First off, thank you so much to everyone who sent texts, calls, voicemails, messages, Facebook comments, and all other social media forms to tell me Happy Birthday. It's such a humbling and honoring experience to have one day where you hear from friends and family, some that you talk to on a daily or weekly basis and some that I literally haven't heard from in a year, some childhood friends and some friends from across the globe!! It's in days like yesterday that you reflect on the important things in life and remember all of the awesome people God has brought in to be apart of your growth and formation. I have been blessed with the most amazing relationships of caring friends, family, and mentors who have poured into me, loved me, and encouraged me.
Yesterday morning as I was on my way to a local school to do a Bible study I received a call from my Dad. As he has done pretty much every year I can remember around the time of my birthday there's a familiar discussion about working hard and making decisions to become who you want to be. This year Dad said, "Well you're 26, it's time to make sure you're doing the things you really want to be doing with your life and not wasting any time, because it just gets quicker from here, and you don't want to wake up one day and realize you didn't accomplish the things you'd always dreamed of doing."
As I began to consider what my Dad had said I thought, wow, I can honestly say I'm doing the things I want to be doing with my life.
Sometimes in the busy goings of life we can often forget how blessed we truly are. We get lost in stressful details and don't see the success of the big picture.
Before I gave my life to the Lord I had all sorts of hopes and dreams from playing college sports, moving out of Texas, and becoming a psychiatrist. When I got saved some things changed instantly and some have changed over time. My hopes and dreams became molded and conformed when I told God He could have my life to do with it as He pleased. You may not realize it but when you tell God He can have it all, that you'll go anywhere do anything, that you want to surrender and be completely conformed, He takes you serious.
He moved desires and plans to where who I am and who I want to be now is barely a shadow of what I thought I wanted, but I get to travel the world, be in ministry, love on orphans, and do things I never ever dreamed of. He's taken me on adventures I would never have chosen to do myself and let me do things that as a 16 year old kid I thought were crazy dreams.
Now here I am 26 years old and there's so much MORE big things I want to do and that He's told me to do, but I know I am on the path that God chose, doing the things I want to do and becoming who I want to be. And all because He saved me. All because He captured my heart. All because He loved me enough to pull me out of my mess and my way of doing things and beckon me to Follow Him.
Ten years I've been saved this month, just a few more weeks until my spiritual birthday, and I realize the greatest truth about God is that it's never too late. It's never too late to surrender to Him and let Him take over your hopes and dreams.
We see countless stories of people well into life in the Bible and then when they encountered Jesus their lives were forever changed. He put them on a new path, He put their feet on solid ground and gave them a God to put their hope, trust, and faith in. We have a God that is waiting for His people to surrender their will to His, so that He can take them places they never imagined and let them do things for Him they couldn't even dream up themselves.
We are blessed. J. Tate