A year ago, I was in a very different place, not physically but mentally. It was a year ago that I was preparing to share my Grace Story with thousands of people at Lipscomb University, Tennessee. I was nervous. I was apprehensive. I was scared to embrace what my life had become and then to share it with people, knowing that they could judge me or love me because of it. I was almost ashamed of my story, but I knew that God had something great in store for me. I just couldn’t quite see it.
I shared my story of battling against eating disorder, depression, and overall discontent with the person who I was. It was there in Nashville where I sat down to ask myself the question: “Who am I?”
At that point, I didn’t really have an answer or I didn’t have a full answer and even now, I don’t know that I’ll ever have a full answer. However, I have a simple one which suffices: “I am Wildly Loved by the Lord of Heaven and Earth.”
Impact is always an emotional time (A time which we have been waiting for since 359 days ago. . . . and it is finally here). There are many strong emotions which surround what is known as “The Best Week of the Year.” Young people get baptized, prodigal sons and daughters return home, new brothers and sisters in Christ are born, relationships are strengthened, and chains are broken. To not be overcome by strong emotions and things of the past, I’ve been asking God to minister to my youth group and I as we travel up to Impact, that He would teach us and prepare us for what is to come in the unforeseen future. Without everything from this past year and the years before that, without trekking over hills and through valleys, I know for a fact I would not be able to say: “I know who I am through Christ alone.” So, I’ll say YES! I’ll say yes to standing up in front of thousands and telling of my flaws but more importantly of God’s POWER, GRACE, and LOVE. I’ll say yes to going out of my comfort zone or I’ll say yes to going out on a limb, because the God who created the Heavens and Earth holds all of Creation together in His hand. If God can take a broken, sick, self-destructive, ashamed, confused, and lost little girl like me and call me CHOSEN, WORTHY, and LOVED, He can do it for anyone!
Thank goodness I have learned from a dear friend and Bob Goff (Love Does) to just say YES! To say yes to God’s calling, and to not look back, because it’s not the way you’re going.
Please pray for the Gulf Coast Church of Christ as we travel from Florida to Tennessee and for the 2,500 teens who will descend upon Nashville tomorrow, excited to learn more about Jesus and enter a week full of praise, and the youth ministers and brave counselors who will be pouring love into us and sharing God with us crazy teens.