Written By: Melissa Longval
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south. – Psalm 107:2-3
I grew up in a small town in the small state of New Hampshire. I had heard about Jesus from my friend’s mom…went to church once in a while…even said the Sinner’s prayer. I liked it, but honestly, thought Christians were quite strange. I kept Jesus at a distance for a very long time. I thought I could run my own life. I loved the idea of Jesus, but didn’t want the accountability.
I was smart, quick witted, sarcastic, and angry. My sense of humour was always at the expense of others. Jealousy and gossip were frequent companions of mine. I could act like a nice girl, but I was mean…inside, I was cruel and nasty.
As time passed, I married my childhood sweetheart, bought a house, and tried to start a family. I had my first miscarriage. Then I had my second. Then my third. I realized that I couldn’t control really much of anything in my life and needed help…my heart was broken. I feared that I would never have children. That I didn’t deserve them, because of how I had lived my life, turning my back against God and living my own way.
But God is so kind. He is always kinder than I ever imagine He could be. After testing and painful procedures, I had my beautiful baby girl, Emeria Joy. Seven pounds and six ounces of pure sass!
There was something off in my head. I wasn’t right. After all this time, I wanted to be celebrating, but I couldn’t. One night while nursing, I asked God to fix Emeria…to make her sleep…stop crying…but God in His gentle way whispered deep into my soul, “She’s not the one that needs fixing.”
Oh, my. I was undone. I realized in that moment how far I was from God. All my anger, bitterness, unforgiveness was laid bare and I knew how much it separated me from the Lord. The walls that I had built to protect and shield me from harm throughout my life had blocked the One who loved me unconditionally.
In the rocking chair, holding my precious daughter, I purposed to surrender my life to the Lord and to allow Him to knock down my walls and rebuild my broken heart and dark mind. I took refuge in Jesus, the Redeemer. The One who laid down His life while I was still sinning.
It was a process and it took time. There is no magic wand or pixie dust that brought me change instantaneously. For me, it was choosing, trusting, and reading God’s Word that brought change, all while heeding the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I needed help and that came in the form of beautiful godly friends, Biblical counsel, and even anti-depressants for a short time to help with my severe post-partum depression.
But through every second, God’s kindness was present. His gentle voice and compassion led me to repent and change…to surrender who I was to become who He designed me to be. Jesus truly lifted my burdens and has changed my life forever.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Psalm 34:8
Until next time,