This weekend is a pretty special weekend. I didn’t actually realize it until just this morning. But it’s the 10-year anniversary of the Lord melting my cold heart and bringing me back to Him, after 2 years of wandering. He used the Lifelight Music Festival. But He also used dear friends who chose to do whatever they could to not let me go.
As I’ve mentioned lately, I’m in the middle of writing a book, a memoir of sort, and it’s been heartbreaking to go back and remember those first years of me and Pat’s relationship. But it’s also been amazing to remember how God pursued me. How He did not forsake me.
How He loved me, even as I wallowed in despicable sin.
I wanted to share a little bit from one of my chapters. The chapter that describes that day in 2003. Lifelight was a lot smaller. But God was moving and just as alive as He is today.
I was so nervous as I drove back to the festival grounds the next morning. Nervous again about who I would encounter. Nervous about what I would hear. Nervous about finding my friends Pam and Nona. Attendance at the worship service was much higher than the previous day. There were 40,000 in attendance and I had no idea how I would find them. Thankfully God took care of even that small detail and within no time, I had found them and set up my chair next to Brooke.
I don’t remember the message or anything about the service. What I do remember is that right before I sat down, Brooke’s dad Pat said to me, “We love you Missy,” as he gave me a great big bear hug.
I immediately started to cry and I couldn’t stop. I had never felt such love. It’s one thing to feel love and acceptance when you have not made horrible choices that hurt the people in your life. But it’s another to turn your back on family and friends and everything you know that is right, and still receive that love and acceptance.
I cried during the entire service as I sat there. At the end there was an invitation to either start a personal relationship with Jesus, or to recommit to Him. The worship team started to sing “This is the Air I Breath” and as I stood there I wept uncontrollably. I didn’t know what to do.
Brooke, my 14 year-old angel, put her arms around me and whispered in my ear, “Just let it go Missy.”
And I did.
I immediately fell to my knees and I finally opened up my heart to the Lord. After so long of denying any wrong doing on my part, I admitted my rebellion and acknowledged the sinful choices I had made the past two years. I cried out to Him and asked Him to forgive me.
It was as if I was literally transported from the pit of the deepest darkest hole, up into a glorious light.
Tonight we are going to celebrate at Lifelight! We are going to celebrate Jesus and His work in our life! We are going to celebrate that in His unfailing love and devotion, He not only brought me back to Him that day, but He later brought Holly and Pat to Him too.
I want to challenge you today also.
It’s probably likely that you have people in your life that don’t know the Lord. Or maybe they do, but they have been wandering away from Him.
Do not lose hope friends.
Be like my friends at Lifelight that year, and allow God to use you. Step out in faith and give an invitation to Lifelight or to church or just to coffee to show them how much you care. And then just LOVE them. Hug them and tell them you love them and let God do the rest of the work!
And perhaps as you read this, you are the one who doesn’t know the Lord. Perhaps you are the one who does know the Lord, but has been wandering away from Him.
Dear friend, Jesus loves you so much. Even in your sin. He is willing and able and ready to reach down into the deepest, darkest pit, and rescue you.
You just have to let it go.