I am a Christmas story. I was born into a world with a father who was a recovered heroine addict-- already plagued with Hepititus C, a mother who didn't know Christ until a couple of years before having me, and a sister whom with divorced parents and an unideal home situation was still learning what it meant to love people, and herself. I was born into a broken world.
I am an Easter story.
My dad found Christ and changed his life around, and started one of the most powerful homeless ministries San Francisco has ever seen (going on 25 years)-- restoring drug addicts, alcoholics, murderers, pimps, prostitutes, and other prodigals back to the Father. He died a hero, and a dearly remembered pastor, evangelist, friend, and father. My mom surprised us all and rose to take on our family's ministry, and has turned out to be one of the most incredible, committed, charismatic people I know. My sister is in love with Jesus, married with two kids, and our relationship has become more whole and beautiful than I could have ever imagined.
I am a Christmas story.
I myself had the fortune of growing up in a Christian home, so I don't have the horrors of backstories that my family had. My horrors happened in my elementary through college years, where I dealt repeatedly with physical and verbal bullying from classmates & teachers, went through financial ups & downs with my family trying to make rent & put food on the table, battled anorexia for almost 3 years, was physically abused by my boyfriend for over 2 years, was told by doctors I lost my ability to have children, lost my dad to Cancer at 18, coped through alcohol abuse on and off for 4 years (including one year before his death), lived a promiscuous life amongst friends and strangers, and became a cynic towards things like love, and God, and hoping for good things ever again.
But mostly, I am an Easter story.
I grew tired of half-living. That empty-sick-not-wanting-to-wake-up feeling was terrible. Life without Jesus wasn't cutting it. I decided to change my mind. I hated looking in the lie that was my mirror. I decided to be honest about what I felt, who I was, and where I came from. More importantly-- I decided to make a new decision on who I wanted to be. I surrendered my hate, my lust, and my depression to the only person I could think of who might still be interested in loving me-- and He did. And through healing my relationship with God, saying "No" to myself and saying "Yes" to whatever & wherever He called, I've found myself years later-- irrefutably sold-out & crazy-mad for my Savior & King, joyful, fulfilled, adventurous, speaking, performing, and teaching to many adults, teens, and children on this same hope I somehow found, finding new fathers-- new families all over the world, traveling and seeing the world & the church in ways I never imagined, and falling more in love with myself, my work, and with my sweet, redeeming Jesus every single day. I was dead, but now I am alive. I have been resurrected.
Surely, He came for someone like me...
...people like us.
Surely, this is why He came.
We are all a Christmas story. We are all an Easter story. We were born into a broken world, but have the opportunity to die to ourselves and have a completely new, resurrected, & restored life in Him-- behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!
John 10:10: "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly."