Okay, so this is something God has laid on my heart so I'm gonna be obedient to Him and write this and let you know what I've learned while following Christ. Hope you get something out of it. To God be the glory! :)
When I accepted Christ into my heart a few years ago no really told me about the sacrifices that came with being a true follower of Christ. I don't want to the same to happen to you so I'm gonna be upfront about it. I wasted so much time not fully surrendering to the Lord and missed tons of opportunities and blessings He had for me. Thankfully He still has a plan! ^_^
When you accept Christ and His grace and mercy, you must also accept that you have to DIE to yourSELF DAILY. Easy, right? Not at all. I can lie to you and tell you that you'll never want to sin again and life will be amazing all the time, but the truth is, that's not real talk. Sometimes I really, really want to sin. Sometimes it's too much for me to handle (those are the times I don't give myself over to the Lord and ask for His help) and so of course, I end up sinning. But most days, by God's grace, I am able to overcome sin and have victory through Him.
When you accept Christ, you're gonna experience trials. You'll be tried in sooo many ways, but trials produce perseverance, character, and hope, as well as other things (Romans 5:4). So even though it may not seem like it, trials are a good thing. They help you depend upon the Lord and really run to Him even more than you already do. Trials help you see how difficult life is and how great God is at the same time!
Following Jesus means more trials.
I can't lie to you. When you're living in ignorance it's easy to do what you want but once God opens your eyes its hard to do some things you used to because God's hand is upon you and He is teaching you to walk rightly. That's hard... but not for God.
You might have to tell some "friends" bye. You might have to listen to God's voice about something that maybe friends or family aren't too excited about. I've been there recently. It comes down to truly loving Christ and that's where the verse about hating your father/mother makes a lot of sense to me (Luke 14:16). See, the hate part does not (in my opinion) mean our feelings. Jesus is saying that if we are true followers of Him when He says go we trust Him and go even if it means leaving behind our family and friends or doing something that they don't understand because we love Him. Love for Christ is not about the sacrifices but about the obedience to what He's told you to do. That's where your true love for Him will be visible.
All of this might make you want to reconsider following Christ or maybe not follow Him at all but before you think it's nothing but mountains and trials you should also know that following Christ will bring you true satisfaction and hope. I've experienced lasting joy. Joy that no one can take away even on my bad days. That's all Him, baby!! God has loved on me at my WORST times! God has pursued me when I was filthy in sin and He still called me to Him when I messed up yet again. He does the same for you every single day and when you think you're not worth it He is there to whisper, "Yes you are." not because of who you are but because of who HE is. Because He sees who you are in Him if you'll just take His hand.
Think about it. Following Christ and moving away from worldly things is by far the best choice I've ever made. Life stunk so bad before. Now, though I have a lot of trials, though there are days I don't think I can keep going, Christ picks me up and helps me along. Praise the Lord! I don't have to do this alone and neither do you! Let go and let God!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend! <3