“Choices and consequences come in package deals. When we make a choice, we ignite the consequences that can come along with it.” –Lysa TerKeurst, “The Best Yes”
God has blessed me with a Bible study of three. I meet with two young girls, the 17 year old is confident in who she is in Christ, has a strong Faith background through her parents, has found she is gifted and talented softball player, awesome at serving with children and singing. The biggest decision she is facing now is which college gets her. She is beautiful from the inside out and from a limited perspective on her life you would think she didn’t have a care in the world, that her life was comfortable, cozy and stress free. We come from two different worlds. At 17 I was a closet and high functioning alcoholic. While active in High School, a caretaker for my baby brother and already a hard worker the facade I had of being all together was paper thin. The biggest decision facing me that year was how I would survive having to start my life over while choosing a college who would be stuck with me; I had been kicked out of my home because my Mother’s boyfriend hated me for being all the things he wasn’t: support for my Mom, having an obsessive work ethic and a great influence (yes even with an alcohol problem) for my baby brother. I didn’t have nor did I want God in my life let alone Jesus. From a limited perspective of my life you knew I was a mess and no one expected me to go to college, move very far from home and amounting to anything much, especially someone who could be loved.
The Bible Study has us reading, “Spoken For” by Alyssa Bethke and Robin Jones Gunn. Last April I felt God leading me to reach out to young woman and help them see how deeply He loves them. Help them to live confidently as Jesus girls who He pursues to have an intimate relationship with them. I had no idea then who God had for me to share this journey with but I knew I had to buy the book and get started with this ministry. The book has delivered, is even more of a blessing than I ever could have imagined. We are open and honest with each other and turns out even a charmed life has its stress and anxiety. God reaches out to that beautiful 17 year old with His promises of never leaving us nor forsaking us just as He reaches out to me.
“Spoken For” and “The Best Yes” collided in my life. I got to the middle of chapter 8 and that quote above glared at me. Not only did God need me to share how loved we are as his precious daughters but that even a messy life filled with many mistakes can be used to glorify Him. I wrote, “Must share with girls. Girls, regrets sting forever. God forgives and forgets our trespasses and God can help bring us to victory in forgiving ourselves but we never forget. Some mistakes leave scars that may never heal over in the corner of our minds.” This week at our home church the Pastor stood and declared, “Shame is often a wound that never scabs over.” WOW! Talk about a powerful message to turn to when the pressures of high school are haunting you. When fitting in: cursing, dressing provocatively or gossiping is easier than being a light for Jesus. When ministering to your friends and class mates seems a burden too big and unfair to carry at such a tender age. When you are facing that first year away from home, away from the Christian stability and accountability you have had your whole life will be so far away.
When God speaks the same message through many different mediums I call it a God wink, so does she. Both of us are chosen, treasured and beloved to the King of Kings. The Creator of the universe put us together in this moment of time so I can see the beauty of being loved by a Mom who loves Jesus. So I can look back at one of the worst years of my life and thank God for bringing me through it even though I hated Him at the same time. Our Lord is showing her through me and other mentors that His wisdom is available to her when she is ready and willing to listen. God is good all the time, all the time God is good!
If you stay away from sin you will be like one of these dishes made of purest gold - the very best in the house – so that Christ himself can use you for His highest purposes. 2 Timothy 2:21TLB