As I read her beautiful, vulnerable, honest words, my head was nodding and my heart was swelling. I praised the God who crashed through her walls on that bathroom floor, because He's the same God who crashed through mine in a city college gymnasium.
I've told this story before on the blog, multiple times in fact. But it's my absolute favorite story to tell, and so in case you haven't heard it, or in case you want to re-hear it, today I share the story of when mercy found me.
I woke up on January 1st, 2012 around 6AM on the couch of a house I had only been to to celebrate NYE the night before. There was enough champagne left in my system to hold off the inevitable hangover, but it wasn't enough to erase the memory of how I had spent the first few hours of the new year. The time spent crying in a bathroom due to finding out a freshly-ex-boyfriend was in a new relationship. Again.
It wasn't the first time this had happened. As a matter of fact, it was almost humerous how regular of an occurrence this was. It seemed as though every relationship in the past 3 years had ended this way, replaced in a matter of days. It was enough to kill a girl's hope, for sure. Not only kill her hope, but kill any shred of self-worth that was left from the prior heart break.
If you pull out your iPhone, open up that calendar ap, and scroll back a few years, you'll notice that January 1st, 2012 fell on a Sunday. And thank the good Lord that it did.
I had made arrangements to go to church with a friend that Sunday, my first time in longer than I could count. I was checking out a church that I had never been to before, but had heard incredible things. As soon as I woke up on that couch, my heart was aching to get in that building. It was probably aching for other reasons as well, but something inside of me knew that I needed to hear the word of God.
The 4 hours between 6AM and 10AM felt like forever. It was just enough time for the hangover and shame to sink in, both were wrapped around me like a thick blanket when I walked into that gymnasium-turned-church.
The worship music started, and as I looked to my left and right, I saw people reaching out to the Lord. It gave me permission to do what felt so counter-intuitively natural to me, and my arms shot up towards the ceiling. I felt His presence for what very well may have been the first time in my entire life, and I reached for it with every fiber of my being.
The words "I'm desperate for You" repeated over and over and over again in my mind. I have never felt more broken in my life, but I have also never felt more hopeful. The gravity of the fact that I had been living my life in entirely the wrong way sat heavy on my shoulders, but with it, came the life-giving freedom of realizing there was a different way. This wasn't the first time I surrendered my life to Jesus, but it was the first time that
I fully let go.
Tears were streaming down my face, my head was throbbing from hangover world, my wonderful friend was praying words over me that I'll never remember, mercy & grace hit me like a ton of bricks, and to this day, my life has never been the same.
Mercy found me in a hungover, heart-broken state in a college gymnasium.
Where did mercy find you?