Hey there. Let me introduce myself. My name is Jessica. I started writing this article a few months ago not knowing what I was writing it for, and as I revisited it to finish it for “His Endless Love” I felt like God whisper to me Erase what you wrote and give Me the blank page. So I copied all that I had typed out, pressed delete, and now I start fresh.
I was born and raised in Connecticut. I lived there until after college when I moved to California for a year and a half. Since then I have been back, and have grown a family in the same town I grew up in. My husband, myself, and our two children live near the end of a dead end street in a quiet neighborhood where it is normal for the neighbor’s kids to come over and play in our backyard and vice versa.
But let me rewind, and tell you my story, that is really His story still being written. I grew up attending a small church. When I was old enough, I went through confirmation class and made the statement of faith. However, it wasn’t until a few years later that I began to understand more about who Jesus was and actually have the desire to follow Him. These were days that I shifted from knowing all of the stories about Jesus, to actually knowing Him. During my last two years of high school and very early on in college I remember spending so much time in my prayer journal, just writing to God. I remember beautiful moments of me clinging to who He was.
My story was secure. I was letting Him write the chapters of my book, and I knew the end. That is until I took the pen out of His hand and began writing my own chapters. These chapters were filled with me not really caring about the God I had followed, and all about living in the moment for me. Although there were many good things that came out of these chapters, these pages hold many regrets and painful memories.
There is the page when I lived in California, and I was lying in bed not knowing who I was. And then the page after a break up that I laid down on the concrete in my apartment complexes parking lot and cried my eyes out because of the heartbreak. Pages filled with broken hope, shattered hearts, a distorted view of love, and beauty.
Beauty, in my broken life? Yes. The beauty includes many moments when I felt God was calling me to come back to Him. I remember one time when I left a church service on Easter and I could barely stand because He had rocked me to the deepest part of my soul. I remember bracing myself on the railing as I walked down the stairs leaving the church. Still, I kept holding tightly to my pen.
The traces of beauty in the pages filled with brokenness also included something else. Truth. The truth about Jesus, dying on a cross, yet defeating death and abandoning the grave. This is the story of redemption proved by the greatest act of sacrificial love. This is the truth that always carried Hope.
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
John 20: 24-28
I love when Thomas sees Jesus after His resurrection. Thomas is in a house, with a locked door (not unlike the condition of my heart in this part of my story), with the other disciples. Jesus suddenly stands among them, with the scars from the nails that held Him to the cross. Yet He was alive. Death couldn’t hold the power of His endless love. His love couldn’t keep the lock on my stubborn heart.
Once I came back to my faith, after 7 years, it was like God erased what I had planned for my future, and gave me a blank page. Just like the scars of Jesus, the chapters that I wrote never went away, but the new pages were there for Him to write the rest of my story. And just like Thomas, I can act in doubt, and then stand in awe of the love of Jesus before I even touch His scars.
If we are honest, it is easy to want to be the author and write the next chapter, or chapters of our life. We want to know the end of the story and have the storybook ending. There have been times in my faith journey that haven’t been easy, there were uncertain times, times of pain and struggle, and I sometimes don’t know what the next page will hold when I give Him the pen or even the next paragraph. But I know that His story is always good because He is always good. I know that when we let the Author of salvation write our story, the end is always beautiful. He overcomes death. He makes beauty from ashes. He redeems all that was lost. He stands victorious. That is a beautiful ending.
One of my most said prayers can be translated to Here is the pen, write my story, Your story. Are you holding tightly to the pen that is in your hand? Let go of the grip of that pen you are holding. Hand it to Him. Let Him whisper to you, Erase what is written and give Me the blank page.
Author Bio: Jessica has a deep love for Christ and a desire to follow where He may lead. She desires for women to know that they are loved by a beautiful Creator, and in hopes to encourage women in their walks with Christ, she began blogging on her site The Path I Follow. Jessica currently lives in Norwalk, CT with her husband Mike, and two children, Charlie and Olivia. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with friends and family, walks at the beach, helping with women’s ministry at her church, and relaxing on her parent’s boat. You can learn more about Jessica and read her weekly blog posts by visiting her website or FaceBook page.