One of my life mantras is “there is always hope.”
But there was a time in my life where I had no hope -- I felt suffocated by death. My grandmother, who I admired greatly, passed away with only 6 months for us to prepare. My dad was struck with a brain tumor and his outcome was uncertain. A close family friend committed suicide. My world was shaking. And to top it all off, I was alienated and mistreated by some of my closest friends from church.
I was dying internally. Even though I had eagerly given my life to Jesus at the young age of 3 years old, my world began to shake, and I couldn’t find solid ground. So there I was, 14 years later, with my faith shaken and my trust in people completely shattered. I was convinced there was absolutely no hope available for me. It was all too dark. I was too bitter. It was too late.
But one day, amidst the inner turmoil and the outward desire to take action and end my life, God met me. I found myself in a church courtyard, sobbing when I heard the voice of the Lord ask me in a loving, patient voice: “where are you going?”. I began to tell Him my plans. There I was telling the creator of the universe who fashioned me within my mother’s womb and made me in His image that I did not see the value or worth in His creation.
My entire walk with God, growing up as a pastor’s kid, I felt like I had to have it all together for everyone and especially the Lord. This was the first time I was truly honest with Him and, in that moment of vulnerability, something changed. God wasn’t moved by the state I was in. He wasn’t disappointed in me. He saw me for who I really was. He comforted me. He gave me grace. He gave me a new name. My heart was filled with the hope and promise of the cross and redemption.
He gave me a hope for the future! He put deep in my heart the desire to see the “least of these” be loved and brought into the family of Christ. Since then I have worked in an orphanage tucked in a village with limited access to water, electricity, and food in South America. I have spent time in the dumps of Southeast Asia with street kids. I have befriended beggars and shared the gospel with unreached people groups of North Africa. I have helped with after-school programs and anti-human trafficking efforts and am currently involved in refugee care in my hometown. I have seen my Maker in the eyes of starving little ones, an orphan’s cry, and a widow’s deprivation. His image has been reflected in a street kid's addiction to drugs, a prostitute who is yearning for identity, and a village family who is worshiping an idol. And amidst the impoverished, the misguided, the mistreated, the outcasts - the message of hope always overshadows.
And my story is not over, it has only just begun. 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.
“And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God.” - 1 Peter 2:4 (NASB)
How has God changed your life? How has he changed how you see yourself?
We want to hear your story (even if it's still in process) of victory in Christ!