My hope is that everyone would know ABOVE ALL ELSE that there is a God and He thinks the world of each person on this earth.  This was not always a mindset I carried.  Here is what happened:cropped-img_6050.jpg

I was caught up in an unhealthy relationship and looking for something to fill the emptiness of past wounds whether that be in my wild partying or how I was coping in other areas like work, school or my social life.  My relationship ended pretty abruptly jolting me this weird limbo of looking for a new place to live and taking a hard look at my life.

I reluctantly accepted an invitation to  attend an Easter service in 2007 at my cousin’s church.  I felt super weird walking into church, like they knew I wasn’t one of them.  But as I settled into listening to the pastor speak I had an overwhelming assurance that there was something more in this life than the circumstances I was walking through.  I continued to listen and had, what can only be described as an encounter with God, where He said that the life I was living was a shadow of what could be.  That He had so much more for me than I had for myself.  For the first time in a long time, I had hope.  Hope that I would not be defined by relationships; my past, present or future mistakes; or what people thought about me.  That my future would hold peace, joy, and love if I chose to take hold of it.

You see despite our fundamental flaws that keep us isolated (our mistakes, bad habits, or failures) which the Bible calls sin, there is a holy, perfect, and powerful God who loves us.

Our sin separates us from God and His desire is for us to be reconciled back to Him.  He initiates this reconnection through Jesus Christ who came to earth, lived a perfect existence, and died on a cross for the penalty of sin.  Jesus was resurrected from the grave to give renewed hope in this life and eternal security in death.  Through our belief in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus we are set free from the bondage of sin over us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, given to us upon our confession of faith.  The Spirit resides within us as an advocate for our daily lives, helping guide us to become the people we are intended to be.  That we can be people of hope amidst the crazy experiences in our lives because we are never alone and are now equipped with power to face difficulty.

If you are living without hope, without assurance of your eternity, or just in a state of helplessness, please take a step of faith and ask Jesus to come into your life.  It’s no big production.  You simply pray, “God, I acknowledge that there is sin in my life and I don’t want it to keep me separated from you.  Through what Jesus did on the cross, I ask that you forgive my sins and help lead my life through the Holy Spirit in the direction that you want it to go. I give my heart and my life to you.”

If you prayed that or something similar, awesome!  You are a believer, a Christian, a Christ-follower—whatever term you want to give yourself.  You are part of God’s family and now called a child of God.  Go and get connected to a local church for support, encouragement and relationships as you navigate a life of faith in Christ.

If you have questions about faith, about God, or about life, I would love to talk to you or refer you to people smarter than me.

Final Reminder…

Above the things people say… above the lies we believe… above the mistakes we grieve over…

Above all else, please know you are loved beyond anything that you can hope for or imagine, even if most days it may not feel that way.

You are a precious creation of an amazing God.  You matter significantly and you have a unique story no one else can tell.  Today and always you are infinitely loved, held high in worth & value, and seen as cherished.  Grace and peace to you beloved!