I can remember it as if it was just yesterday. There I was, a single parent with two kids, completely lost, broken-hearted, and literally broke! I had fallen into such depression and despair I wanted to leave this world and never return. I was asking myself: “How did I get here? This isn’t how I imagined my life to end up.” Over and over that night I just kept rewinding all the mistakes I had made that brought me to this place. I had lost hope.
I went to bed exhausted from condemnation and shame. I fell asleep ...
During the night I had a dream. The Lord was talking to me. He showed me an envelope. My life was in this envelope. He said, “If you give me your whole life, I will give you ‘Abundant Life.’”
When I woke up Sunday morning, there was a burning hope inside my heart. Then I remembered a church my family attended as a child. I could hardly get my kids ready fast enough, pulled myself together and ran out the door, up the hill to this childhood church.
There I sat, back row of course. I didn’t feel worthy enough to sit up closer, so I thought. As I was listening to the worship then the message, hope began to rise up in me. It was as if God was giving me the opportunity to do a “do-over” for my life.
I left church that morning with so much hope and a renewed sense of life and purpose. I was remembering this man named Jesus from my childhood. He was my best friend. I walked with him and talked with him as a child. He was wonderful! He understood all my complaints and when I was downcast, he would always cheer me up. He was my defender and truly, my hero. Then life happened.
I slowly started to walk away from my hero. More problems came. One bad choice led to another bad choice. I was faced with an avalanche of consequences, with no end in sight. But God!
I thank God for the broken road that led me back to my hero. He’s given me a (abundant life) hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11 says;
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
That following Monday, I went on a temporary job assignment at Sierra Nevada Job Corps. There, I met my husband. God moved swiftly! My redeemer lives.
Since that desperate and lonely Saturday night, my hero, Jesus, has continued to redeem every bad choice, mistake and failure. But, most importantly, he’s restored my true identity and purpose for living. I desire to see all who are broken-hearted and needing a hope and a future to experience the hope there is in Christ Jesus. He is the way, the truth and the life – abundant life! John 10:10 says, “The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but God has come to give you life and life more abundantly!”
The Lord has certainly kept his promise to me; he has given me “Abundant Life” as I gave him my full life (heart). He continues to fill me with hope every day as I face challenges beyond my capacity.
It is my prayer for every reader, that you too would give Jesus your full life today. Through his death on the cross, he offers a “do-over” for all men/women. I pray that hope would be restored in your heart and you would experience his perfect love – without condemnation or shame. I pray you would know the plans and purposes he has for your life. He is and will always be your greatest hero!
Won’t you ask him this day into your heart and experience the abundant life he has for you.
Karin Hockman is with Carson City House of Prayer and Northern Nevada National Day of Prayer.