Today is my favorite Holiday: Easter. Not for the Hallmark reasons... after all, I'm allergic to rabbits and Fair Trade chocolate eggs are impossible to find. It's not because my mom is currently baking a turkey AND a ham, either, although that's up there on the list. It's not even because I got to go to church this morning, hear a great message, and sing my favorite songs. It is because of the phrase I always sign my blog posts with: because He first loved me.
I grew up in a broken home with a single mom. I always felt like I missed out on a lot, and I was a really angry kid. I didn't care how I acted, as long as it got me some sort of acknowledgement. Honestly, I don't know how my mom put up with me. I went to church and I heard about God, but I never really gave it much thought.
I went to camp when I was 11, and there, I heard a speaker talk about God in a way that made him sound like he actually cared about me and thought of me. The speaker explained how my sin put me at odds with God, but Jesus could provide a way out of my sin into a relationship with God... that if I accepted Jesus' forgiveness, he could change my heart and restore my relationship with God. I'd be happy to share the whole story with you, if you're interested. firstname.lastname@example.org. That weekend changed my life. God took away my anger, and he's kept me safe from it ever since.
This is why I run. I have had the greatest debt of all time paid. Jesus loved me so much, he took my selfishness, my anger, my pain, and carried it on his shoulders and replaced it with his love and hope to one day share in his glory. I know how it feels to be freed, now, and now God is calling me to love other people as a reflection of him....
....because He first loved me,