During the summer of 2009, God opened my eyes for the second time. I desired to be sold out for Him like I was initially, but I was starting to allow doubts and guilt to creep in. Satan was on the prowl and I was starting to allow him to affect me. I can remember thinking that I wasted so much of my life and influence for temporary fixes. I allowed my heart to harden because of petty hook-ups. I thought of myself as filthy and unworthy of the salvation that He wanted to pour onto me. I was discrediting His love and grace tremendously.
Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. Ephesians 5:14
He got a hold of my heart at the Student Life Camp of my 11th grade summer. The pastor [who I can’t remember his name] spoke about Galatians 5. He preached about the freedom that Christ brings. He told me that I am no longer a slave to sin. Christ’s death on the cross set me free from everything. Free from present temptations, past sins, and sins that I will commit in the future.
God no longer sees me, rather He sees His Son. When I became a Christian, there was a transaction that happened. Christ took my heart and my life and placed the Holy Spirit within me. He guides me, leads me, and is the face of my soul. Because of that, God sees His Son when he looks at me. God sees my heart and if God sees my heart then He sees Christ within me.
The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:17
This was a complete mind grenade for me. I tried to erase my past. I tried to find a way to forget everything that happened. When in reality, only Christ has the power to erase my past and redeem me. I was hoarding on something that was already complete. The moment I turned back to Him, my past was gone! No longer did I have to worry about it.
I picture a treadmill. I was sprinting and getting nowhere. I was only wearing my Spirit down and allowing Satan to win the battle. The pastor spoke distinct words that have stuck with me for 3 years now. He said that as a Christian His blood COVERS me. I am beautiful to God because He sees the blood of His son on me. I am beautiful through and because of Christ.
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33
At that moment, the pain and the guilt of my past left. I felt it no more. It was as if God said, “Finally my daughter, I’ve been waiting for you.” He poured so much love and grace into my heart at that moment. Since that night at camp, my walk has not been the same. I still fall, but when I do I don’t hoard on the sin I’ve just committed, rather I run to Him. He shows me how without Him I can do nothing. I fall and rough myself up pretty badly, but now He is there to pick me up and shed His grace on me.
That is redemption. It is not just a single moment in a Christian walk. It is a daily cry to the Creator of the world. It’s daily falling on my face realizing that I am a wretched person in need of His daily love and mercy. [Here’s a blog post that deals with similar topics discussed tonight. Find it here if you’re interested]
If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. John 15:18-19
Much more has happened in my walk after junior year, but I won’t lead you on too much longer. I’ve talked a lot about my body issues on here. You can read about my journey with that here and here . Since the year I gave my heart to Christ, He has enabled me to go on mission trips to Ukraine twice and Prague for a whole summer. He has placed me in a group of friends that has a heart for the campus and the world that reflects His. He has shown me the importance of community and mentorships. He has brought a fella in my life that treats me with respect and love and pushes me to further my love for Christ.
I appreciate your thoughts and kind words in reply to My Story. I do not want you to read my testimony and look down upon yours if you are a Christian. Everybody’s story is different, that’s the beauty of the Gospel. It reaches everyone from all different places. The one commonality between everyone’s story is the redemption Christ brings. Do not let Satan steal you from that. You are a new creation in Christ. Grasp that and embrace the freedom you have in Christ. Quit condemning yourself and allow God to work in your life like never before.
If you have any questions about what I have said or if you want to know more details about my story please email me! I am not ashamed to tell you what God has done for me.