It’s a miracle I’m alive today. I was born 1 pound and 5 ounces; I was born severely premature. I was 3 ½ months premature with several different complications. The doctors thought I was not going to survive When I was born, my eyes were closed shut like a kitten. I needed to have surgery on an inflamed intestine. I have a large surgical scar, a permanent reminder of the miracle, still across my stomach 22 years later. I heard that story growing up and I knew there must be a God if I survived, there is no other explanation. I believed there was a purpose for me, a reason for why I was created and lived despite the odds against me. I grew up believing there had to be a God, but not knowing Him.
Not everyone has a birth story like mine, but each of us does have a purpose from God for each of our lives. He has given us each gifts and talents to be used to show love to others and to glory himself. If you think you have no purpose, don’t believe that lie. You were created for great and wonderful things, specifically for you and no one else. There are words only you are meant to say that will open people’s hearts to God. There are things that only you were placed on this earth to do. Remember and pray that this verse is written on your heart, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters” (Romans 8:28-29). That is you, dear sister in Christ! If you don’t know Him, seek Jesus and you will find him.
Growing up my family was a part of a Lutheran Church, where I learned about God but I didn’t have a real relationship with Him. I learned all the Bible stories and I learned that Jesus forgave me of my sins, but I didn’t see and experience the relationship part of it. I wasn’t exposed to the everyday relationship with Jesus because my family went to church, but didn’t talk about faith outside of the steeple adorned building. We were a family of believers, but seemingly doing our own thing on the earth. My family and I didn’t invite Jesus into the good and bad moments of each day of our lives. I knew there had to be more to life. There had to more to God than just on Sundays.
In seventh grade, I started at a new school. It was a faith-based Christian school. I thought I was going to make friends quickly, but that was not the case. In my mind, I imagined all the kids at this school to be caring and wanted to help and love the new girl. The girls I tried to become friends with seemed to exclude me. I found solace in the teachers and the other misfits of the school instead. They showed me what a relationship with Jesus really can look like. They illustrated the walking with Jesus like I never saw up until that point in my life. It wasn’t just saying ‘I hope you get better,’ but actually digging deep into the Bible and praying through issues. They showed me the genuine kindness of Jesus. Through the teachers and mentors at the school, I saw Jesus’s real love for the first time and desired to know Him. I learned that God is after our hearts most of all. I realized and I continue to understand that God wants to walk with us through each day and night. This passage Psalm 139:7-12 illustrates the everyday moments with God to me. “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,’ even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.” God wants to be a part of everything in your life, the big and the small moments of life.
My junior year of high school, I liked a guy who didn’t know I existed. I’m being a little dramatic, but it’s true that we had no social interaction in classes or outside of school whatsoever. It was a crush, but that infatuation was controlling everything about me. The way I thought and what I did all centered around this guy and getting his attention. As upperclassman, we all went on a “junior/senior retreat” at a camp. This retreat was a time where all the juniors and seniors of the high school would go with teachers and chaperons to a camp to get out of the mundane school routine and seek God. It was a weekend gateway around this time of year. One night, a pastor told us about the gospel. That night was different for me. I had heard the gospel before, but that night I knew I needed to give my whole life to Jesus. I remember looking over at the guy who I had a crush on during the service. I knew in the deepest part of my heart that he couldn’t satisfy me like my savior Jesus. I saw my sins for the first time that night as true sins against the God of the universe. All the lies I ever did, all the lusting after my crush and others, all the jealousy of other girls separated me from the God who created me. That night I truly accepted Jesus as my savior and the Lord of my life. I believed that He had forgiven me for every sin I had committed and every sin I will ever commit through Himself paying the penalty of my sins. Jesus being my satisfier is a concept my mind was opened to that night. He satisfied the judgement of my sin on the cross and He started to satisfy my heart that night. We as humans crave love and acceptance, that’s how God created us. We go to all these things of the world that we think are going satisfy us like boys’ attention, fame and recognition and perfecting our image. In those things, we always going to come up empty because Jesus is our only and true satisfier. “For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things” (Psalm 107:9). Six years later after I fully accepted Jesus as my savior and Lord that fall night, I am continuing to grow and experience Jesus being my true satisfier I have been following God ever since and seeking Him every step of the way. I’ve definitely had good and difficult moments in my life since then, but God has been with me through it all.