“…I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
December 1997 was a memorable time in my life. I was a sophmore student at the University of Texas at Austin. My freshman and sophmore years were full of partying and doing anything I could to feel important, special, wanted and fulfilled. I remember getting drunk one night on the infamous 6th street where partying occurred in Austin. Due to the high content of alcohol in my system I vomited on the street. Sheepishly looking around to see if my friends would help me, my friends pointed and laughed hysterically only adding onto the shame and embarrassment I already felt. This began my journey of feeling weary of the lifestyle I was living. I felt increasingly empty. The friendships I had were superficial.
Furthermore, I experienced strain in my relationship with my family due to the lifestyle I was choosing. My parents did not know what to do with me. I was not studying and failing my classes. No matter how much they encouraged me or threatened me I did not care about life. Both of my sisters attended college with me during my freshman year and both tender and tough love did not work on me. As time went on, I felt more and more weary of my lifestyle but I was not ready to let it go.
On December 2007, I went home for the holidays to see my parents. I had never seen faces with so many emotions – surrender, grief, disappointment, confusion, love. They told me that they were surrendering me to the Lord by letting me make all the decisions in my life. I would be responsible for my choices and they would not rescue me any longer. I could feel the knot in their throats as they held back tears. Throughout their message, they emphasized that they loved me and the only thing they ever wanted me to know was God’s love.
That evening I felt a strong conviction from the Lord to surrender my life to Him. I got on my knees and wept feeling the burden of my waywardness and sins. However, as I gave them to the Lord, I began experiencing freedom and joy from forgiveness that I had never experienced. When I went back to college after Christmas break, I had no desire to return to my weary lifestyle. People were surprised how quickly and drastically I changed. I had the opportunity to share with people about the restoration God brought to my life. No longer did I feel weary and ashamed. Instead, I began experiencing the abundant life consisting of meaningful friendships, true joy and fulfilled purpose in life.
I learned that there is no sin too great for God to forgive. Through placing our faith in Jesus Christ we can experience true restoration. Since December 1997, life has not been without trials. However, even in the midst of the deepest trials, I continue to experience joy, freedom and abundant life through my relationship with Jesus Christ. Do you need God’s restoration in your life?