Chloe - Loved
I gave my life to Jesus when I was 3 years old. But following Jesus for a lifetime is a process, and not an easy one. When I was 12 I asked God a question that I will never forget. I said “God, how do I know that I really love You and trust You when my life is so easy? I want to know my faith is real.” I didn’t know it at the time, but everything that I knew about my life was about to change.
My father left my family and moved to a different state and my mom took my family and followed him. I lost everything I had known in one felled swoop, but I knew enough to lean in to Jesus. My mom was praying for a restored family and I wanted God’s will, whatever that was, but I eventually decided I didn’t care what it was. Then my dad moved back in the week after I moved to college. I couldn’t come home to visit without having to face the truth about myself. I had built up anger and hatred in my heart towards my dad. I didn’t want to love my dad or honor him. It wasn’t fair for me to forgive him all at once for all the time he had been gone. I couldn’t. But God told me very clearly, “If I can forgive him, so can you,” and my unforgiveness was not only hurting me - it was hurting God.
If I was to be more like Christ, I had to love my dad whether I wanted to or not. But once I decided to do what God had asked, He changed my life. I had built walls in my heart and hadn’t realized it. With the help of Jesus, I began the process of breaking down those walls. Because I chose forgiveness, Jesus was able to completely remove those walls so that I could be more loving. I can now honestly say I love my dad. And not just that, but I’m able to love people better because of Christ in me. In choosing forgiveness, Jesus became the Lord of my life and I have not regretted one day of serving Him.