Hope to Carry On: March 13, 2024

Lenten Devotional Book 2024

Read: Ephesians 2:1-10

“…he loved us, even when we were dead through our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with him, and made us sit with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God.” — Ephesians 2:4b-8

When I was a college student, I was sexually assaulted repeatedly by a person I trusted. Several years later, as I was once again peeling away the layers of that trauma, I kept getting this message from God that said He wanted me to be one of his disciples. NO! No, that can’t be God. I remember crying and crying and saying, “Lord I am not worthy, I am a horrible person, I have done awful things.” Almost everyone who has experienced abuse tends to blame themselves to some extent. I was no different. I felt like I wasn’t worthy because of what happened to me. It didn’t matter that I hated it. It didn’t matter that I had wanted to commit suicide, I was dirty.

I kept praying and crying and talking to God. I was driving down the freeway at the time. Suddenly, the radio came on. I have no idea how that happened because I was totally concentrating on my “conversation” with God. There was a pause and then I heard this song:

I listened, my tears started to dry, and I said, “Okay God, okay. I get it, I will try.”

I have no pain left over from that time. What I have is the GRACE God gave me with His message to me. It was transformative in my life.

Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for giving us your grace, your hope, your love. And with your help, we will attempt to be your hands and your feet and listen when you call. Amen.