Wednesday, January 25, 2017

A letter to younger me ...

Dear Younger Me,

I remember so vividly the day you accepted Christ and walked the aisle at church to make a public confession. You were wearing that green v-necked dress and your favorite choker necklace with it. Remember?

Yes, you were only fourteen, but you were convinced it was time to give your life to Christ. And so that day you began your journey.

Not too long after your trip to the altar, you went to Youth Camp and cemented the longing of your heart to live for Him. Remember how excited you were when you came back home and there was a testimony service at your home church? You had to bounce up more than once and give thanks to God for the things you experienced in camp. I can still see Deacon Bates with his knowing smile the third time you just had to say one more thing.

Ah, if only we could always keep the excitement of our salvation experience fresh and new.

But life gets in the way, and sometimes we settle into a hum-drum way of living. I think more than anything the one thing we forget is how much God loves us.

Oh, we know it in a general way. Of course, we know God loves us or He'd never would have sent Jesus to the cross in our place.

But specifically, personally, knowing deep in your spirit God loves YOU, Jerralea? That is a little harder because you know by now how unworthy of that love you are. When you look at yourself, all you can see are the flaws.

And so, younger me, if I knew how, if I could have told you, through all your years of searching to find out your identity and value, I'd point you to 1 John 3:1 (NIV)-

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

Your identity? Child of God. Not only are you loved, He loves you lavishly. Webster's says that means given out in great abundance, profusely implying pouring forth without restraint.

You don't have to earn His love. You already have it!

Oh, you funny little kid, I look back at you with fondness, wishing you could have done great things had you only known the power you had through Christ ... but also feeling hope for you in the future ... because all these years later, you still love God, and He still has a plan for your life.

This post was written in response to a prompt for The Loft, but I am also linking up at Crystal Twaddell's #FreshMarketFriday, and Arabah Joy's Grace and Truth communities. Because we all have a story to tell!


Michele Morin said...

Oh, me too, Jerralea! Less about doing, more about being! And resting in His love. Thanks for sharing this in a letter form -- and thanks for that great picture.

Karen said...

Oh, Jerri, I absolutely loved this testimony! I, too, walked that aisle at the age of 14...and in all those years since, He has never failed me even though I have failed Him so many times...we are so blessed!

Your daughters look so much like you!

Christine Malkemes said...

Jerri, I just love this. You're so honest with yourself and letting this young person know the abundant, awesome, everlasting love of the Lord. You're a treasure and I'm so glad you're co-hosting with me on the Loft.

ellen b. said...

I like this style of telling your testimony.

Leah Adams said...

What a wonderful testimony! So much truth here.

Faith said...

What a wonderful testimony! I was chuckling about you jumping up and just having to share one more time...that was SO me at age 15. Loved this is so good when we remember and reflect on just how great God's Love for us truly is......with all our flaws, etc HE LOVES US!!!

Anonymous said...

I love that verse, Jerri. The truth of it takes years to sink in. And how right you are that if we understood it when we were young, what a difference it would make.

Megs said...

It's so sweet and sentimental to look back our journeys. Thank you for sharing a piece of yours.
Happy Saturday!

Crystal Twaddell said...

What a lovely picture! Your testimony is inspiring, and I love how we can find so much hope and promise when we take time to look back.