Laura Clifford Said "Yes"!
My story is simple. My story is that God loves me. He loves me so much. It took me a long time to accept that even in my broken wretchedness He still loves me. It's hard to understand when so often I mess up but it's true. He's always there, always reminding me that He has a plan and I just need to stop making my own and follow Him. The first time I said “yes” to God was when I got baptized.
It wasn't really a yes, it was mostly Him having to make it so clear that He wanted me that I couldn't keep ignoring it.
The first time I felt God call me to get baptized was when I was a senior in high school. I knew He was making a way for me and that soon he would call me to commit my life to Him. That moment came during my freshmen year at Endicott. I was at a baptism service at Netcast and all I could feel was the overwhelming knowing that God was calling me to walk down that aisle and follow Him.
But I didn't.
I reasoned with myself that I had been baptized when I was younger and I didn't need to do it again. I left that service broken, I felt crushed. I knew what I needed to do and the pain of knowing I had said no to God was horrible. I lived in that until my sophomore year when the next baptism service came. Again, I tried to reason it away. But you cannot stop God from wanting you, you cannot stop Him from pursuing you.
So I said to God: okay, listen if you really want me to do this give me a sign, have my sister ask me if I want to get baptized. In that instance my sister turned to me and asked those very words. All at once God broke me again. This was a different kind of broken than the first. This didn't feel heavy, it was light. It was as if in that moment God took all the pain I had been carrying around out of me and my body was now weightless; sinless.
All I remember praying was: God, may this be real. This cannot be fake. I need to be all in. I can't pretend anymore.
That day changed me. That day, I really understood God's pursuing love for me. Since then, He has used me in ways I could have never imaged, to reach people on my campus that I would have never brought Him up with. God has used me to lead others to Him even though I initially resisted His call.
I wanted to tell you all of this to encourage you. Look and see that God has used me, a doubting and weak girl to help build His kingdom. No matter how far you feel you might be from God, He still wants you. He will still use you, in all of your brokenness.
We are pencils in His hand. He does not need us but chooses each of us for unique purposes. He doesn't choose us based on what we have done; no resume could impress God. Instead, He often chooses us based off what we cannot do. See, He uses our greatest weaknesses in His building plans.
Look at Moses, God called him to lead his people and that requires a lot of strength and speaking skills. Moses had a speech impediment so he questioned God for wanting to use Him to convey God's word to His people. But that's exactly why God choose Moses as his messenger. When we have broken areas in our lives God does not look at those as road blocks but instead as opportunities. Own your insecurities, your failures, and your weak spots because that is exactly where you can expect to see God move.