I am nine years old. I spend some time with my grandmother, and she tells me about the cross and about a love big enough to redeem even the worst of sinners. During the car ride home, I rest my head against the back of the driver's seat of my mom's car, eyes closed, and invite Him in. And because I'm not sure if once is enough, I pray three more times when I get home. I am baptized and receive a book about what it means to be a Christian. And then I go on about my life, just as before. Business as usual. I am good and sweet-natured, but then I always have been. I do what I am told (with occasional sass and a flair for the dramatic), but I remain the same girl I had been since the day I was born.
I am in seventh grade, and my parents flip my world upside down. They tell me that we're leaving the town I have always known. My friends, my school, everything I had come to love. In an effort to ease the transition, they start driving me to church in my new town that year, even before we move, so I can get to know everyone there. Eventually, I meet Micah and rekindle a semi-friendship with Lauren, who would come to be my very best friend.
And, for the first time, I really meet Jesus. At a youth conference I walk with Him on His journey to the cross, and the enormity of His love and sacrifice wash over me. I am a broken mess because I wonder if I have ever really accepted Him as the Lord of my life. I feel confident in the Savior part -- accepting grace, redeeming love and all that -- but when I look back I just can't be sure that I have given Him my heart in return. So once again, I invite Him in.
Except this time, I give Him all of me.
After that I am sold out for Him. Throughout middle school and high school, and even college, I am bold in my faith. I never touch cigarettes or drugs or alcohol. I lead my school's FCA group and speak often at youth group and Disciple Now, and I lead bible study on multiple mission trips. I fall madly in love with Micah, and we vow to wait. I stay plugged into the Word and have an active prayer life.
At some point, the fire and spark fade. My parents divorce. I move to Houston for law school. I get wrapped up in how hard it all is. I lose sight of where He's leading me and start walking alone. But He still speaks. Forgives. Loves.
I am a third-year law student, and I have no job. I am broken, defeated, humiliated. I miss home. He wraps his arms around me and reminds me that He has a plan. So I start walking again, but this time I'm following Him. I accept that He may not bring us home quite yet. But then He does, despite all of my clumsy attempts to do it myself.
Today, I am His. I still fall short every single day, but His grace is sufficient. He is molding me into something better.
I will inevitably lose my way again. But the best part is that He never will.