Mom,

One of the first weeks of school, I started reading through the Old Testament- Hosea, specifically. Hosea chapter two verse fourteen says, “Therefore, I am now going to allure her into the wilderness and speak tenderly to her.”

That’s what God spoke into my heart… “Kelsi, maybe being single and being in this ‘wilderness’ isn’t exactly what you want or asked for, but it’s where you need to be, and I have so much to say to you- but this is a conversation for just the two of us.”

And your situation is similar- when we are distracted and not giving God the focus He deserves, He’ll do whatever it takes to draw us back to Himself. Psalm 107:1 says, “Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”

I know it’s so difficult to give thanks to the Lord when our eyes are on our circumstances, but when our eyes are lifted to Jesus, our good and loving Savior, it becomes a lot easier to be thankful; thankful for His grace and relentless pursuit of our hearts.

I just keep going back to the scene in the Garden… the enemy slithered in and tricked Eve, who then tricked Adam, into eating the forbidden fruit. They immediately realized their faults and felt ashamed. BUT, right after they bit into that fruit, God walked into the Garden- into their mess of a situation- and made them clothes. Even in the midst of their rebellion, He provided for them, cared for them, and loved them.

And that’s the same God we serve.

Every bit of shame and guilt is straight from the enemy. Yes, you messed up. Yes, you made some poor choices. But we all do… and God is aware of that.

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to keep us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:38-39

What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountain and go in search of the one who went astray? And if he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of my Father who is in Heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Matthew 18:12-14

And this is a big deal – in Bible times, herding sheep was a livelihood. If a Shepherd walked away from his flock, there was a lot at stake. He risked losing everything, his possessions, job, and life, for this one sheep.

Why do think they call the Gospel the ‘good news’? Because I am that one sheep. You are that one sheep. But the good news is that our God is the good Shepherd- the One who will leave the ninety-nine behind to find the one.

We’re worth it to Him. You’re worth it to Him.

I love you. God loves you.

I forgive you and God’s forgiven you- there’s evidence at the cross. Nothing you did, will do, or could ever do is too unworthy for His mercy.

His love is enough and His grace is sufficient.

The God of the universe is crazy about you.

You’re loved and valued.