It was Christmas time. I was home for The Holidays–the place I had called home since the day I left my parent’s house. We lived in a cute little house adjacent to the railroad tracks, complete with a white picket fence and a big front porch. The halls were decked with holly, the fresh evergreen sprinkled with ornaments of memories—memories I didn’t have. The full expression of good tidings and joy filled the room with warmth, but I felt ice cold. Witnessing the abundance of love filled me with great distress, causing my mind to ruminate on lies and my heart to fill with rage and hatred. Then it hit me, the strong impulse to run. Somehow, I had to run away from all of these feelings.
I got up from where I was sitting as calmly as possible, so as not to alarm anyone, and told my family that I was going to go on a walk. But as soon as I was out of their view, I began running, hot tears of bitterness and pain rolling down my cheeks. I stopped abruptly as I heard the train coming. I stood in the road for a moment, watching as the train rapidly approached, contemplating death just as I had earlier that year. I decided in that moment that my family would be better off with me gone. I prepared to take my last steps, only a few feet from the tracks now, but suddenly, I was thrown back. My breath was knocked out of me and I fell to the ground as I heard a strong yet tender voice roar out, “I AM NOT FINISHED WITH YOU YET!”
In that moment, I heard the audible voice of God. And the thing is, I didn’t fall to my knees. I was already on the ground. Instead, I stood up and started walking. I walked home and told no one what had just occurred. There wasn’t really a great way to approach it. I’ve only ever told a handful of people this story. And yet, I share it with you, dear reader. I share it because even though things didn’t immediately get better after this experience, those seven words have come to mean the world to me, in essence, they are the reason I am alive. I am alive because He pushed me back. I am alive because He has great plans for my life, plans that will bring him much glory. This glory is my purpose. Yes, it is why I live.
And I am here to tell you that He is not finished with you either. He has a purpose for your life. Even if you feel too far gone, even if you’ve lost all hope. God loves you so much and He wants to walk with you through the hard days. He wants to lead you into joy and abundant life. I know it might not seem like it right now. Your world might seem too dark and you may feel like you’ve fallen too far, but there is no place Jesus can’t bring you out of. His love and light are able to reach even the darkest places.
“The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!” Habakkuk 3:19