For consider your calling brothers, not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise, God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.
1 Corinthians 1:26-27

I recently started a YouVersion study titled: “The Discovery - God’s Call on Your Life.” Following every Devotion the writer poses questions the student is to answer in a personal journal. These are the questions from the first lesson.

Briefly describe your life before Christ.
How did you come to understand you need Jesus?
Describe the events surrounding the moment you gave your life to Jesus.
What changes occurred in your heart/life as a result?
What do you understand now that you didn’t know then?

I’m sharing this because I want you to see how God can transform a life. Sometimes it’s a good thing to look back in order to see God’s work in our lives, but it’s not good to dwell there. Instead, allow him to dwell in you. See that God’s love supersedes self loathing, self pity and self fulfillment.

Before God…

My life before Jesus was sad. I was continually looking for someone to love me, to fill that void. I knew I was missing something vital. I hated myself. I lied. I stole. I swore. I fornicated, I was a phony. I gave away God’s precious gifts—I even murdered one.

Discovering my need for Jesus and the events that drew me to Christ…

People prayed for me. My parents prayed. An invitation on my birthday led me to church one Wednesday evening. That night I met Jesus and he opened my eyes to how much I needed him. My heart broke open and Christ’s blood washed me clean.

Changes in my heart and life…

The first thing to happen? Jesus reunited me with my family—my precious gifts. Then I fled from everything that reminded me of who I had been. The temptation to stay was strong but God got me on a plane to a different locale. For me, I needed distance physically and emotionally so I could see God clearly and heal. He took away bitterness and hate while he poured love—his perfect love—into me.

Understanding Christ’s love for me…

It took time for me to fully understand the extent of God’s love. But time and prayer—and fear of going back to my old lifestyle—helped me to continue taking steps of faith and not look back. There have been great victories and some stumbling—even downright disobedience. But God’s love doesn’t waiver. As I turned things over to God, he changed me. He gave me victory in Christ. I am valuable to him—and to myself, as well.

What I understand now that I didn’t know then…

I didn’t want to see how giving my life to Jesus Christ would free me. I thought surrender to his will would fill my life with rules—and an angry God I could never please. Instead, I found, when I gave my life to Jesus, my chains were broken. He loves me so much, he died for me.

He took my fear and gave me peace. He took my lies and filled me with his truth. He took my loneliness and restored my family—then added to it. He took my weak faith and strengthened it with his Word and fellowship. He took my empty heart and filled it with hope. He took the void in my being and filled it with his Holy Spirit. And he took my sad songs and changed them into worship.

Now he has given me a calling uniquely for me. He gave me a gift and I never imagined the power my testimony could have. He fills my head with words to show his love to others.

Everyday is fresh and new.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away, the new has come. 2 Corinthians 5:17

I am renewed daily. I have repented of my sins and accepted God’s gift of grace so I can live free of guilt. I am forgiven. God calls me his daughter.

If you are still living in your sin—living alone and thinking you’ll never be loved—think again. You are already loved. Turn to the Lover of your soul and be freed.

by Eve Montano