Tuesday, July 16, 2013

redeeming love.

from the time i was two weeks old, i never had to question what my family's sunday plans were. being raised in the church meant i knew the answers to sunday school questions, memorized john 3:16, and sang 'Jesus loves me'. when i was a young girl, i had a moment of misguided panic. i didn't want to go to h-e double hockey sticks, so i walked down the aisle and 'got saved'. my parents were happy and everyone kept hugging me. i was just ready to go eat pizza.

fast forward to 2004. after graduating high school, i wanted to do life on my own terms. God's way felt like having training wheels on a bike, and i wanted ride on my own. freedom from God seemed great. i could be like everyone else. no rules or perfection or little miss goody two-shoes. and then i crashed and burned. in fact - for the next several years, i fell... a lot. i searched for satisfaction in the form of boys, possessions, friends, status, parties. one fleeting avenue of happiness after another. nothing filled that void i felt deep down inside.

that's the thing about running from God though - He didn't leave me be nor did He force His love on me. He was just there. always. and i knew it. i was chasing every form of love i could find when True Love was right there, right beside me all along. after a few years, i started questioning everything - my actions, God, and my salvation. when i heard sermons, i wanted what they were talking about: forgiveness, change, and love. in late june of 2007, i walked the aisle of the church i grew up in and gave my life to Jesus.

the gospel has become so real and personal to me. Jesus died a death that i deserved; He died in my place. not by any merit of my own, but because He loves me that muchHe took my hard heart, the deep hurts, the brokenness, and the hot mess i was and made beauty from the ashes. He rescued me from a life of temporary fills and pain and hurt. He is my Hope and my Salvation and my Redeemer. in His love and mercy He redeemed them.

i found that True Love i was so desperately seeking. not the cushy, fluffy love that tween girls say about their crush of the week. it's the kind of Love that overwhelms - the kind of Love that holds me in my darkest, weakest moments - the kind of Love that shines so bright in the midst this broken world - the kind of Love that is wild and life-changing and furious and overflowing - the kind of Love that is forever and does not change, despite my sin and flaws and shortcomings. 

His love is deep, His love is wide, and it covers us. 
His love is fierce, His love is strong, it is furious. 
His love is sweet, His love is wild, and it's waking hearts to life.