The lord at times brings back to memory who I was before He brought me out of captivity, so I can give thanks for what he has done. I was saved and baptized at 16 but the years leading up to it were dark and hopeless. Middle school for most people is not exactly an awesome time. It’s mostly filled with awkwardness and a whole new set of hormones that have never been experienced. Unfortunately, the combination of the two and not knowing who I was to Christ led me down a very destructive path. I tried to fill needs for love and acceptance with online chat rooms. I thought I was safe behind a screen but in reality I was destroying myself on the inside. I said things and did things that were disgraceful and I was full of shame. At one point, contemplated suicide. I was always trying hide and trying to stay secretive but the God who sees all saw me.
His first act of love to restore me, was to love me through another. He brought the very tall boy down the street from where I lived, into my life at 15. This guy pursued me relentlessly over the course of a summer. Even after I had turned him down he wouldn’t leave me alone. He would show up at my parents house wanting to hangout and swim in our pool. He goofed around with my mom and aggravated my sisters. He made himself a part of my family and a part of my life. He loved me and cared for me and he shared the joy with me when I was baptized on our 1 year anniversary.
He also introduced me to FCA at school and I made friends with other Christians. I began studying God’s word and seeking after the Lord. The Lord then sent me a wonderful God fearing friend in my life. We would sit in art class and just talk about the Lord and his word. It was my favorite time of day to be with her and listen to the wisdom God gave her. I felt accepted.
After graduating, I went through my period of the prodigal son. I went back to trying to fill holes in my life with the world but since I was the Lord’s I was convicted. I began again seeking after the Lord. He continued his sanctification process in my life. He continues to do it every day. He weeds from my mind wrong ways of thinking. He restores hurt and shame I have incurred. He covers me in grace and love. Where I use to try to satisfy my soul in the things of this world, it is now satisfied in Him alone. I do not try to satisfy the desires of the flesh, they have been put away, because I am a new creation. The Lord pursued me relentlessly as that boy did that summer. He loved me and desired my heart. He made his home in me and never left me. As I married Christ and professed my love to him through baptism. I finally married that tall guy from my neighborhood. When the Lord sent me a friend, he became my friend. As I enjoyed listening to her speak I began to love hearing the Lord speak to me. Where she accepted me, I saw how Christ had accepted me.
I was once a barren desert no life was in me but He who is life brought living water to my soul. He quenched the thirst and brought me back to life.
“Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle. They were hungry and thirsty, and their lives ebbed away. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. He led them by a straight way to a city where they could settle. Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.”
“He brought them out of darkness, the utter darkness, and broke away their chains.”