Once upon a time, there was a little, four-year-old girl who was having surgery to get “tubes” put in her ears. As she was falling asleep on the operating table, she looked up and saw a host of heavenly angels floating above her head and they were OH SO VERY pretty! One of them even told her not to worry about having surgery, that God was in control, and that she would be just fine. She told her mom and dad all about it when she woke up. Her parents thought it was the anesthesia talking, but she, herself, knew better!
That same girl, at 8-years-old, could often be found skipping down the halls of her elementary school singing the theme song to the Mary Tyler Moore Show. (You know the song: “Who can turn the world on with her smile? Who can take a nothing day, and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile? Well, it’s you girl, and you should know it! With each glance and every little movement you show it!”) She claimed it as her very own theme song, and she was quite sure the writer of the song must have been inspired to create it just for her. She knew in her heart that God had made her special, and that He had very big plans for her someday!
When she was almost 12, she was reminded once again by God how very much He loved her. One day while sitting on the side altar at her church (she was an acolyte, you know), she thought she saw the smiling face of Jesus in the flicker of the candle on the altar. His gaze brought her comfort and peace at the time when adolescence was starting to show its fickle face all around her.
Somewhere around the age of 14, that God-loving young girl lost her way. She chose the glitz and allure of more earthly things and made the conscious choice to live her life on HER terms, not God’s. No one was to blame. SHE made the choice. The pattern of making unwise choices was her “modus operandi” for many years to come. The details truly do not matter; it wouldn’t bless you to know them, nor would it honor God to tell them here. The point is, she knowingly walked away from Love, and continued to reject it for 20 years, even when Love would obviously try to woo her back (and Love tried many times, just as it does with everyone…).
Her life, to outsiders, looked great! She was generally nice, and people liked her. She graduated college and grew up, as people tend to do. She held a good job, snagged a great husband, had tons of friends, partied with the best of them, and even adopted a baby. But on the inside, her life was erratic. Anxious and unhappy, she knew she was missing something very, very important – she just wasn’t sure what. Everything she tried to shove into the big hole in her heart to make herself whole just never seemed to fit right, and sometimes made her feel even worse.
One day, when she was 34, Love showed up once again, and this time – LOVE WON! A very special person shared the Gospel with her, and Jesus grabbed hold of her heart. He reminded her who she IS to Him, what He did in order to save her (and all humankind), and began filling that big hole in her tender heart with Truth and Life. She was smitten! She couldn’t fathom that after all the bad things she had done, all the times she shunned Him, He still wanted her back! And then, she began an amazing journey with Him that has led up to this very moment.
Okay. I’m sure you guessed this, but (drum roll please…) that little girl was ME! This is MY story. And Love, well, Love is Jesus.
So now my secret is out: I have NOT always been a good Bible study girl, my friends. Instead, I’m just a Jesus girl with a crazy back story! And just like mine, the details of your past don’t matter to Him, as long as you are willing to accept His gift of grace. I give you this testimony as a reminder that no matter how far away you stray, He still wants you back. He will ALWAYS want you back.
If you need any proof, you need look no farther than Luke 15. I dare you to open your Bibles today and read with FRESH eyes those three parables about lost things, and about the celebrations in heaven that happen every single time the “lost” get “found”.
“Count on it—that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God.” Luke 15:10, The Message.
You GOTTA know I love me some good heavenly parties! And if you are in need of one right now, it’s YOUR time to ask Him to make it happen!
Where are you in your journey with Him? How did you get here? Are you in Love? Do you need someone to remind you how to find Him? What’s YOUR story? I’d love to hear it. Share it here. I dare you.
Up Tuesday: Changing Broken Records