Let’s take a walk. But, uh, watch your step. It’s kind of messy along here. There’s a lot of broken stuff and, well, I’m pretty flabbergasted about how it got this way. Honestly, I don’t know how any of it happened. Actually, that’s not true. I remember it all way better than I would like.
I was attending Vacation Bible School on that hot, summer day. I knew about Jesus but I had questions about believing in him. What did that look like? What did I need to do? Mr. Brian, a family friend, sat down with me in the sanctuary that day and explained the gospel to me. There was nothing I could ever do to earn my way to heaven. I had to confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that God raised him from the dead (Romans 10:9). Seven years old in a small, country church, God brought me from death to life.
Fast forward 9 years
It was the summer between my junior and senior year of high school and I was going on my first mission trip. A small bus full of eager teenagers excited for what New Orleans had to offer. My youth group went through World Changers to help piece back together some of what Hurricane Katrina tore apart. God stirred my heart for ministry that summer. During worship one evening, silently in my seat, I surrendered my life to ministry.
Fast forward 2 years
I did it! I graduated from high school! The moment of surrendering my life to ministry had long been forgotten and all that mattered now was moving out of my home and into my college apartment. I found myself caught up in all things needed to fit into the in crowd. I had lost touch with my need for God.
It was during this year that my life took a 180. My family was ripped at the seams as my mom decided to divorce my dad. It was as if I was coming up for a fresh breath of air only to realize I was stuck underwater. I was blindsided. From that moment on my life was dramatically different. I was confused by the decision of my mom. I was saddened for the heartbreak of my dad. I was blaming myself. I would never have admitted it then, but I was angry at God.
Fast forward 3 years
London, England was my home for three months during my junior year of college. My wings were stretched and I was flying. Flying alone in a country with endless possibilities, I quickly made forever friends and travel plans. Scotland, Paris, Stonehenge, Amsterdam, and all the wonders of England were now in the palm of my hand. I took advantage of the freedom that came with being across the world from my parents. One night of celebrating has now turned into nothing but praise to God for protection. I was awakened anew to my surrender to ministry in New Orleans. I had to decide if I was going to answer and what I was going to say.
Fast forward 3 years
I answered, not as quickly as I should have, but I answered. Two weeks after graduating college I moved to Texas to live with my mom. This was my new beginning. This was my chance to start over. And I did. God brought the most incredible people into my life. God brought me my husband. It is through him that I am able to see a glimpse of how God looks at me.
Despite my mistakes and attempts to run, God looks at me, his daughter, with eyes of love and forgiveness. What sweet eyes those are. God does not condemn me for my past mistakes. He is faithful and just to forgive my sins (1 John 1:9).
Fast forward 1 year
The turning points in your life, those moments that you remember forever, make you who you are. Everyone’s life has a different story to tell. My life, in all its ups and downs, is proof that God’s grace is sufficient. God is not finished with me. He is not finished with you either. What’s your story?