Our society might be moving a mile a minute, but we can take a few precious moments to slow down to get in tune with God, in touch with ourselves, and in relationship with others. And, I suspect, as we do this, our communities, workplaces, homes, and social circles will begin to look drastically different.
What’s amazing about God is that he’s not just good at loving, he hasn’t grown proficient at it over years of trial and error, he doesn’t flex his love muscles to get something from others, he is love.
There are so many moments in life that I look back upon like steps in a staircase. Some steps have been long, stretching for miles, while others have been quick hops taken with ease. I have seen the growth that comes from the stumbling, the hurting, and especially the healing.
If God has taught me anything it’s that nothing is impossible for him. And no one, absolutely no one, is too far gone for his grace.
I have learned that Jesus is there to help us, of course, but he also uses the people around us. I’m changed because of my trusted friend who was able to love me, speak truth to me, and hold me accountable when I couldn’t do that for myself. And I’m so thankful for that.
When I was not rooted in the Lord, I found love, comfort, satisfaction, and worth in things and people that could never make me whole. I tried to take control of my life, pushing God to the side, but his love patiently pursued me. He remained constant and his arms were always opened wide to me, even when I rejected him again and again.
I haven’t arrived, but I am pressing. Prayer, seeking the Lord at His Word, and surrounding myself in community have been the very things that continually remind me that the Lord is good. I have learned that even during the weak points of my life, it’s all for my good and His glory, that in the end I may “count it all joy!”
I'm still not where I want to be, but I'm no longer who I was. God found me and chose me at my worst. I asked Him to give me a purpose, and He gave me something far more valuable: He gave me a love for His word and His son Jesus. And through it, I see the world so differently now.
I am a new creation because of God, and because of his servants who loved me through it all. I am forever grateful that God calls the most unequipped and loves on the unlovable. I am grateful for his everlasting love and grace that has been extended toward me.
Jesus gave me a space that was safe, whether I needed to worship or curse or laugh or cry out. He brought me into a place and restored my broken identity and my warped perceptions of him. In the quiet that tried to drown me, Jesus saved me.
The Lord has truly taught me that just because you are broken doesn’t mean that you are beyond repair. The Lord is great at turning broken pieces into a masterpiece for His glory.
Faith is still a hard and undeserved journey. I still wander through seasons of struggle and weep over the grace of the lessons learned therein. But oh, how thankful I am to worship the God of the mountains and seas. The One who finds us in showers and strangers’ homes in Seattle. The One whose mercy never fails.
Juana's is inspiring to me. Honestly, if I hit enough roadblocks, I have a tendency to give up and move on to something else. But that’s not what she did.
My story is still being unveiled, moment by moment, but it’s been a journey from a state of complete brokenness to becoming whole.
Let's party it up because the One who loves us more than anyone and anything else got back up!
As you’re preparing for this season and engaging in the Easter egg hunts, helping prep for scrumptious lunches, and indulging in the chocolate-covered treats, I encourage you to remain focused on the reason for our celebration: Christ.
My story is one of great redemption, great loss, and hope of a great future. It’s a messy story, full of brokenness yet still laced in the Fathers deep, deep love for me.
This month, let’s remember the real reason for the holiday: a man who passionately pursued God even when it cost him dearly. He laid down his pride, his comfort, his right to be offended, and his past in order to take up the calling that Christ had on his life. He pushed past fear, refusing to let anything keep him from sharing the love of God with those who didn’t know Him.
The Lord has called me to say ‘yes’ to where He leads me. I am not sure where I’ll end up or what I shall be doing, but I have an eternal ‘yes’ in my heart. My ways led to destruction, but I have learned that His way leads to life, joy, and everlasting hope.
After you identify who God says you are, I encourage you to meditate on the list. If any of them are difficult for you to accept or believe, give that over to God. Let what He says about you wash over you, replacing who you were and those lies you’ve believed about yourself.