An open letter to those still looking for hope...
One survivor's simple, open-hearted invitation to know the Savior.
Did you know that you are precious to God and dearly loved?
A long time ago, God loved each man, woman and child (including you) so much that He sent His Son into the world to save us. God, wanting a family, chose to send His Son as a baby into a poor carpenter’s household in a very poor village to grow up like any other man. But he was not just any other man. He was the Son of God. Those very ones God sent His Son to rejected the Gift and eventually killed Him because they did not believe what He said. The Son of God, named Jesus Christ, knew these things would happen to Him and chose to love us anyway. He knew we would fail to live right in the sight of God and yet He willingly died, accepting our punishment as His own so that we might live.
We have all failed. Often our own choices or what others have done to us becomes like a great mountain in front of us that we just can’t get around. We try and try to get over it, but we continue to fall and sometimes we just give up. Other times we turn to things that dishonor the body God gave us like drugs, alcohol, money and sex to try to numb the pain. But the pain is just there trying to tell us we need God and we were made for something greater. Because pain can’t be filled by these things, we go to sleep hungry and hurting again and again.
Friend, I was there. I didn’t want to live and I didn’t know how to hope anymore. I was raised by a man who I called “Dad” but who hurt my body from the time I was very small and sold me to be hurt by others. He was a leader in a bad group of men and I was surrounded by violence and crime from as early as I can remember. As I grew up, I didn’t understand why I had so much pain inside. I was angry and yet I had to bury my feelings to perform and do what was necessary to get food and shelter and avoid being hurt even more. I was told lies that God did not love me and that I was bad and that was why bad things were happening to me. As I believed those lies, I began to make choices that agreed with them…choices that hurt myself and those around me, but most of all hurt God, my true Father.
But God did not turn away from me in anger or shame. This God I am telling you about, Jesus tells us is our Good, Heavenly Father. He knows us, cries with us, walks our journey with us and loves us through the pain. In the Bible, we are told Jesus is the exact image and representation of the Father and He was often found eating and spending time with prostitutes and sinners (people who were known for making bad choices). He was not ashamed to stop and spend time with those that needed Him the most. The Bible tells us that He will never leave us nor forsake us, NEVER, no not ever!
When I invited Jesus into my life to truly be my Lord, He became the strength I needed to forgive, release and process the pain and trauma, and overcome all the horrible things I had seen and experienced. He became the hope in me I needed to keep a job and be a steady employee. He became the wisdom I needed to use my mind to make good choices that bring honor to Him, myself and those around me. He became the peace I had been looking for.
We are all searching, friend. The Bible, God’s letter to us, tells us that whoever will call upon the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ will be saved. (Romans 10:13) This is a promise. His saving may not look like we think it should or want it to. Sometimes it takes time. His Ways of doing things are wonderful, but sometimes we can’t understand them. There have been many nights I still went to bed not knowing how things would turn out, but today I am safe and He has given me new life. He is not like other men. He is faithful to keep His Promises.
Friend, I invite you to read the book of John. If, once you have read about the life of Jesus and you believe in Him, you can pray a simple prayer and invite Him into your heart to be your Savior and also Your Lord. The Bible says, “If you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him form the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
Prayer is simply you talking to your Heavenly Father. Be honest and talk to Him knowing He hears your cries. Tell Him your pain, express your anger, confess your failure and invite Him into your heart and He will make you new. The beautiful part about the life of Jesus is that He didn’t stay dead. He came to life 3 days after he was killed, was exalted with God our Father and now He chooses to live within us by our faith in Him. By Him living in our hearts, we become new and all that He contains as God He offers to us as His dearly loved children, including His peace, His Spirit (who He calls our Comforter) and His love.
If you would like to pray, here is an example prayer –
“Father I come to you in the Name of Your Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank You for loving me and for sending Your Son to die for me. I confess that I believe Jesus has been raised from the dead and is glorified with You. I confess I have been living my own life and not living with You as my Lord and Leader. I invite You, Lord Jesus, to come into my heart and make me new. I give You permission to live Your Life through me and be my Savior, King and Lord. I need You, God, and I humbly ask You to show me what it means that You are my Father. I haven’t understood You and there are times I’ve been very angry with You, but now I would like to know You. I ask that You break the enemy’s lies off my mind and heart and give me eyes to see and ears to hear You. I invite You to carry my pain and to fill me and all my empty places with Your Spirit. Thank You that You love me so much. Amen.”
May you find what you are looking for.