Saturday night I woke up out of my sleep. There were several young men with white t-shirts on making a lot of noise. I peered out the window and saw one of the men standing on top of a car that was parked right in front of my car. Instantly I was alarmed. I wondered whose car it was and watched the men closely to see if they would go near my car and what they were up to. They were talking loudly and taking pictures with their phones. Eventually about 10 of them made their way into the house across the street. I noticed another neighbor, who I know keeps a close watch on the neighborhood, had her porch light on. I’m sure she too was monitoring their antics. I already had the number for the police on hand and I had taken a picture of the car they were near. Even though I live in an urban setting it’s very unusual for there to be drama on my street. Most of the neighbors have lived there for years and there aren’t that many young people, however the house across the street has fairly new residents.
About an hour later I was woken from my sleep again and watched as the young men and several young women emerged from the home and made their way to what was actually their own car that one of them had previously been standing on top of. Even though I was highly annoyed and even nervous about their activities, I told myself, “They are just being kids”. I remembered being that young and the crazy situations I found myself in. I remembered being out with “friends” and hanging with guys I barely knew. I remembered how easily it would have been for me to be raped or murdered or taken. I remembered how lost I was and even while I was lost I was found. God starting bringing flashbacks of my past to remind me that in the natural it can look a certain way. We can seem like we are so far from Him and yet He is so very near (Acts 17:27). So instead of judging these young people which was my initial reaction, I started interceding for them. I prayed that even if they felt lost or seemed lost that they would be found. I prayed that even if they were indulging in whatever harmful activities that night, that somewhere in their future they would be made new. Because that is what He did for me. He was thinking of me when I was in the middle of my mess. He was ordering my steps when I felt they were aimlessly taking me anywhere that resembled what I thought was love. He was using it all to mold and shape me into a new being.
The next morning I noticed a girl getting dropped off and entering into the same house. I remembered those morning drop offs and what they indicated had happened the night before. And I prayed again. God sees through our brokenness. He sees through the wounds and the issues and the dysfunction. And He calls to us, speaking into us wholeness and restoration and healing. He gives us new clothes and a new confidence and a new name. He takes us on regardless of the hot mess we seem to be. That is a truth I am focusing on especially in this season. That is the truth about myself I am learning to embrace. God did not choose us to be His bride b/c we were beautiful or flawless or there was anything good in us. It’s like He chose the worst case scenario and said, “I want her”. It’s like He wanted the hardest situation and story to work through to bring about His best.
When I think of my story I think of Gomer. I think of Rahab. I think of women with really messy backgrounds, and low self-esteem and great emptiness inside, just wanting to be loved. And I think of how He loved them. I think of how He didn’t just save them, but He kept saving them. Gomer kept going back to her past but He kept saving her. Rahab had nothing to qualify her to be accepted by the Jews and yet He grafted her into the lineage of Jesus Christ.
What God do we serve?
What love is this?
Often I want to separate myself from my past. From my brokenness. I want to be what I deem to be this new creature. But I am learning that the brokenness seeps through. There is no clean break. It is one day at a time, moving forward into His purposes and letting the ugliness be revealed so that His grace, His love, can also be revealed.
I really enjoyed this testimony. I hope you do as well: