I am utterly amazed. Overjoyed. Overwhelmed.
Somehow God saw fit to use me as an instrument in his plan and a method of bringing hope to people. The funny thing is, it has nothing to do with me at all. Let me explain.
I have been a Christian for years. I have been in church my whole life. But when I was in high school, I finally made an intentional decision to follow Christ- with my lifestyle, with my words, with my personal beliefs. I admit this much: I was [and am] perfectly imperfect, I definitely did not resemble Christ all the time, and I struggled greatly. What I also knew was this: God’s love was gracious to me when I was so undeserving. It was the only thing that got me through some really hard times, especially the times in my life when I felt like no one else was really there for me. Because of His love for me, I felt like the greatest response to that love was to live that love out. During my upperclassmen years of high school, I began to intentionally pray for specific classmates of mine. To this day, that list remains the same. I still pray for these individuals. I believe each of them has an incredible purpose for their life, that God wants to work deeply in them, and take them on the greatest adventure they would ever know. I believed in high school that God placed those people in my life for specific reasons. Most of these people know that I prayed for them, and still do, and many of them do not seem to care.
But I have learned something profound. Do not give up. So many times I felt like it was a waste of my time to reach out to people that seemingly had no care in what I had to say or what I did. Most of the people that I prayed for in high school were not exactly my equals in terms of popularity- they were ones that were heavily involved in school functions, sports, plays, etc. and often I felt like as a Christian, I stood out to many of them more as a self-righteous prude. Honestly, that was not all that false. In my imperfect and fallible way of living out a godly lifestyle, I did not exactly present Christ in the best ways. After graduation, I decided that I would pray for those people more than ever- the specific ones that I believe God had me praying for. To my amazement, God had done wonders. Some of my classmates that I never would have thought to be strong Christians, are so deeply in love with God, their hearts ready to serve him completely.
One by one, the classmates that I spent nights praying for, fasting for, and even weeping for, are turning to God. This isn’t about converting anyone. It is about God’s love shining into the dark areas of our lives and revealing who he really is and who he has created us each to be. My prayers for these classmates were never to be Christians- it was always to become godly men and women, living a lifestyle founded on the Word of God and not on religion or legalism, showing that same love to the world. And I have begun to see this happen. In spite of all of my failed attempts at sharing or showing God’s love, in spite of my sin and selfishness, in spite of sometimes self-righteousness, God decided to still hear my prayers for people that I believed he had created with incredible purpose. In due time, I believe- or at least hope and pray- I will see each of those former classmates come to know, truly know, God- a God who deeply loves them.