I have been crucified with Christ so that I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20
I sat in the dark Big Room, palms sweaty, intently watching, almost to the point of tears.
Paul Washer was on the screen and he had just asked, “How is it that so many people profess to have had an encounter with Jesus Christ and yet, they are not permanently changed?”
It was about half way into what is now known as the “Shocking Youth Message.” I was convicted.
I had grown up going to church with my mom on Sunday, but in my heart, I knew that I knew a lot about God, but I didn’t know him-or Jesus, for that matter. My life was not marked by love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, or self control.
That was the day and the moment that Jesus began a new work in me. He interrupted my world and took a bitter and self righteous young girl and brought her to repentance and to see her need for him.
This was June 4th, 2008.
The following 8 years on paper look like they would be the hardest years of my life and in some ways, they were. Multiple unsuccessful suicide attempts within the family, followed by a successful one by a friend. We had the terrible trifecta in 2010 with my great grandpa dying, a very good friend from my school’s basketball team being shot and killed, and my mom miscarrying after just a few weeks of being pregnant. Add in 5 years of financial issues and repeated culture shocks, and it doesn’t sound like Jesus “helped.”
But God is so faithful, when I am not. He is strong, when I am week. He is forgiving, when I am bitter. He is loving, when I am afraid. In fact, even when I had nothing, I had Jesus.
Over the last 2 years, the OneRepublic song, “I Lived” has become somewhat of a mantra for me. Though, it’s not really that I live, but Christ who lives in me and redeems me and comforts me and loves me and calls me to His glory. Today, I am so thankful for where I’ve been and what he’s brought me through. Because what he’s brought me to is so amazing and these are just little glimpses of the heaven to come.
If you don’t know this love or strength and would like to know more, feel free to send me an email to email@example.com or tweet at @ashyounks.
I love you guys, have a great weekend!
your sister in Christ