Living in Christ means living free. We are free to serve people wholeheartedly because our status doesn’t matter. We are free from death because God promises life to those who believe. We are free from the burdens and shame caused from sin.
Why am I talking about freedom? It’s not just because I am American.
I am talking about freedom because so many Christians forget to live freed. Many Christians walk through life full of shame because they are not enough. (Let me let you in on a secret, you’re not enough. But God is!) Sometimes we forget that we are set free from our sins, and then we beat ourselves up. We think “God could never forgive me for this,” but he does! I know I am prone to relentlessly beating myself up for the mistakes that I make. In fact, I beat myself up for things that I didn’t even do wrong. It is a daily task to remind myself of the love God has for me. I have been reminded of this more and more over the past two months than ever before. Even though a series of events have left me battered and bruised I am reminded that I am free to find my identity in Christ.
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10
You see? Our God is the one who can redeem us from any situation and make us new. So go and live freed knowing that God is our freedom. Throw off the shackles of sin and shame and stop living life like someone without a savior.
I have been in England for about week and a half and let me tell you, I have been having so much fun. I have to take a second to tell you about a reunion that made my heart overflow with joy. The first day to see my kids and friends in Gateshead was on a Sunday morning. Since we had church that day, I was looking forward to greeting all the church members. Our Sunday morning routine includes driving two precious girls (sisters) to church. One of which is a guitar student. As I walked up to their house to knock on the door to get them for church a familiar four year old face peaked out the window. Meeting my eyes she began to squeal with excitement jumping up and down (I could hear her from outside the house squealing “EMILYYYY”). I laughed and when she jumped into my arms, I gave her and my guitar student a massive hug.
The day after the sweet reunion we decided to go on a “bus adventure day.” Over the course of 11 hours we went on 12 different buses and covered 48.6 miles! The day was full of adventures including the beach, Saltwell Park, the Metrocenter, Newcastle, and the church! Jet lagged and exhausted I returned home that night and went straight to bed.
Although the kids keep me on my toes and sometimes wear me out, I never tire of being with them. I have a passion for helping young teens grow in faith, maturity, and confidence. I believe that young people are the most ridiculed age group. They are viewed as the “technology obsessed rebels” who can’t carry a conversation. Teenagers are people too. They want to have someone love them. They need mentors who will be there for them just because they need Jesus too. In my opinion, teens long to be noticed by adults. They want someone to come alongside them and take interest in what they are doing. Just like adults, they just want to be loved. My goal is to make a difference in the lives of young people because young people have the ability to change the world for the better.
Wow time has flown! I can’t believe today is the last day of February. There are so many things going on, so many doors being opened, I’ve lost count of them all. There are exciting things taking place concerning Croatia and I cannot wait to share them with you! (Be patient with me, I am still working out some details). Thank you for all the prayers and support that I have received throughout this journey. God is good all the time, because all the time God is good.