I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. I’ve made a lot of choices I am not proud of. I’ve done things I swore I would never do. I’ve tried things I never thought I would try. And I’ve said things I never imagined saying. 

I have turned away from God. And have come back again. 

And do you know what’s amazing? 

He knew the things I would do. He knew the choices I would make. He knew the things I would try. And the words I would say. 

He knew I would turn away from Him.

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He knew I would make selfish choices. 

He knew me. He KNOWS me. More intimately than anyone. All of me. From the beginning of time until now. 

And His love has never wavered. His love has never changed. Because it isn’t about me, it’s about Him. 

All. About. Him. 

He is our perfect Heavenly Father. 

Regardless of what you’ve done in your life. Regardless of what you’ve tried. Regardless of what you’ve said. Regardless of if you’ve done the things you said at one time you would never doI want you to hear something. I want you to know something. HE LOVES YOU. 

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All of you. Even those parts you want to keep hidden. Even the parts of your story you hold close to your heart. Even the parts that keep you up at night that you work so hard to hide. 

Drug addiction. 

Whatever it is you may be carrying, or have carried in your pastHe knows about all of that. And He still loves you. He never stopped. And He never will. 

So lay it down, sister. Lay it down, brother. 

Give Him your hurts and your tears and your bitterness and your anger. Give Him those parts you keep tucked away. Give Him your pain and your grief and your longings and your selfishness. Give Him your fears and your worries and your insecurities. Give Him your past and your present and your future. 

Lay it down, sister. Lay it down, brother. 

Talk to Him like you would talk to a friend. The best friend you will ever have. One who will never leave you or forsake you. 

And there you will find joy. There you will find peace. There you will find freedom. 

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For many, many years I carried shame around with me. A silent burden wherever I went. Most of the time I didn’t even realize I was carrying it. But once it was gone, I realized what a heavy load it was. 

I felt light. I felt free. I felt tremendous gratitude. And joy. 

I have good news, friendswhether you want to believe it or notyou have a perfect Heavenly Father who is waiting for you to come knocking on His door. To give it all to Him. To trust Him with your heart. And your hurts. 

Regardless of what you’ve done. Regardless of what you will doYOU ARE LOVED. 

Forever and ever and ever. Loved. 

And that is something to celebrate. That is something to get excited about. That is something to shout from the rooftops. 

So lay it down, sister. Lay it down, brother. 

Accept the love and forgiveness of Christ that He so freely offers and so freely gives. Lose the weight of shame. Feel the peace and love and joy and the river of grace wash over you. Get excited. Because that is something to be excited about. 

And start spreading the good news.

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

Jennifer Thompson

Jennifer Thompson is a freelance writer, preschool art teacher and mother of four with a heart for Jesus. Her work can be found on a number of blogs and parenting publications. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, Tennessee. She is a passionate storyteller and believes every person has an important story to tell. We grow when we share. And even more when we listen.