As God challenges our church to love and share his Gospel, we have stretched out our typing fingers to write our own Gospel stories--how God's Gospel has transformed our lives. Today, Nichole shares with us her story:
My identity growing up was crafted by two adults whose lives had been enrooted in dismembered, toxic homes. They had not learned a different way and led their family down a similar path. At 15, I started seeking out my sense of worth. What I had was a misplaced sense of hope in each man that pursued me. I blurred sex with being loved and had honestly believed with each person that he would be "The" one to love me sufficiently enough to make me "good enough." When that inevitably failed, I would turn to my drug of choice and numb the feelings. Avoiding feeling rejected, ashamed, and having my hopes severed.
After being homeless for several months, my mom, who had recently remarried invited me to live with her. The roof over my head required I attend church, something foreign in my childhood. I attended several months when I experienced my first Easter service. The pastor spoke of forgiveness and what Jesus had done for not just others but for me. I broke down in an overwhelming flood of forgiveness. I felt a breaking wave that swept my shame away and my shattered hopes were restored and redirected to Christ.
God immediately began working in my life. I stopped dating and my husband was given to me. I know he was given to me as a pillar of strength and integrity as I navigated my family life and being a new Christian.
Since then I have had several chapters of church families surround me and help me separate what I believed from my childhood with what is God's truth. God is still etching truth in my heart and growing me. I am still learning to walk in the freedom He has gifted me and am daily in awe of how much the Bible says He loves me, not because of myself but in spite of it.
Today my hope is fully in Christ and I can see my need for Him daily. He is preparing me for a new chapter to walk out. I will be going back to school and becoming equipped to counsel and lead others to be restored.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes," Romans 1:16.