by Mary Snyder
There are years of my life filled with too many men, too many parties, and just too much of all manner of bad stuff. I lived out the country song “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places” before it even existed. I walked around in pain—just wanting someone to want me.
I knew what unconditional love was all about. I’d found that love in Jesus when I was only 11 years old, but I’d drifted so far I didn’t think I could find my way back. My desire to find the total acceptance I found in Jesus turned me into that super-needy, clingy girl who would do anything to get a guy—and most anything to keep one. And for the record, none of my tricks worked. Every one of them backfired. I ended up alone over and over—and more miserable then when I started.
With each bad relationship, a little more of my self died. With each time I begged a guy to stay, a little piece of my self-respect was ripped away. I would love to tell you this only happened a time or two—but it happened more times than I care to count. I remember many of them, and they are all painful—but praise the Lord, God redeems! But let’s get back to the story.
I wanted a relationship. I felt like a part of me was missing—because it was. I was missing Jesus in my life. I just didn’t know it. I thought about God, church, and the Bible from time to time, but I’d gone so far I just didn’t know how to make it back.
I would go out of my way to drive through church parking lots. As I slowly rolled by the stained glass windows and oversized double doors, I would remember my days in church. I didn’t know if church was the answer, but I knew something had to give. Life was hard—and it soon got much harder.
A baby, a failed marriage—yes, in that order—made the next years a struggle. I managed to break away from an abusive husband and slowly begin to find my way back to God.
That first Sunday back in church was like coming home. I knew what had been missing—it wasn’t a man, it was Jesus. I still remember bowing my head and praying for Jesus to give me that second chance—but He’d never taken away my first chance. I prayed for forgiveness and promised to follow Him faithfully.
I’ve stumbled and I’ve fallen as I’ve followed Jesus. I’ve stepped into sinful seasons with eyes wide open and I’ve tripped over my own good deeds. Through all of it God has been my faithful deliverer.
I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand (Psalm 40:1-2).
His love pursued me. His love saved me. His loved delivered me.
All Scripture taken from Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.