Tomorrow will be five years since the day I became a Christian.
It wasn't the day that I "accepted Christ", but the day that He accepted me. Just as I was. Broken, unworthy. I brought everything to His feet that day. My baggage, my lies, my shame, my pain, my grudges, my fears, my anger ... and I laid it all down. What he must have seen in me was a calloused person, full of bitterness and selfishness... holding a crown of thorns in one hand, and nails in the other. A person who had been through heartaches, betrayal, and depression. A person who had deceived, who had hurt, who had slandered. But the moment that I came up from that water, none of that mattered. Until that moment in my life, I had no concept of love and true forgiveness. Until that moment, I knew nothing of mercy and comfort. Sometimes I imagine if I would have looked back, deep into that water ... if I would've seen the dust and dirt of my old self sinking to the bottom.
For most of my life I have felt like I was entitled to certain things. I deserved respect. I deserved love. Five years ago, I realized that I didn't deserve any of that, at all. I came to the realization that what I deserved for the hardness of my heart, was to be separated from anything and everything good. What I deserved was for others to treat me the way that I had treated them. For God to turn His back on me, the way that I so many times, had turned my back on Him. Recently many of my friends and I have been discussing the meaning of mercy. Sometimes it is even too beautiful for my heart to comprehend. That we, such imperfect people, can receive such an indescribable love. It still amazes me to this day how my life was transformed 5 years ago. It didn't make me perfect or flawless, it taught me forgiveness.
The people there in College Station, TX that helped me learn what it means to follow after Christ, and how great His love is, will always mean the world to me. I don't think that they realize just how much they helped fill an emptiness inside of me that would have never gone away. I hope that someday in the future, when they are discouraged or doubting their influence on others, they will somehow find their way to this post and remember the weight that they so selflessly took off of my shoulders and handed to Christ. Thank you, just doesn't seem like enough.
And so here I am five years later. Remembering that feeling of hopelessness I had and thinking that a pain in me would never go away...
and by His wounds, I am healed.