NOTE: This blog was written in 2016, before launching my new blog The Loveliest Balance. I deleted most of my old blogs because I was starting over completely and needed clean space to do so. However, the ones I chose to keep were very near to my heart at the time and still have great importance to me. So you can peek into the old Mel and see how that has shaped who I am now and The Loveliest Balance.
I love the power of story. I love that our testimonies of amazing things God has done in our lives carry so much power, love, grace, and the best thing ever- God's glory.
I was blessed to share my testimony with grade 7 students at Westlake Primary School this week.
I felt like God was wanting me to stress to these youth that He writes the best stories if we let Him. No matter what's happened to us or what we've done, we don't have to be that. The course that our life is moving on can totally change. Our direction can be shifted. God can change everything in the blink of an eye.
That's what He did for me.
The way my life was heading was so destructive. I had a lot of messy things happen to me in childhood that should have affected me a lot more than they did. I did a lot of really stupid things in college that should have affected me a lot more than they did. I was heading down an awful path that could have defined my future but God came in and changed everything.
I remember when I first realized this amazing change in my life. How everything was officially on a new track. I was in Cambodia on the World Race in 2013. I had just shared a lot of my story with my friend Nicole when she said "Melanie, you totally should be addicted to meth and have like 5 kids from different dads." At first, I was so shocked by what she said and tried to find where she was going with this. She continued, "but you're not." I was relieved, we were on the same page. She said "it's because of Jesus and how He's changed everything." She told me that these verses in 1 Peter reminded her of me.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith--more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire--may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
1 Peter 1:3-9
Since then, I've just learned so much to hug my story and love the places where God has brought me from. All of the broken places I've been now shout His glory! I am so happy that my story has so many bumps in the road and pits of brokenness. It's more of a chance for Jesus' redemption and restoration to shine. And I pray so much that I allow my life to grow me greater in faith and result in greater praise and glory and honor.
I'm so thankful that God gives opportunities for me to share about His glory, goodness, and victory in my life. I love to talk about that. He's just the best. He really does write the best stories too.