From Natalie (Facebook)
Yep. I’m in tears as I try and type this. That handsome man in the middle of the picture is my nephew, Christian. In 2013 I wrote a song for him called#BurnBright, because he was struggling with heroine addiction. Many have asked how he’s doing over the last few years and I know I’ve been pretty quiet about it. It’s been a long and heartbreaking journey, but yet we rejoice and have hope. Yesterday was a special day, because I got to go with my sister(his mom) to visit him in prison. THEY NEVER allow photographs, yet they showed us unusual kindness yesterday, took this and printed it for me. I will treasure it. I got to hug him and hear him tell me he’s been clean for 20 months. I got to hear about the hope and comfort he’s found in Jesus. I also got to hear how hard it is, how lonely he feels and the regret he carries. It was joy and sorrow, happiness and pain, smiles and tears. He’ll be behind bars for a couple more years and I am so proud of how he takes responsibility for his actions and is using this time to grow close to Jesus, take college classes (of which he’s on the honor roll💪🏼) and read like crazy. His hunger for knowledge is inspiring.
I was reminded of this as I sat and visited with him: the grace of Jesus doesn’t have an expiration date. He receives, redeems and restores. And when He looks at us he doesn’t see what we’ve done, he sees who we are: His children. So many of you are defining yourselves by past mistakes and shame. But only let His grace define you. Tell yourself the truth – not the truth of what you’ve done, but the truth of what HE’S done for you. You are who HE says you are. Period.