Hi Friends. Today's guest blogger is my amazing friend Christy. The best way to describe her is Proverbs 31:26, "She opens her mouth with wisdom, and on her tongue is the law of kindness." I know that God will speak to all of you through her post. May the Lord bless you abundantly as you seek to know Him and make Him known.
Whenever food comes up in conversation with anyone I have to mention Latin House Grill. It's a restaurant on wheels that travels throughout the city serving the most amazing Mexican/Cuban inspired dishes. I feel like I'm holding back and depriving you if I don't let you know about this delicious place! Imagine the kind of friend I would be if I didn’t tell you about this life changing restaurant (seriously, the place will change your taste buds). Imagine if you found out through someone else and then found out I had been going to this place all this time. This desire to share good news (hint hint) about the restaurant, can be likened to my desire to share with people whose lives need fixing, the amazing power of my Lord and Savior, who changed my life when I was 17 years old.
I'll spare you all the details, but I pray as you read this tidbit on my life you recognize that God sees you, knows you, and loves you unconditionally in spite of you :)
In high school I was pretty popular. I had a group of friends who I partied with, a car, money for whatever I needed and the freedom to use all these things at my leisure, however, like all people, I always wanted more. And the more I wanted, the duller life got. I remember driving home from clubs at 2 and 3 in the morning wanting to cry or leaving a party and asking about my self "who was that in there?" I was empty, I had a void in my heart I felt no one could fill, however, for years, I strived desperately to fill it with myself. Something was missing and I never could figure out what that something was.
Around the time all this was going on in my heart, my mom, who had recently been saved, invited me to church. You would think that a person living in the rebellious state I was in would automatically say no, however, I went without much hesitation one Sunday morning. The night before I had partied so late that the following morning I still had on the same make up. Tears streamed down my face as I felt God begin to work in my heart and show me my need for Him to fill the void I desperately needed filled. That morning, the void was filled, however, my life didn’t change much.
The year that followed was brutal. I spent the rest of my junior year in high school battling conviction and struggling to live a life both in the world and in the Lord, something Jesus makes clear is impossible (Matt 6:24). It wasn’t until my senior year that I finally gave up the battle to live two lives and surrendered my life fully to the Lord.
In the coming weeks after my encounter with God my junior year, the rest of my family followed. One Sunday afternoon I was trying to rush through lunch to go to the beach with some friends (Sundays, I thought, were for the beach) when my mom casually turned to me and said I wouldn't be going to the beach, from now on we were going to be together on Sundays (a tradition we've continued for 8 years now). Part of me was angry, but a greater part of me was relieved. I felt as though I was beginning to take off some of the masks in my life. Again, it wasn’t until almost a year later that I finally allowed God to begin changing my life, however, God was faithful, despite my faithlessness, and never gave up on me.
See God had started a work in my life which He has been perfecting ever since. He gently began taking away the people, hobbies and desires that were not only unpleasing to Him, but were killing me. The things I thought would be impossible to let go, the wounds I thought would be impossible to heal, the life I thought would be impossible to restore, He healed, He restored and He transformed.
I share this with you because Jesus changed my life. You may have seen that on a billboard or bumper sticker somewhere but the truth behind the words run deep in my life and the life of so many others. He is the only One who can fill our emptiness. Some of you right now may think that your life is unfix-able, the place your in is unreachable. Let me share something with you: It has nothing to do with us and everything to do with Him. “God gave Christ for us. God hates our sin but loves us. We can be so quick to buy into the lie that we first need to fix ourselves, then find Him. Reality is we need Him before we can ever be fixed. Wherever you are today, wherever life has brought you, you aren’t too far away from Him. As Paul said in Acts 17:26-28, “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, for in Him we live and move and have our being” All you have to do is open up your heart, no matter how broken, no matter how small, and let Him mend it and enlarge it.