I remember what it feels like to be on a run from God or His voice in my life. It was the summer before my eighth grade year. I was thirteen years old finally feeling the accomplishments of having sleepovers with friends, some preppy clothes, straightened hair, and a boyfriend to constantly talk to. I also remember the tug I felt inside of my chest to let the boyfriend go, to let go of everything I was holding onto so closely. Just when I thought things were finally coming together, inwardly, I knew they were falling a part.
My mom took away my iPad and internet connection because she thought I needed a break from constantly talking to others. I seriously fell on her bed and cried wildly.
I was praying to God in this season of my life and even wanting to point others around me closer to Him. The more I got invested into these idols, though, the deeper my pit became. My longing for completion was never satisfied. As much as my life contained, it wasn’t finished or complete.
I signed up to go to a Christian camp in the mountains of North Carolina. I found myself at FUGE camp inside of a hotel style room with two other girls. One of them inspired me with a hair product. The other was busy snapchatting her boyfriend.
I hiked up a mountain daily and met one of my dearest friends to this day. The whole time at camp, I could sense the Spirit of God drawing me in close. He was tugging my heart one way while the boyfriend on the phone and the world of darkness yanked my affections.
The most important moment in my life happened inside of a big building. I don’t know who preached or what their message was. I had accepted Jesus as my Savior at four years old. I knew God. He had been pursuing me for a deep walk of intimacy. I just had not let Him in yet. At that camp in those chairs, I surrendered my everything to God. I don’t remember my prayer or where in the room I was exactly at. All I remember is singing passionately “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus.”
I have decided to follow Jesus;
No turning back, no turning back.
Tho’ none go with me, I still will follow,
No turning back, no turning back.
My cross I’ll carry, till I see Jesus;
No turning back, No turning back.
The world behind me, the cross before me,
No turning back, no turning back.
After getting home from camp, the words I sang didn’t fade as a new school year started. I remember making the phone call of ending the relationship with someone I truly cared for. I remember the days and years that followed where close friendships became distant ones. My identity wasn’t in the emptiness of my braced teeth or bleached hair.
God Himself removed my distractions, but I had to be willing to let them go.
I will not lie and tell you my life became a musical after that summer of giving God my everything. Honestly, I faced criticism and ridicule by my peers at school. I walked through a season of anxiety. I experienced brokenness because the world we live in is broken. What I cannot fully express to you is how I was complete the whole time the world’s brokenness tried to take a toll on me.
You may feel like your life is broken, but it truly is not broken if Christ is in you and He has made you complete.
Jesus is the piece of our puzzles that we are often trying to fill with wrong shapes.
I have to tell you, friend, that my life has purpose because of Jesus. He has been with me EVERY day of my life, but I have felt His leading and guidance since making Him Lord of my life.
Living for Jesus is fun and definitely not boring. He answered my prayers for a prom date beyond my expectations. We walked around one of my favorite stores after the banquet was over. Jesus prompted me to leave my one and only school to transfer senior year. His plans are always greater than ours.
God’s plans honestly sound crazy to us most of the time. He redirected my college plans right before they were going to happen. He placed me at the local school I always looked down on. I’ve honestly found the most joy in seeing Him there. Every step God has asked me to take has resulted in my good and seeing His glory unfold.
I have fallen in love with my teachers and classmates at this school. I have felt the heart of God aching over the lost. I have seen Jesus show up in the local coffee shops I have frequently found myself in.
Jesus used (me) the girl who hated public speaking and was full of anxiety to speak to crowds of hundreds in the past few years.
He is using the girl (me) who hated typing class to write His words that speak to people’s hearts.
My plans to attend Liberty University were brought back up this year at a time I did not expect. God Himself has made it aware that this fall of 2020 is His ordained time for me to be there.
I still am waiting on my future husband. I haven’t dated anyone since my middle school friend. I can’t help but also tell you I have formed relationships with people over the years and seen God close doors of them straight in my face. I am still processing the hand of God and how He works.
I even faced disappointment last summer as my hopes and dreams for something was quickly crushed.
Maybe you feel the weight of disappointments and your plans crashing in on you today, friend. You have your own journey with God being written right now.
What I have to tell you is that you aren’t alone. You aren’t forsaken. You aren’t too far gone as long as you choose Jesus today.
That tug in your chest is Him reaching out for you. The divine romance you have been waiting for is here. Jesus Christ put His arms out on an uncomfortable cross to bear the weight of your sins and all that you carry.
Living for Jesus is not a fairytale or something make believe.
The Holy Spirit stirring within you cannot be denied. If you asked God for a sign of Him really pursuing you, this is it. He has already given Himself for you. Jesus wants to restore the gap in between the two of you.
You will experience the greatest freedom whenever you submit your trust to Jesus. He is the only way we will have eternal life.
Jesus turns our lives around. He takes away the things that will bring us down. He isn’t a God who is constantly looking for ways to take from you. He is the Gardener of His children removing the weeds that destroy.
Jesus came to earth to give you life so that you could have it abundantly.
“The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” -John 10:10 (KJV)
The world, your lost friends, partying, drinking, being perfect, pleasing others, premarital or extramarital sex, or any relationship outside of God’s plan is not full of life. It can’t fulfill you because it is full of death. Death can choke but it cannot feed. The devil, the enemy of your soul, cannot give you freedom, peace, joy, hope, or new life. He can only hurt, damage, destroy devastate, and try to demolish you.
CHOOSE LIFE TODAY, my friend.
The world is not even ready for all that God is going to do through you.
If you are ready to choose Jesus over the world and all that is in it, I encourage you to pray RIGHT NOW wherever you are at. If you would like a guided prayer, say these words from your own heart.
I COME TO YOU TODAY FULL OF SIN AND BAD THINGS THAT HURT YOUR HEART. WE BOTH KNOW I HAVE NOT BEEN LIVING RIGHT. I AM EVEN FEELING ASHAMED FOR SEEKING YOU RIGHT NOW. JESUS, I BELIEVE THAT YOU ARE GOD’S SON WHO CAME TO EARTH AND DIED ON THE CROSS IN MY PLACE. YOU DIDN’T STAY DEAD, BUT YOU ROSE UP FROM THE GRAVE. YOU HAVE LIFE, PURPOSE, AND A SPECIFIC MISSION FOR ME. JESUS, I AM ASKING YOU INTO MY HEART AND LIFE. NOTHING IS OFF LIMITS TO YOU. I AM YOUR BRIDE. I BELONG TO YOU. PLEASE EXCHANGE MY DIRT FOR YOUR GRACE. MY FILTH FOR YOUR TRUTH. I ACCEPT YOU, JESUS, AND THE ETERNAL LIFE YOU PAID FOR ME TO HAVE ON THAT CROSS. THANK YOU FOR MAKING ME YOUR OWN. THANK YOU FOR YOUR LOVE ERASING MY SHAME. USE ME AS YOU DESIRE. SPEAK TO ME MORE, LORD, AND TEACH ME HOW TO WALK DAILY WITH YOU.
I LOVE YOU, JESUS.
IN YOUR NAME I PRAY,