He Makes You Good Enough

The day my life changed forever, I was just a sweet, normal teenager with questions and insecurities. Studious and responsible, I tried very hard to be good, and more than anything else, I wanted to make my parents happy and proud of me.
I was interested in the things of God, and for a time, the nuns at my Catholic school in Ecuador thought I might have the same calling they did. One day they showed me the convent where they lived and asked if I would ever consider living that lifestyle. Even as a child, my heart was for marriage and family, and I hoped I wasn’t being selfish.
Wanting to be a good person, when I began to recognize the injustice happening in my country and around the world, I decided to become an attorney and defend the poor. I worked hard to be accepted. All my life I tried to be good, to make myself worthy. Don’t we all want to be good?
What If You’re Not Good Enough?
But no matter how much I tried, I still felt that something was missing. I knew my efforts were good and would produce a positive outcome—but I also knew they were not quite good enough. I carried so much in my heart that needed to be touched, healed, and restored. For 11 years I held a secret that left me feeling impure and damaged, even dirty. I remember confessing this secret to a priest when I was 8 years old so I could have my first communion. In a way this helped bring me relief, but it didn’t take away the shame. My relationship with God was based on good works and good behavior; that was how I knew God, but I slowly became aware that my goodness was not enough.
But 32 years ago today, I made the best decision of my life, and everything changed.
His Victory Is Yours
When I attended an evangelical church service with my mother, it was like God came alive to me. Though I can’t remember exactly what the pastor talked about, I do remember what I felt in my heart as we worshipped God at the beginning of the service. The music and the words we sang were like fire inside me. I started crying quietly and wiping my tears. The pastor talked about what Jesus did for us on the cross, and though I had heard the details of the crucifixion, this time was different—I began to understand.
Jesus gave it all for me. He suffered the most excruciating pain and was crucified for me, taking my sins, my self-hatred, and the secret I had concealed for 11 years. He died for all of that, and then He gave me His victory.
As the pastor asked who wanted to receive Jesus into their heart, I was completely ready. “I do,” I said, and they came and prayed the most amazing prayer with me.
He Makes You Whole
I accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord and received the victory of His resurrection. Every single burden, impurity, and ugliness I felt lifted off of me, and I became pure for the first time—I was a new, amazing person in Jesus. I could not do enough to deserve my salvation. It was not because of my own goodness, because I couldn’t be good enough. It was solely because of Jesus’ death on the cross, the perfect Lamb who was sacrificed in my place, so I could live for eternity in my heavenly Father’s arms.
I had never felt as pure, loved, and beautiful as I did that evening. Never before had I felt the presence of God in such a powerful way. From that moment forward, everything changed. I went from darkness to light. The Holy Spirit touched my heart and began to live inside of me. My life became radically different in the best of ways.
What Knowing Jesus Has Been Like
For the past 32 years, my life has been filled with joy, peace, and purpose—and most important, I have the best Friend I could ever imagine: God Himself, whose Holy Spirit makes all things happen in His perfect will. Since that day, I have been a different woman, filled with the understanding that I will never—absolutely never—lack in His love.
What is your relationship with God like? Do you feel you have to work to enter Heaven? Or do you know your Father’s heart for you and understand He already did all the work for you?
I encourage you to give God the same opportunity I did. He has never left me, not even for a second. He really is a loving, faithful, merciful God who wants only goodness for us.
I truly believe that just as all of us make mistakes and are tempted to sin, we also can feel the wooing of God’s Spirit bringing us closer and closer to His heart. He is always ready to reveal His love for us and let us know a relationship with Him is not about the works we do or how good we can be. It is about His love for us through Jesus, who died on the cross for us and resurrected in victory to make us His beloved children with a wonderful purpose and future. He won’t disappoint you.

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Saving Sex for Marriage

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to converse with a couple of ladies that opened up about the area of sexuality. Both of them shared about the impact that their past sexual experiences had on their current dating relationships. They shared how their parents never talked to them about sexuality. “No one ever told me about virginity or keeping myself pure for my husband before marriage,” one young lady told me.

On another occasion, a woman shared how she moved out of her house at age fifteen and went to live with her boyfriend. As you can imagine, this continues to have an impact on her spiritual health. These stories are common.

In a perfect world, we would enjoy our first sexual experience with our marriage partner after the wedding. My parents taught this standard to me. Now, this is not the standard in most societies. Children and teenagers are not encouraged to treat their virginity as a treasure. In fact, in many teenage peer groups, virginity is scorned. Although we don’t live in a perfect world, God commands us to obey and be righteous. The Lord is the one we are to please, and He insists that we save sex for the marriage bed.

Hebrews 13:4 states it clearly as do many other verses, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Remember, God is a loving Father that gives us instructions for our own protection and benefit.

Why should we abstain from sex before marriage? What’s the reason God asks us not to have premarital sex? One important reason involves readiness. I was a senior in high school when I learned firsthand what it meant to be pursued by the opposite sex. I went out with my girlfriends and young men on several occasions. But it wasn’t until I turned seventeen that I thought I fell in love with a handsome man that I’d met through friends. This feeling wasn’t love, but more of an infatuation. At the time, it felt so right. Although I would have wanted to pursue a serious relationship with my suitor, there were two big problems. The first issue was that he was a charmer and popular with the girls. The second, and most important problem, was that he didn’t have a relationship with the lover of my soul, Jesus! Nonetheless, the man made every effort to get to know me.

Looking back, I realize that I wasn’t ready to be in a relationship. Dating this man would have been a mistake and left me heartbroken. At seventeen, most young women don’t understand the commitment that it takes to have a lasting relationship. I certainly didn’t. Honestly, most teenagers are simply looking to have a good time. Young people don’t realize that their dating habits can have a big impact on future relationships.

Many of the young ladies that I work with have experienced heartbreak and are in the process of restoration. They’ve discovered that Jesus can make them pure again. God is the only one that can make us pure again, and He is in the business of restoring us and making us whole. I encourage you to come to Him and ask for restoration if you’ve been through a heartbreak. Find some people that can speak life to you and help you through this process. Remember, nothing is impossible for God. His love will restore you.