THE LOVE WITHIN
I used to be a people pleaser (and it can still be a struggle!). It’s a downside of my personality. Because of this, I also used to try to please God. I did all the “right things.” I read my Bible, went to church, prayed, and was involved in many small groups and mission trips, but it seemed like I was constantly dealing with the ups and downs of life. One day, I finally hit rock bottom. I became angry and bitter towards God and basically gave him an ultimatum: prove to me you exist or I’ll walk away. And I did. I walked away for several months. During that time, my life fell apart. I became even more angry and believed I had nothing left to live for. My life was at an all time low and God had forsaken me. He was nowhere to be found.
But then, on the day I ended my marriage, God came to my rescue. I had pretty much destroyed myself and many relationships at this point. My life consisted of nothing but brokenness. On one of the most lonely, painful nights etched in my memory - for whatever reason (GOD!) - I picked up the book, Crazy Love. My soon-to-be ex-husband had dropped it off earlier with some of my belongings. I read it in a matter of hours and I was wrecked… in the best way possible. The way it talked about God’s love for me cut me to the core. For the first time in my life, I felt like I was worthy to be loved.
I knew that if I was loved with an unconditional love, I should love others in the same way. If I could be found worthy of love - even after all the terrible things I had done - anyone else certainly could be to. I knew the first person that deserved to be loved by me, the person who was worth fighting for, was my husband. I picked up the phone and texted him. The next morning, we met for brunch and while it was still very rocky, it was my first step towards healing.
Over time, with lots of counseling and healing delivered to me by the grace of Jesus, I recovered. We both did. Through this process, Jesus showed me His unconditional love and made it known that I was worthy to receive it. He showed me that I was in bondage, being held in captivity by lies. He pointed out my chains and helped me to break them. He showed me that where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. He showed me that He has always walked with me and has never once forsaken me like I believed he had. He showed me that He is perfect and His timing is perfect. He showed me that He is trustworthy.
He deserves my love and devotion. He deserves my life.
And so, 3 ½ years later, I look nothing like that old person. A new life was given to me that night and a new person has been born. The funny thing is that He answered my “ultimatum.” He proved He existed, but it looked nothing like I wanted it to. He allowed me to be broken to the point of having nothing left. He allowed me to come to the end of myself so I could see who He is and who I am not.
He is the Lord, master, ruler of my life. He is Adonai.
I am His child. His daughter.
Now, I joyfully surrender my life to Him. I want to fulfill my purpose and calling here on earth. My calling is to help others discover their true identity in Christ. As a result, my passion is ending human trafficking because no other injustice affects identity the way human trafficking does. It is this injustice that allows one person to own another. It’s this injustice that strips away a person’s name and replaces it with a number, wiping out who they are as a human being.
That leaves me here, starting this blog and advocating on behalf of others. It’s been a process full of twists, turns, and unexpected bumps in the road to get here, but He has been the constant. As best I have known how, I’ve tried to be obedient to Him and His Word. I’m trying to glorify Him with my life because I’ve discovered life lived without Him isn’t really a life at all. He is the giver of life and fulfiller of our desires.
By walking closely with Jesus and trusting Him with all I’ve got, He has revealed a beautiful truth in my life:
When passion and calling collide, life happens.
Life is beautiful when Jesus is in the middle of it. Your identity is found in Christ alone so claim it for yourself and live in freedom. Walk confidently in who you are. You are His beloved.
If my story can tell you anything, I hope it's that the Love within is where life begins.