Sometimes when in the present moment, going through the day-to-day motions of getting needs met and being faithful in the little things, it can do your heart some good to reflect upon some epic past times and celebrate God’s goodness.
I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. Psalm 143:5
While 2013 & 2014 aren’t exactly “the days of old” but when Facebook reminded me what was going on “on this day” years past, my heart was encouraged and built up by the sweetness of the memories that popped up.
2013 was a year of great difficulty and great victories. My freshman year of high school (2009, 2010) I was high as a kite and struggling to make it through my days. My best friend had just committed suicide and I had no vision or hope for my future. The only reason I was at school was to keep the truancy officers away from my house, but even then I stopped caring. My grade point average was a strong 0.50 and the only thing keeping me alive was getting high.
The summer after my freshman year was when Jesus stepped onto the seen through a beautiful, powerful and fiesty woman named Crystal. The story can definitely fall in the category of “epic past times” and people get a kick out of it. Its on my youtube but long story short, she introduced me to Jesus and my world turned upside down. Hope invaded all the hopeless caverns of my heart and awareness of my value and purpose came to life — so many factors God orchestrated played into this, but when I returned for my sophomore year I was no longer dealing drugs and ditching class, but sharing about the kindness of Jesus to all my pot-head friends — my grade point average shifted to a 3.6 and kept climbing all the way to my senior year.
The pictures that popped up for “on this day in 2013” were from prom! I denied my prom proposals to go with the special needs students, who ultimately became such good friends to me as I discovered their hilarious, pure personalities and boundless love. Also, a picture of my high school best friend, Brittany Hitt, popped up and my heart was just flooded with joy. Her face takes me back to so many hilarious memories in high school and I was instantly overcome with gratitude for her and all the Lord had done to transform and mark my life with redemption after I gave my life to Him.
Those 2014 shots popped up, thanks to Facebook, and on April 29, 2014 I was celebrating my trip to Guatemala. That was a trip that marked a radical turning point in my walk with the Lord. Although I went to Uganda in 2013 — my trip to Guatemala in 2014 was one where I was called to step up into leadership and was activated in so much of who God has called me to be. I was captivated by the lives of the missionaries in Guatemala, especially those living amongst the “treasures” at the dump in Guatemala City @ Potters House. The message they sent to the poor living amongst the trash was, “You are not trash, you are God’s rare treasure” and it actually brought me to tears as if I had heard the gospel and my value for the first time.
I dreamed of returning to Guatemala, fluent in Spanish and equipped to teach young street girls of their value and God’s unending love for them. It was a message I had been transformed by and little did I know, would still be getting transformed by to this day.
The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his joy, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field. Matthew 13:44
“Beloved, for the JOY set before me, I endured the cross. You are that joy, you are that treasure.”
There is nothing quite like the voice of the Lord speaking straight to your heart. I was in a coffee shop in Redding CA this past January, and the Lord dropped that love bomb on me. I began to weep without knowing the depth of healing taking place.
I thought, “Jesus.. aren’t YOU that treasure I am to give everything up for to get?”
“There is no striving in my love. You are an irreplaceable, priceless treasure I gave everything up for. I love you.”
* drop the mic *
God marked my heart with value and released me from striving to earn or buy His love. The gospel just blows my mind. Looking back at all the Lord has done gives me such great hope and expectancy as I look ahead in wonder, because I just know that in Him, the best is yet to come.
(fun throwback pictures below)
If you are my Facebook friend, the whole senior year album is just a blast - I invite you to stalk me for more fun pictures haha