Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Start of 24

Did you know that God has a story for you? One that's for you, and you alone. It's individually and uniquely crafted for you to shine the glory of our God into a world that desperately needs it.

 It's pretty amazing, when you think about it. We're all born into this world with this desire somewhere deep down inside that wants to live a life with legacy, with meaning, with purpose. And somewhere along the line, maybe you lost faith in that. Maybe this world convinced you that legacy, meaning, and purpose aren't for everyone. Maybe you're feeling average, normal, unimportant. 

If there's one thing I hope people find from this blog, it's faith. Faith in a God who writes big stories for little people. It doesn't matter how many people your story affects, what matters is how it affects. You are meant to be a light in this world. You are meant to carry the best news that can ever be heard, that there is a God who loves us so much that He sent His Son to pay for our sin, that we may be reconciled to Him. 

And that reconciliation? That friendship that is born between you and the God of the universe?

That changes ev. ery. thing. 


My life is forever changed because of Jesus Christ. I love telling my story, because it's a story I could have never written for myself. One with His fingerprints all over it, and I praise Him for that. Oh, do I praise Him for that. 

There are two key dates in my testimony, two dates that I now look back on as days when "everything changed." I didn't know it at the time; you rarely do, right? But now I know. I know that on those two days, Jesus reached down and with infinite mercy & grace, decided to change my life for His glory. 

I said I couldn't have written this story for myself, right? Case and point: those two dates are the only two dates in the calendar year that symbolize a new start for me. The first occurred on January 1st, 2012, the day I fully surrendered my life to Christ. And the second occurred on my 24th birthday, June 29th, 2013, the day I decided to give up alcohol. 

I just love that God took the two days of the year that I celebrate a new start, and gave new meaning to them. I will never be able to celebrate a New Year's Day without celebrating the day I recklessly abandoned my life for Jesus. And starting this year, I will never be able to celebrate my birthday without celebrating sobriety. 

I had no idea that was going to be one of my last drinks. And looking back on both January 1st, 2012, and June 29th, 2013, I had no idea I would ever look back on those days as good days. They both started hungover, they both started with lots of tears, and heart ache, and shame. They felt like ugly days, to be honest. 

But this is what I love about our God; He takes our ugly and turns it into beauty. For His glory. And, because He loves us that much. 

Before I get into gushing about the amazing, wonderful, blessing of a year that 24 was, I wanted to start at the beginning. I wanted to share that it didn't seem off to a good start when I woke up on my birthday to a thick blanket of guilt, shame, and regret. 

Why do I want to start there? Because I know someone, somewhere might be there right now. Someone might be stuck in the cycle that I was stuck in. Maybe yours has nothing to do with alcohol, or maybe it has everything to do with alcohol. 

Regardless, I want you to know there's hope. I want you to know that there is nothing, I repeat, nothing too ugly for Him to use. When He looks at you, He sees nothing ugly about you. He sees a life that He crafted for His glory, and He's just waiting, ready to write the story of a lifetime for you.

Sometimes, the biggest break throughs happen from the biggest break downs. On June 29th, 2013, I had a break down. I saw my sin so clearly, and it scared me. It scared me enough to run, as fast as I could, straight into Jesus' arms. It scared me enough to admit that I was meant for abstinence from alcohol, and that as scared as I was of sobriety, I was more afraid of what alcohol could do to my life. To my relationships. To my future. 

June 29th, 2013 may have started with a hangover, but it was the last one I'll ever have. It opened the door to a type of freedom I didn't even know existed. 

He took my ugly, and made it shine for His glory, the way that only He can.


The Pink Growl said...

Love your story!!! And love that you are so willing to share it!

rwynsma said...

Hi Amy-
I'm interested in getting more involved in a church but I'm not sure where to start. I really love your posts about this kind of stuff. Any advice/help you could give me would be appreciated!

Jennifer said...

"He took my ugly, and made it shine for His glory, the way that only He can."

that sentence wrecked me yesterday morning. I read your post while still sitting in bed, and it blew my mind. as I sat there, I realized that all the things that I do that I think are "good" are really nothing if He doesn't MAKE them good. on my own my works are ugly, because my heart is ugly.

thanks for your honesty, Amy. I love you so!