Recently the Arkansas Baptist State Convention hosted a training for leaders. The training focused on Equipping Churches to Minister to Women in Crisis. Drawing from my story, I shared five things I hope my biological mother heard when she discovered she was (unexpectedly) expecting me. Most of you know I am adopted and do not know my birth story. I have often wondered what my birth mother went through in the days leading up to my birth and following my birth. I am thankful for her decision to give me a chance at life!
The more I thought about these five truths, the more I wanted to share them with everyone! I encourage you to take a few minutes and read these truths and believe them for your life! Then I encourage you to share these truths with a friend or family member facing a crisis. Each truth is straight from the heart of God!
You are loved! Mistakes have a way of making us feel “less than.” Less than the standard and expectation we set for ourselves. Less than the standard and expectation set by others. Often, we find ourselves in crisis because we are looking for love and acceptance in the wrong places or in the wrong way. When the bottom falls out of the situation, it leaves us feeling unloved. Some people find themselves in a crisis because of sinful actions of others. When that happens, loved is the last thing you feel. Isn’t it good to know that no matter what lands someone in the place of crisis, we can turn to the author of love and the sustainer of our souls?
The love of God is transformational in our lives. It reminds us of who God is and who we are in our relationship with Him. 1 John 4:10 says, “This is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” God’s love reminds us that we are chosen, accepted, and valued—no matter what!
You are never beyond God’s reach! Trouble does not surprise God, overwhelm God, or negate His plan. God, in His sovereignty, providence, and plan, is faithful to work all things together for our good and His glory. (Romans 8:28)
Sin is real, and the impact of sin is real. Sin separates us from God. But praise God, sin does not have to define our lives! Jesus came to make way for us to be in a relationship with God. The Gospel message is one of death to life. It is the ultimate exchange of our sin for Jesus’ righteousness.
In moments of crisis, we often turn to our feelings as a compass. Instead, we must turn to the truth in God’s Word. Jesus came, lived, died, and rose again to proclaim victory over sin and everything that separates us from the Father. Jesus is the way, He is the truth, and He is the life. (John 14:6) We are never beyond God’s reach because Jesus made a way for us to be safe and secure forever.
God cares for you, and so do others! Right now, you can know that God cares, and others care for you. As I put this list together, I spoke with a Christian counselor and several pregnancy crisis leaders. All of them have counseled many people in crisis. Each one reminded me of something important. When someone finds themselves in a crisis and reaches out for help, the person may not be ready for a five-step plan for recovery or an answer to every problem they face. Really, what he or she may want to know is if someone cares. I am thankful we can share that God cares and that we care. Listen to these powerful verses of scripture:
- “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” Psalm 68:19
- “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
- “Carry each other’s burden, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
Your mistakes do not define you! When the bottom falls out of life, the bottom is not the end of your story. All of us are on a journey, and just like any journey, it has a start, middle, and finish. Three words help us to understand God’s ongoing work in our lives. The words are salvation, sanctification, and glorification.
- Salvation: When you think of salvation think of a fresh start or a new birth. (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- Sanctification: When you think of sanctification think of growing and becoming more like Jesus. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
- Glorification: What God starts in salvation and continues in sanctification God finishes in glorification. When we see Jesus, we will finally be like Him. (1 John 3:2)
Engaging in our spiritual journey moves us beyond our mistakes and provides a way for God to bring purpose to the pain and meaning out of the mess. A clarifying question we can ask is this: “Where am I in my spiritual journey, and how can I be conformed to the image of Jesus?”
God has a plan for you, and you can trust Him! Trust can be hard for all of us. It requires putting our hearts on the line as we place our faith in another. Often, we keep God and others at arm’s length and in a cycle of constantly having to prove themselves. Why? The answer is that we don’t trust them. I am so thankful that God’s demonstrated love took place long before I was born. And His demonstrated love has everything to do with Him seeing me in my brokenness and shame and offering the only way for me to be saved and redeemed. God’s plan is good. God’s plan brings healing. God’s plan meets us in our mess and offers life. When we trust God, we are trusting His character in the midst of our broken circumstances. And the moment we do, we have a solid foundation on which to build our lives. Trusting God invites us to know God and to experience His work as we surrender to His good plan.
As I share these five truths with you, I want to put them in a bottom-line thought. Life is hard, and all of us are broken and need a Savior. Friend, the Gospel is our hope! As we center our minds on the cross of Jesus Christ and the healing He provides, let’s embrace the One who came, lived, died, and rose again to proclaim victory over sin and the grave!
Thinking back to my birth mom, I wonder if she ever dreamed that her decision to carry her child to birth, place her child up for adoption, and give her child a chance at a meaningful life would lead to a day like today? A day where I, by God’s grace, am alive and sharing biblical truth—truth that will impact another person’s life in the middle of their crisis, so he or she can not only choose life, but also experience life.
May we know and believe that God is willing and able to save and transform our lives because that is who He is, and that is how He works. Grace… we all need it. And for those of us who have received grace in our darkest moment, we know it is found in Jesus… only Jesus.