Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart;
When I was younger, I lived only for myself, making decisions in the midst of a spiritual darkness I wasn’t even aware was a threat. I was a leaf on the wind, floating on the breeze of whatever felt good. Before long, I got into trouble and found myself in a circumstance I’d never expected. I was stunned. I’d only been taking a harmless dip in life’s calm clear ocean but it had beckoned me deeper and deeper. Before I knew it, I’d been swallowed by powerful waves, so much stronger than I could handle.
Suddenly I was lost, alone, and terrified. I let myself be deceived into making a bad situation even worse because of it. Shaken, frantic and hopeless, I sank deeper into a black pit. All I thought I was or would ever become, was fading away, like a Polaroid in reverse. Every day was a dizzy spiral of self- loathing, regret and terror. The day I gave my life to God, I was spent and half dead, spread out on the shore, spit out like decaying seaweed left to scorch in the blazing heat.
I sought out the only Christian I knew back then. She met me with compassionate eyes, allowing me to pour it all out in her arms. She took me by the hands and prayed for me and with me. I choked out my salvation prayer in hiccups, the words falling slow off my thick tongue. My tears of surrender, so fat and heavy, I thought I could hear them bursting on the floor below. I was a grown woman, yet in my soul, I was still a helpless little girl. I knew I was giving up but I didn’t feel defeated. Instead, I was overtaken by a sense of security and relief. It was going to be alright. It was going to get better. That day was the first in a glorious journey of recovery and strengthening.
Now years later, when I read Jeremiah 1:5, I’m still struck. I remember the day I cried like a child who’d gotten lost and finally asked a grown-up for help. I understand that overwhelming strange familiarity all over again. That day, I didn’t meet God for the first time. I’d wandered way too far and I was finally returning to Him. My Father had come to get me and carry me home.
Thank you, Lord, for your faithful love. You are the breath my soul can’t live without. You’ve awakened me to dreams I never knew were within my reach. I have been out in the world. I’ve seen it and know the destruction that comes from it. You made my black and white world come alive with vivid color. Sometimes I’m absolutely baffled at the brokenness it sometimes takes to finally surrender to You. But Father, if that’s what it took to bring me home to you, to let you take over, I would do it a thousand times over, thanking you for it each time. You are so worth every bit of it.
In Jesus name, Amen