I had just gotten a Mohawk and died my hair jet black. I was thin from not eating enough and my clothes were worn from being homeless and living on the streets. I must have been about 17. Anyway, word got out that I was in town on my way to visit my mom and a friend of hers went to her to try and warn her about my appearance first. “There is God in that child” she told my mom… she said these words to her so that when mom saw me, she would remember what was most important. Although the outside appearance was shocking, God was still inside of me.
What a test of faith that must have been for my mother. She was a Christian but here, standing in front of her, was her oldest daughter of 17 with a Mohawk and worn clothes, thin and full of anger and suffering.
“Am I only a God nearby,” declares the LORD, “and not a God far away? Who can hide in secret places so that I cannot see them?” declares the LORD. “Do not I fill heaven and earth?” declares the LORD.” ~Jeremiah 23:23-24
At that time in my life, I had turned my back on God. But, He never left me. Today, I am on fire for God. He is my passion and I pray every day that the Holy Spirit just pours out of me so that when people see me, they see God’s love and that I can be an example to everyone around me. But, I wouldn’t be who I am now without being who I was back then. There are so many things and lessons that I learned because God loved me enough to teach me. Just as my mom’s friend encouraged my mom in a truly hard time, I want to encourage you that there is God in you! He is there and He wants relationship with you.
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” ~Romans 15:4
God is everywhere. He won’t leave you. I am so thankful for those lessons. I am so thankful for my past. I am so thankful for the lessons I have learned. It’s through those trials that I am able to provide hope to others who are going through something. These trials have shown me the truth of God’s word:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” ~Isaiah 55:8-9
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” ~James 1:2-4
“God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6
At the time, I had no idea that God was in me. I didn’t want him and rejected him, but even in that anger and hurt, God was there. I may never know why I went through what I did…or why trials and tribulations come. But, God’s word is true and will never waiver. The truth is that God loves you, He will never leave you and for sake you. His ways are not our ways and we may never understand what happens, but Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
If you don’t know God, then seek Him out and He will answer you. Call on His name and He will meet you where you are. If you are having doubts brought up by hurts in the past, turn those over to Him. And most importantly, PRAISE HIM!! Thank Him for being so faithful!!! Amen