Transformed by God’s Love
“‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord. ‘Plans
to prosper you and not to harm you, to give you a hope and a future.'”
This is a solid promise from God, one that lots of Christians rest on.
When we look at our lives, sometimes things look like so much chaos. (Especially
at times in our lives when the future is blank, when you’re about to have
a child, when you’re starting a new career, or going to college, like I’m
about to do.) Looking back, the most wonderful realization is when you
see that God had a plan in your life all along. That He was working things
out, even when you thought He had left you, even when you thought you had
Some people’s testimonies are like fireworks; darkness for a long time,
then all of a sudden there’s bright lights, and their lives are never the
same. That’s awesome. Those stories and the people that embody them are
wonderful witnesses to God’s power. However, my testimony isn’t like that.
God has pulled me to Himself with cords of love, so subtly that I almost
notice at the time.
As a child, my parents were “church-goers”. We were very regular about
attending service, and I learned much about Bible stories and God. I thought
I loved Him, but I had no thought of a relationship with a living God or
what loving Jesus really meant.
When I was in fourth grade, something happened that would help form
my personality and change my world forever. My parents got divorced. This
changed my life and left scars that I am still working through, but God
used it for good. It helped make me who I am today, the bad, but also made
part of the good things of my charecter. Also, during the process, my mother
became a Christian. This led to my exposure to true Christianity. Some
time later, I found a tract in her bathroom. After reading through it,
I prayed the prayer on the back twice, just to let God know I really meant
it. I was still very ignorant about Him, and I had almost no realization
of the depth of what I had just done.
Throughout elementary school, I made very little spiritual progress.
I was bitter and hurt over both my parents’ divorce and the disappointment
resulting from a overly emotional dependency on people. I was going with
my sister and my mom to Burke Community Church by this time, but I wasn’t
socially involved, and I was very indifferent about going to church at
In seventh grade, a friend invited me to a bible study called Saturday
Night Light. They were going to a youth conference called Acquire the Fire,
and I was invited to go. About a month before the conference, I started
attending SNL. It was a group of Christians, all different ages, from all
different denominations, that met together for fellowship, bible study,
prayer, and worship. For the first time in my life I really felt the presence
of God and comfortable enough to want to know more. I’ve had few other
groups in my life that had as powerful an impact.
When we went to the conference, I was spiritually prepared for God to
work. They had a alter call that weekend, and there I rededicated my life
to Christ. This time I fully realized that I had to be His, not only in
word, but in deed, in heart, in soul, and in mind. Love couldn’t be half-way.
I came home still spiritually immature, but on fire for the Lord. I attended
SNL and church up until ninth grade, but SNL remained my true church home.
In ninth grade, the family that led and hosted SNL moved to the west coast,
and my loyalty began to change to Burke. That was the beginning of my long
learning period, through which I learned to be dependant on God alone.
You see, I remained emotionally dependant on people and groups for security
stability during most of junior and senior high school. One by one,
my safe-guards would crumble, and I would run back to my Abba, insecure
and lonely. Through many hard lessons, spells of depression, the advise
and counseling of good Christians, and the transforming power of God Himself,
I came to realized that God was the only stable thing in life. Through
years, I’m coming to realize that He alone can fill me, complete me, and
change me into all I could ever want to be.
Since then, it’s been a walking out of my faith, learning new things,
as I go, and working out problems with my Abba as I see them arise. This
year, He’s brought me to realize that when I see who He is inside me, and
as I learn who I am in Him, He will work through me to do the work He wants
done. It’s so freeing to realize that the only thing God desires of me
is my ultimate love of Him and the working out of my love through obedience.
Looking forward, all I see is a chaotic mess. After all, I am a work in
progress. But I hang on to God’s promise that in the end, I’ll see a wonderful
“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed
me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the
prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance
of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those
who grieve in Zion– to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of
ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair….” Isaiah 61:3