Today marks eight years since God gave me new life in Jesus. Eight years since He plucked me out of a ruinous existence of addiction and immorality. Eight years since He revealed to me both the depths of my sin and the breadth of his love. Eight years since He drew near to a rebel of biblical proportions—not to condemn me, rebuke me, or begrudgingly agree to tolerate me since I said finally said “sorry.”
But to embrace me.
Today marks eight years that God has held on to me. Eight years that He has been patient with me as I’ve grieved Him many times over. Eight years that He has been chiseling away at the dead pieces of my soul, healing my wounds and exposing my idols. Eight years that He has greeted me every morning with new mercies. Eight years that he has led me by the hand as I’ve experienced joy and grief, plenty and little, victory and failure, peace and anxiety. Eight years that He has provided for all my needs and helped me to trust His wisdom for all my wants. Eight years that He has proven wrong people’s predictions that I would go back to my old way of life, discover I could have Jesus and what my broken flesh wants, or lose my mind entirely. Eight years that He has disciplined me when I’ve persisted in sin; not to punish or embarrass me, but to weaken my grip on the world and deepen my joy in Him. Eight years that He has held me close in love as I’ve trembled with fear that He might cast me away.
Today marks eight years of truly living.
If you want to know this true life, it’s available to you. You don’t have to pay for it with lots of tears or long prayers or church attendance or good deeds. Jesus has already paid for your forgiveness and transformation with His life. All you need to do now is believe.
“Then they said to him, ‘What must we do, to be doing the works of God?’ Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’” – John 6:28-29