As I come to the end of my sentence, (16 days left on the bracelet) I can't help but look back and think of a time in my life where I was lying in a hospital bed as a result of trying to take my own life. I felt helpless, hopeless, and just beaten down. I had let society tell me who I was (an ex-offender and felon who didn't deserve a second chance or even a job).
I opened my eyes to see a woman who has not only become my friend and mentor, but a mother figure. Through her, God revealed His love for me. This woman was Linda. No matter what bad choices I made in my past, she never gave up on me.
She said that she loved me and she believed in me and she also quoted a famous line from Joyce Meyer, "Are you gonna be "Pitiful or Powerful?"
That's what I love most about Linda. She doesn't pull any punches. . . she challenges me to be all that God created me to be, and I realized, at that moment, she was right. Was I gonna let this world tell me who I was by the bad choices I made or was I gonna fight and prove them wrong?
After I got out of the hospital, I continued to look for a job. One day, Linda call and told me the place she worked was going to give me a chance in the housekeeping and laundry department.
I am so grateful for that job. I have now been working there for a year and I want to thank Harry S. for the opportunity to work for him. I also want to thank the management and all of my coworkers for their encouragement and support, for not judging me, and for accepting me for who I am. And to my friend, Linda. . . I love you and I would not be where I am today had you not pushed or challenged me. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I used to think I had to barter, plead, or try hard to earn the Lord's favor, but as the prodigal son learned, the Father's love is unconditional. A love based on conduct would keep people guessing, "Have I done enough?" Instead, God cares for you SIMPLY because you're you and He expects nothing in return.
When God looks at His loved ones, He doesn't focus on past failures, faults or sins. He see's the heirs to His kingdom - men and women who love Him and desire to spend eternity in His presence. No matter how far we may wander from the Lord's perfect will for our lives, we are always welcome back.
The Bible teaches God's love cannot be lost, regardless of sin or poor decisions (though we may have to live with the consequences). Our Father's arms are always open, and I just want to thank Him for that. I am looking forward to putting this all behind me and moving on with God's perfect will for my life.
Editor's note: I love you too, Joy!
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