by Ana Martinez
My oldest daughter just turned 16. As I prepared for her birthday morning celebration, I rummaged through old photographs. Each image held a memory so near and dear to me. Instantly, I was right back at that specific moment in time.
I was 16 when I became pregnant with her. It wasn’t easy quickly turning into an adult at such a young age. However, the day I had her, I knew what true unconditional love was. Many could have looked at my pregnancy and viewed it as hopeless and that I would never amount to anything. Not God! Yes, the sexual sin was my mistake but in the midst of my poor decisions that had a negative affect on my emotions and confidence, God blessed me with a beautiful child. Children are never a consequence. My daughter is a gift from God. How has He loved me so much as to entrust me with such a gem despite my failures and mistakes?
As I gazed at her 1st birthday party picture of me holding her tightly in my arms, I wanted to tell the younger version of myself, “It’s all going to be okay. Jesus still loves you, pour into your daughter and stop holding onto the things of the past.”
You are greater than any bad decision you have or will make. God truly has given me beauty for ashes. I get to invest into my children all the love I have inside and they have been an example to me of all the love I was searching for. If you’re lonely, God is with you. Look to Him and stop holding onto your shortcomings. You have been forgiven. Embrace the blessings He has granted you, small or big. Always remember no matter how far you have drifted away He is waiting for you with open arms, ready to cast your sin as far as the east is from the west.
“I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me.” | Psalm 13:6
Ana is a devotional writer for Voices Against the Grain, a blog and weekly online radio show aiming to advance God’s Kingdom in a “do your own thing,” society.