Marked by God

One moment to change everything

There is something so enticing about weddings and the moment that people say yes to forever. It’s crazy how one moment can change your whole life.

I’ll never forget the season of my life where I was a runaway bride. It was like God was waiting at the altar for me to say yes to a life that had him in it forever and I was the bride that would make it to the moment to say “I do” and then I would take off running.

My running in the moment seemed to give me a promise of a life of “MORE”, but ended up leading to a life filled with negative consequences and circumstances that left me feeling less. At that time I had also run away from the spiritual covering of my parents and their church and cursed the God that I heard such good things about because I struggled to see that same goodness evident in my own life.

In all of my humanity, it became easy to let the wrong doings of other people towards me get to my heart. Instead of forgiveness, I found myself with the desire to lean more towards the things that would mask that pain and away from the word of God. My head was filled with so many lies that I swore my pants were on fire. No amount of counsel or “good vibes” seemed to bring me through to a brighter side, instead it made my world appear darker. I began carrying my offenses with people in the church on my back and the weight of them led to me attaching those offenses to God’s character.

It baffles me that Jesus loved in all circumstances and seasons, even when he was betrayed. That season of my life left me feeling like every person was against me, I felt forsaken and abandoned and betrayed by those I had loved dearly. A heart supposed to be for God became hardened when I turned to the world for my help.

I was a runaway with no place to go. I was a runaway rolling around with the pigs. I was using substance to find release from the very pit that I caused myself to stumble into. I had smothered myself so thick in junk that I thought I could never be cleaned or saved.

YET……… none of that mattered.

It became apparent to me that none of those things mattered because I had a God who was with me through it ALL and still standing at the altar waiting for my arrival all over again. Except this time was different, this time I wasn’t okay with continually hitting rock bottoms. This time I was tired of the moments where my friends would joke and call me a drunk preacher. Even in my attempts to be rebellious and turn away from Him, His love for me and others was so deeply woven into my being that I couldn’t NOT talk about it. Sober or intoxicated, it was a truth that I couldn’t easily escape. I remember one night at a party feeling a tug from God to simply come back to Him and choose Him. I was FINALLY feeling a God who I almost lost belief in. He had promised a life so much more than the one I was living, one that would fill me up instead of leaving me empty.

I’ll never forget the moment I chose to step back into a church building when I had sworn to never go again. I’ll never forget the moment that I said yes to forever, yes to an eternity with my Savior and friend. I’ll never forget that moment because since then my life has looked different in all the best ways.
At first I didn’t understand… no part of me could comprehend why God would still want me. Truthfully, I thought that I had ruined my chance at God ever giving me purpose and using me in a mighty way.

From the beginning of my life, He had determined that he would never leave me or forsake me. God had formed me in my mother’s womb and knew the deepest desires, pains, and passions I had.

A season away didn’t change any of that. Even while I was running in the opposite direction He still knew me and TRULY saw me. I found that in every season, no matter if I was covered from head to toe in dirt or rags, God’s purpose for my life never changed. His plans for me never became less… they always remained good and were filled with hope. They were always for “MORE”.

A moment of yes, gave God the permission to redeem the things I thought were lost forever, to recover the dreams I had willingly let die, and to raise up the hope that I desperately needed.

I am so blown away by the fact that God’s love for us never changes. It still rocks me to the core to see the story of the prodigal child unfold so vividly in my own life. I came running back to the Father and was celebrated. the past didn’t matter, all that mattered was that I was home.

His heart towards me was never hardened. God didn’t hold against me the many things I said against the church and his character out of my bitterness or pain. He began to show me the power of the influence he had given me and how it can be used in all the best ways, to win souls for his kingdom. He revealed to me that I was meant to be a game changer, a powerhouse developer of people, a builder of the church, a nurturer for those who are learning to grow, a protector, a warrior, a strong leader, and a relentless pursuer of his love.

Friends, the rumor is true…….

There are marks of heaven upon me.
Surged into every aspect of my being.
I look at my life and ponder on how every moment has brought me here. Exactly to where I need to be. 
There is no denying that God is real and powerful and present in my life.

There are marks of heaven upon me. 
I see them when my soul comes alive while I do the things that entail what I’m created for. I see them like a silver lining when the darkness of the clouds become all too familiar. 
I see them because I’ve fought to see them. I see them because I make a decision daily to remember it.

Yes, the rumor is indeed true.
For I am marked by God, my friends, just as you are.

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