Jesus commands us to go and tell our stories so that others may come to know Him personally.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
~Matthew 28:19-20, NIV
So here goes nothing…
God has flawlessly written my story, just as He has written yours, we just need to turn the pages. This story is one of those stories that you don’t want to put down, one that fully captivates you and draws you in if you allow it to.
This isn’t a story about how an imperfect girl became perfect, nor a story about how I now live my life perfectly. Jesus lived perfectly and selflessly gave His life so that I could live mine and you could live yours with broken chains.
While I was growing up, I believed in God, but I didn’t really know Him. My dad would kneel at my bedside at night and we would pray for the world and people that were on our hearts that night. Weekends in our household often looked like parties and alcohol and we didn’t attend a church. I would occasionally attend church with my late grandma who went to a catholic church near her house, but I didn’t pay attention much.
Following 5th grade, my parents got a divorce. Though I won’t go into the details, this caused a lot of hurt within our household. My brother turned to alcohol as a release and my sister was much too young to understand. I tried my best to stay as strong as I could on my own strength, but at the time I didn’t realize that what I really needed was the strength of God.
Fast forward to high school, sophomore year. I was on boyfriend number two at the time and he really wasn’t treating me right. It was in this time that a good friend of mine invited me to her church’s youth group. She explained to me what real love looked like. One night she sent me a long text in which she shared the gospel with me. It was then that I accepted Christ into my heart. Shortly after, I broke up with boyfriend number two.
My walk with the Lord has not been perfect from that night on in the least bit. There have been many ups and downs. Seasons of faith and seasons of doubt. One of the most detrimental events that lead to doubt in my life was when my grandma passed away in 2016. This was shortly after I had graduated from high school.
Now, a junior in college, I am striving to strengthen my relationship with the Lord daily. I’m involved with a Christian group on campus and the Lord has provided me with a community full of brothers and sisters to lift me up and point me back to the cross. I’m in a relationship with a man who loves the Lord. Jesus bears the weight of all of my past hurt, sadness, doubt, and sin, so that I no longer have to feel it.
Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.~Matthew 11:29-30, NIV
Following Jesus does not mean that I am perfect, it means that I need Him to navigate through life, the good and the bad. The gospel is the “good news” that Jesus came from heaven so that all who accept Him as their Lord and Savior could be saved for eternity.
Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.~Romans 5:11, NIV
Merriam-Webster defines to reconcile as “to restore to friendship or harmony.” Through Jesus, we are no longer separated from God. I am still learning the story that God has written for my life, but I am confident that following Him was one of the best chapters.