By: Abby Randolph
I spent the weekend with a group of teens at a youth conference in Steubenville, Ohio. It was quite possibly the best and most difficult thing I have ever done. I sweat more than I have in my whole life (sorry… TMI??), got only 6 hours of sleep total, and experienced some of the most true and fierce sacrificial love I have ever felt. I went into the weekend with an intense fire and with a great expectation to see God move. AND Y’ALL, God wrecked my heart.
Within two hours of arriving, God literally brought me to my knees. I was stripped of any and all strength I had and was faced with a choice. Tears fell down my cheeks as I cried out to my God. I laid down my will and surrendered everything that I was and hoped to be. Then, I raised my hands and worshiped my God; the One who fights my battles.
My friends, we have a God who is always relentlessly and recklessly pursuing your heart. A God who runs after you. He loves you! He has spoken how He feels about you and He is never going to leave you. He knows you inside and out. He desires your heart. He wants to be in a relationship with you.
It’s so easy to talk about God or to read about him. It’s so easy to go to Beloved, or youth group, or Pine Hills, or a conference, and have an experience of God. But He’s more than just an experience! Have you truly encountered God? Have you encountered the great and intense love that He has for you? Have you encountered His immeasurable mercy and healing? He’s calling your name. He’s drawing you to himself, even in your messiness and brokenness.
I’m messy. I was messy before I encountered God, I’m messy after. Since coming home, I feel messier than I ever have before. And that’s okay. I’m broken. I’m wounded. I have questions. There are days that I struggle. I still fall into believing the devil’s lies at times. But in the depths of my heart, God speaks truth: I am known and loved and cared for. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am sought after and fought for.
All these things are true for you too, my friend.
It doesn’t matter where you are, where you’ve been, or how far you’ve think you’ve gone. God loves you. God loves you and there isn’t anything you can do to stop Him. He wants you.
Father, in the Name of Jesus, I ask that you flood the person reading this with your presence. I pray that they would encounter you right now, in Jesus’ name. Whisper into their heart their belovedness, that they may begin to see themselves the way you do. I ask that you would send a greater outpouring of your Spirit, the Comforter, to them. Meet them where they are right now and fill them with your love. Thank you, Jesus, for what you’re doing, what you have done, and what you will do. Thank you, Father, for pursuing and for running, arms open wide, to meet your children. Come, Holy Spirit. Thank you, God. Amen.