God Can Use It All
by Vickie Laures- July 2, 2020
I remember the day so clearly when God pulled me away from women's Ministries to serve in our church’s Youth Ministries. If you would have told me I would be making that decision a couple years prior I would have laughed. In fact, I do remember laughing at a phone call from Pastor Mich Michl when he invited me to come and help out in the high school youth program! He thought he had heard that I was interested, which I never ever said that to anyone, so it amused me to say the least. I was so involved with the women's Ministries and loving it that I did not feel any call to help out with the kids in our youth at the time. But through events that were happening with my oldest of four while she was in junior high, God called me into a new ministry, a new chapter and I had no doubt of what God wanted me to do. But I also never thought that God would lay this on my heart so heavy and with it He also awoke in me many things that I had gone through in my high school years to show me why the change in ministries.
You see, in the last part of my 8th grade year when my parents divorced, it sent me into a downward spin. I made some dumb choices, as I felt very lost and confused, feeling the foundation of my life collapse underneath me. Unsure now of what it meant to be a Christian because of having Christian parents who divorced, I wandered in many different areas of life making one bad choice after another. The one thing I’m so thankful for in those crazy and confusing years was that God brought my future husband into my life. His name is Mark and he proposed on my graduation day and we got married 5 months later. I had turned 18 a couple days before I graduated so I was so thankful to be able to make my own decisions in life. Then a year after our wedding we had our first born. I was 19 and I loved being a mom, it was a good fit for me, and I was very thankful. But as time passed, I found myself feeling empty inside. Now 20, staying home taking care of a baby, and meeting the needs of the home, the husband, and my adorable baby, I wondered, was this it, was this ‘happily ever after? I felt empty, and I didn’t know why. Was I trying to create a family, one that I could control and keep together? I could see that there was a great chance that I could fail at this task. I remember thinking that on our own its impossible to have the ideal family that I so longed for, but that maybe the dream was just a fairy tale.
Shortly afterwards I had the most important day of my life and it began with a phone call, I answered it and it was my mom. At this time in her life she had as much dysfunction as me, and she was still married to this man and so her healing was not to come for a while. Her husband was an abusive alcoholic with deep seeded problems that made me feel uncomfortable in my own home during those high school years. I was so thankful to now be married and out of that home so when she called, she had just wanted to tell me that she had talked to my brothers and they had decided that I not going to heaven. She talked to me about the choices that she felt I was making and had decided that I was not a Christian. I was a little offended to say the least, mainly because I viewed her life as no more messed up than mine but said thank you for the phone call and quickly said goodbye. Figuring now that I would go to the living room while my daughter was sleeping and shake it off, but God had quite a different plan. In the few steps that it took to get to the living room I felt like I could see my life from God's perspective and all my choices and my attitudes were revealed for what they were and as God sees them. The weight of my sinful nature, the selfishness, and a heart that had hardened from pain, I felt so much shame that it was overwhelming.
As I looked toward my living room, beams of light shone down to the middle of the room. And it was at that place I dropped to my knees, confessed my sins, and gave my life completely to God to be used for His glory from that day on. I laid my life down before Him and got up to follow Jesus from that day on no matter the cost. He changed my life that day, and He showed me His Mercy through His forgiveness, His grace through receiving me as his daughter. He cleansed me and gave me a purpose that I should live from that day on to glorify His name.
So many changes started happening that day and they came from the inside, as He took over. One of the many gifts was a new hope inside that I had never experienced before. Living now made sense and not that I had every question answered but I knew where to get the answers and that everything I had gone through had A purpose. God started putting the pieces of the puzzle of my life together and helping me to understand every purpose for the hard times and the pain that came from it. I finally understood that He let me experience so many hurts so that I could understand the hurts that the kids were going through. So I found myself exactly where God had ordained me to be at that time so He could use the pain and the journey of my healing to help others in youth ministries. He taught me He never lets our suffering go without purpose when we surrender it to Him.
There are so many that get lost along the way, whether it’s their upbringing, or something that happened that caused pain which grew a hardened heart, or maybe it was events from the past that caused great disappointments that have been buried so deep and bitterness took hold. I learned to trust God in the hardship and even in that He has a plan. Whatever it is, when we open up and let God come in and we repent and own our mistakes, He cleans it and heals it. It’s not by our own ability to be restored but by His blood that was shed on the cross. He gives us now His spirit and changes us on the inside. Correcting our thoughts, which in turn can change our behavior.
Even in the chaos we see today in our world God can change hearts. Just as He taught me how to forgive and let go of events that happened that caused me pain in my heart both as a child and adult, He continues to teach me to forgive and love unconditionally. I pray for people to turn to God and learn these beautiful things from Our Savior. It’s a life of blessing and a life of peace.
There is only one path that leads to this change, one door to open and it is through the cross where Jesus died for our sins to save us. I know He waits for all to turn to Him and confess. A new beginning, a new life, just as He concord death and He rose again, we too shall rise to a new life in Him. The way is open and He calls us to come.
We live in crazy times right now and even through all the craziness, all the uncertainties and all the changes, my hope still resides in Christ alone. I just want to go where He leads before, He calls me home. Today I’m thankful to still be helping those kids that He sent me to but today they are young adults. God has a purpose for us all and I truly believe, if we surrender everything, He doesn’t waste a thing, for HE makes all things new.
Rev. 21:5 Behold, I am making all things new.