I am not coming back.

Before coming to live in Uganda for three months I had noo idea how much it would change me. I don’t even really remember what I came here looking for. I knew I had a space of time in my life before taking on real responsibilities and I wanted to give some of myself. In the months preceding my departure I was caught up in webs of lies and false identity. I thought I was truly following the Lord but there was so much in my heart that I was holding back from His control. I remember saying I was coming here hoping for peace and direction.

While interning with Show Mercy, I have learned so so much. I have stretched myself, I have been challenged by others. I have prayed for people whose hardships I can’t begin to fathom. I have spent hours trying to be still (very difficult), listening for the guiding voice of God. I have been a part of the most amazing team I could ever hope for. I have started friendships I pray will last a lifetime. I have felt loved beyond measure. I have had my eyes opened and I have begun the intense process of renewing my mind to be more like Jesus.

The months leading up to my departure for Uganda, I was struggling a lot. I was deeply caught up in sin. My heart was torn between loving God and loving the ways of the world. But that’s not following God at all. I lied to myself saying it wasn’t a problem, I wasn’t being pulled from God’s will. Oh how the enemy loved that time in my life. But almost immediately, about a week after being here, I already new I would never go back to that life. I already saw how much God was going to change me and it was suddenly laughable to think that I could ever go back to how I once was. At about week three I was praying to God saying “Father, I was so lost. I was caught in lies and weakness but you didn’t leave me. You came to me and you pulled me out. You could have left me, filthy and wounded, not worthy of your love or thought but you came for me.” And now, at the end of this journey I am proud of how far I’ve come. My mind has changed from an earthly perspective to that of Heaven. Praise God.

Now, I am more aware than ever of the salvation I have received from Jesus’ death. I am confident that God doesn’t even see my past transgressions. In His book He has only recorded the glory and holiness He sees in me since my repentance.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Romans 6:1-12 tells us that our bodies are dead to sin. No longer do I have to worry about “fixing” all the broken parts of me. No longer do I have to feel bad about what I have done because that me is literally dead. I am a new creation in Christ. God wants me to get over what I feel so bad about doing. He has. One night back in February, the other interns and I were musing over how people often feel sooo bad about their sin. We dwell on it, call ourselves dirty and unworthy. We just can’t let it go. I used to think if I didn’t hold on to the mistakes I had made, then it meant I didn’t really feel bad about them. But that’s a lie based upon how I wanted people to see me. Then us interns thought, how funny it is that we won’t let it go when Jesus died for those sins two thousand years before we were even born. Before God formed me in my mother’s womb, He knew me (Jeremiah 1:5), He knew every choice I would make through my own free will and those sins were already long forgiven.

So the old Kelsey is not coming back. The girl that’s taking that twenty hour plane trip to America is a girl that inwardly bares little resemblance to the Kelsey I was. In the deepest way, I have experienced that I am truly a new creation in Christ.

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