Name: Lindsay Sampson
Occupation: Administrative Assistant
Favorite verse: 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. – Ephesians 3:17-19 (NLT)
Why this verse is important to Lindsay:
“God loves you.” I can still hear my dear friend Karla’s sweet words like it was yesterday. She barely knew me at the time as it was the beginning of our friendship over 4 years ago. It seemed like every time I saw her she would tell me again, “God loves you so much, Lindsay!” Why did she keep saying this to me? I mean at a very young age we all learn “Jesus loves me this I know…” so I knew God loved me, right? Truth was, deep down I didn’t believe I was deserving of God’s love. You see for many years I was a very lost girl. I had a lot of holes in my heart that I tried to fill with all the wrong things. Believing the lies this world tells us, I was looking for love in all the wrong places. I tried numbing the pain with things that only led to more wrong turns and bad decisions. I was drowning in regret, guilt, and shame. How could God possibly love someone who had done the things I had done?
Looking back on it now there were times where I felt God calling me. I don’t know why it took me so long to answer or why I ran from Him for so long. Maybe it’s because I didn’t trust Him with my life and thought my plans were better. Maybe it’s because I couldn’t bear the thought of coming clean with my many sins. Maybe it’s because I didn’t think I was worthy of living a life alongside Jesus. What I do know is He wasn’t going to leave me where I was and He had a plan.
It was no accident that my friend Jeff kept inviting me to church until I finally gave in. It was no accident that the Sunday I showed up, the message was about God’s grace being greater than all of our sin – no matter how big we may view what we have done. It was no accident that a few months later a young lady named Karla would sit next to me at church. It was no accident that other people of faith would walk into my life and teach me how to pray, how to read the Bible, and what it looks like to be in relationship with Jesus.
I remember the first time it hit me. God’s love that is. The first time I not only knew in my head that God loved me but I felt it in my heart. I was at home reading the Bible but I couldn’t tell you what verse or even what book I was in for that matter. What I can tell you is I was brought to my knees and uncontrollably sobbing. God’s overwhelming, all-consuming, everlasting love had hit me. I FINALLY knew what Karla was talking about. This changed everything for me. I realized it wasn’t about my past, or who I was, or what I had done. Get over yourself, Lindsay! It’s not about me at all. It’s all about God! It’s all about who He is and what He has done! Stop wasting valuable time dwelling on the past when God has called me on a mission to let others know about His amazing love.
If you are someone who struggles with your past, I pray that you would know deep in your heart that God’s grace is greater than whatever you have done. The only sin God won’t forgive is the one you won’t take to Him. He is calling you to the cross. I pray that you would experience the freedom, peace, and joy that comes when you let it all go and give it to God. Trust that the Lord is making all things new and that He will turn your ashes into beauty. Let Him transform you into the person He created you to be. My prayer for each and every one of you is that you would know how wide, how long, how high, and how deep God’s love is for you.