When our journey in friendship with God seems to lead us to prison, we have to process our way through a storm of emotions. “What happened?” we want to know. There we were—we made ourselves vulnerable to God. We committed to being His friend. We opened our hearts to Him. We asked Him to help us learn to love Him better. We were doing our part, cultivating that first Next Level heart attitude—a heart for His friendship and leadership style— now, suddenly, we find ourselves alone, arrested, thrown into a cell, locked down in chains, and slapped with a trial date. We don’t see our prison as a “springboard for spectacular beginnings.” We wonder if we will ever fulfill the dreams and plans in our hearts.
When I was 13 years old, I found myself in this very position. There I was, walking in friendship with God—getting to know Him, even involved in ministry and leading others to Christ at a young age—when suddenly, the life I had known was snatched away from me. My parents separated and later divorced. My security was gone. My daily life was unrecognizable. The dreams in my heart came to seem more like pipe dreams than possibilities. Still, it was during that period that I experienced a redemptive work myself. I was given many opportunities to do what I longed to do—preach.
There I was, wrestling with my chains when God awakened my gift. Right there in the prison, my life’s calling was born. We still have to trust Him to mend our hearts, redeem our confines, and help us live in peace as long as they last. We need God’s help.
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