My mom says I was the perfect baby. I’m here to tell you that didn’t last long. As soon as I learned the word “No,” I was snapping at my parents. First, it was touching the hot pan my mom told me not to touch, and eventually, it was talking to boys my dad forbade. I was born just like you. I learned to walk as a clumsy toddler, wore too much makeup as an awkward teenager, and had my heart broken as a naïve girl. I made stupid decisions and thought I knew everything.
At 24, I’ve realized I only know one thing; I’m never too far from grace.
I’ve lived greatly and wildly and unapologetically. I’ve ridden horses and picked flowers and held a newborn baby in my arms. I’ve seen the beauty of life and felt its greatness in my soul. But the best feelings I’ve known and felt and loved are the ones I cannot explain, and they start and end with God.
what it is for some…
It’s the moments that God creates for us to feel His love the most. It’s when He speaks to you in such a way you cannot ignore, prompting you in certain circumstances to use the love He gives and put it on display. It’s the way the homeless man who sleeps on the corner of your block thanks you so sincerely for the extra plate of dinner you served him. It’s the tears in the eyes of the woman cradling an infant in one arm and holding her toddler’s hand with the other as you tell the supermarket clerk that her grocery bill is on you. It’s the smile of the elderly woman you’ve never met but sat next to in church as you accept her invitation to lunch. It’s singing a cappella in an auditorium full of believers worshipping their Creator as you feel God’s presence envelop your heart.
but for me…
It’s when God moves my heart in such way that I cannot say no. Most recently, God crafted this in a whole new experience for me. He didn’t just tell me to pick up someone’s grocery tab or share a lunch with a stranger. He told me to pick up my fun and exciting world and pack up my life in New York City. He told me to quit my amazing job and move to Georgia. He told me to accept a new position as the writer for a faith-based client launching a movement to reach the world with His love. He laid the stepping-stones out perfectly and aligned the paths just right to make the whole thing come to fruition.
I cried after I hung up the phone the first time I spoke with my now boss. I knew it was my calling, and though I promised a million times that I would never move, God had bigger plans.
I’ve attended church my whole life. Sunday school, church choirs, Bible studies, and youth group were integral parts of my childhood. I grew up with a heart that loved God and a stable faith I firmly I stood in. So it was never that I didn’t want to live for God and give Him complete control of my life; it was just easier to pick and choose which parts I gave. But that is not how God operates. He wants all of our heart or nothing. But that doesn’t mean He expects us to be perfect. We will always fall short and mess up, but handing our lives over to Him completely means that He meets us at our shortcomings and carries us along.
I gave in to God, because He’s given it all for me.
how could I not?
It was ironic how loud God’s voice was in what He wanted me to do because I was headed to become a writer for a movement called GodSpeaks, and He was speaking loud and clear to me. So I answered the call, and I became God’s pen behind the messages I feel He wants to share with the world. It wouldn’t be fair to accept the gifts God has given me as a writer and deny the use of those gifts to lead people to the Kingdom. What else have I been put on this earth for?
It is truly remarkable to hear people’s lives being touched with the messages God gives me and the entire GodSpeaks team I am so privileged to be a part of. It is an indescribable and overwhelming feeling to know that God is using me to bring people to Him. I trust Him for the words, and He lays them on my heart. Usually, they are things I need to hear myself because I’m no better than the next person. GodSpeaks seeks to connect millions of people with His love and goodness — maybe you’ve seen the messages on billboards yourself while traveling the highways. We want to start conversations about God and disrupt people’s lives to consider Him, if even just for a moment. I am humbled that God would choose me for such a task. How a wretched sinner with a fragile confidence can touch lives is beyond my explanation, but not God’s. These kinds of stories are His favorite. The heroes of the Bible are some of the worst recorded sinners, but God loves them and believes in them and uses them.
He purposefully chooses failures to transform them to successes, and in our climb we radiate God’s power and grace. He chooses people who are full of deficiencies to empty them of their mess and fill them with His love. As one of my favorite quotes puts it, “God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” And how true that is.
who does He want?
God doesn’t want preachers to stand from pulpits pretending to have it all together. He doesn’t want leaders to glare from behind Bibles pointing out sin. He doesn’t want people to stand on pedestals pointing down in hate. He wants the flawed and messed up and still learning and just trying. He wants rescued people who can admit that they’re still lost and daily seek direction from their Savior. He wants sinners who ask for forgiveness and plead to start over each morning. He wants wretched people who go to bed each night begging for grace. He wants honest and vulnerable and weak hearts that turn to Him for strength and rely on Him for change. He wanted me.
all of us
I was broken and empty and God wanted me. He wants you, too. I’m still broken and empty, but God fills me every day and helps to put the pieces back together.
It’s a process. And it will be every day because we still struggle with sin while we’re in the flesh. But God loves honesty and waits patiently while we grow in Him, helping us each step along the way. So until the day I meet Him face-to-face, I will wake up with groggy eyes and sluggish feet, brush my teeth and enter my day reminding myself that God has chosen me. Me.
He wants me and He loves me and He cherishes me. Most days it’s hard to believe, but each day He reminds me it’s the truth. God didn’t create me to be the girl who tells people how to live their lives, and I’m sure not a person to look to for an example. I live every day learning from THE example and trying to serve Him as best as I can. And even though I fail each day that is the goal I will continue to strive toward.
Because I am average at my best, but God loves me and He’s chosen me, even at my worst.