked me to). My new friends listened patiently to my spiritual journey and prayed compassionately for me. They were the first people in my life to do that. I asked if we could meet the next day to talk about Jesus. It was there I met the real Jesus for the first time. She explained to me, Jesus was the more I had been searching for. She elaborated:

"The reason is that the appetites of our hearts were made for God and they will not be satisfied until we feast on a relationship with God. Jesus said, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst." Everybody is thirsty. Everybody is searching for a fountain of everlasting joy. When we find Jesus, the search is over."

She drew a diagram illustrating that while God loves us and created us, the problem is that we are sinful and have fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23) – which separates us from God (picture a giant gap between a mountain). That's why Jesus died on the cross for us. "Though he was rich, yet for our sake he became poor so that by his poverty we might become rich." (2 Corinthians 8:9) He lived the perfect life, died the perfect death, and rose from the grave in victory for all our sin and death. (Imagine a bridge between the gap of the mountain). If you put your trust in Jesus (the all-satisfying one), you can be forgiven and have a personal relationship with God. (Ephesians 2:1-10)

This was good news! It meant I could stop my search. It meant I had everlasting hope. It meant I was alive and given new life. Jesus was the fullness my heart was aching for. Finally! 

Friends, nothing compares to the fullness of a personal relationship with God. I've known God for 8 years now, and I can truly say God is most satisfying & faithful. While I still fail (daily) and sometimes I run back to my poor tendencies of seeking satisfaction in other things than God, His grace is sufficient for me (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Friend, whatever you are looking for, Jesus is more

Please feel free to send me a message here. I would LOVE to hear about your spiritual journey and answer any questions you may have about Jesus!

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