I was Gomer.
"Plead with your mother. Accuse her, because she is no longer my wife,
and I am no longer her husband.
Tell her to stop acting like a prostitute,
to stop behaving like an unfaithful wife."
When I was in high school, my passion was competitive dancing. I loved dance. I also loved cheerleading. I loved my friends. I loved being social. And not that those things were necessarily wrong. However, they just became a higher priority than God. He wasn't my first thought waking up or the last thing on my mind before going to bed. It was Who is tomorrow's game against? Everything was ranked higher than God. I became a prostitute to other lovers. I gave my life for other interests, hobbies, and passions. My heart wasn't aligned with the One who cared for it most. It was aligned with loves that did nothing to care for the wellbeing of my soul except bring moments here and there of happiness. Let me say that moments of small joy here and there and spurts of satisfaction don't mean a thing when your eternity is destined to be hell; literally hell.
"Their mother has acted like a prostitute;
the one who became pregnant with them has acted disgracefully.
She said, 'I will chase after my lovers,
who give me my food and water, wool and flax, wine and olive oil.'"
In times of hurt and heartache, what would cheerleading do for me? What would spilling out my heart to a friend bring? Nothing but comfort for a moment. These other lovers would not bring me complete satisfaction. They wouldn't bring me whole salvation and eternal life with a Savior. I needed Jesus. I needed Him more than ever and I didn't even know it. I wasn't the student out partying and drinking my life away. I wasn't the girl who felt the need to dress scandalous for the attention of boys. I simply thought I was just being a good teenager who's time was well spent doing activities and participating in school.
It wasn't until the beginning of junior year I started to attend a new church, and there the experience happened; the experience that would rewrite the course of my life. There was the moment where I felt God's presence so clear and real, and it changed me for eternity. It changed me in a way that my heart was turned on towards the path God had desired for it to follow all along. I could suddenly hear his voice whispering into my ear; I would hear his Word and the letters would seep into my heart. It was Hosea 2 coming alive.
"So I am going to attract her;
I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her.
There I will give her back her vineyards,
and I will make the Valley of Trouble
a door of hope."
What before made sense no longer did. As a passion and love for Jesus began to foster, others died. Within a year's time my love for dance became so small; barely significant. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed dancing. However, I recognized a greater purpose and meaning to my life and I didn't want to spend four nights a week in the studio anymore. I wanted to run towards God. What held me back before and consumed my time and thoughts, no longer seemed to matter. I didn't care to spend my time there. And so I gave it up. It wasn't easy; my heart ached and I cried quite a bit. But what hurt for a moment gained me a lifetime of happiness and even into eternity. I wanted to pursue God. I wanted to chase after the things of God. My mindset had changed. I was becoming an entirely different being from the inside out. I was finally awakened to all that God had for me. I saw my priorities different, I saw high school and my friends different. No longer were there people I was trying to impress, but souls I wanted to experience salvation like I had. I stayed involved in a few things, but I now had a top priority and that was Jesus. My relationship with Him triumphed over everything else. And sure, I gave up things here and there and cut other lovers out of my life, but I didn't care. It was worth it. And thinking about it today, it was still worth it.
I have been in church my whole life. I have been "around" God and have always heard that he loved me. But it wasn't until I really began to lean in, that I tasted and seen what the goodness and love of this Father really was. In the book of Hosea, God told Hosea to go and marry the prostitute, Gomer. He did. And she would constantly run off to other lovers. But Hosea loved Gomer. He was always in pursuit of her even when she didn't know it. Hosea was to Gomer and God is to me and you. And when we turn our eyes away from God and fix ourselves on other "lovers," we are acting as the prostitute. It's a difficult spot to be in because, like me, I wasn't aware the things that consumed my time were top priorities and passions over God. To me, I thought I was just being a good teenager who just loved to be involved. Dance is great to do! Cheerleading and being social in high school is absolutely fine to do! It's just when it takes priority and love over God, it becomes a lover.
Jesus. He came to the world for God's children; God's sons and daughters. Through His death and resurrection, we have the choice to choose life with Jesus. And when we do that, we gain eternity with Him. I choose Jesus. I believe in His life. I accept His love for me, and I pray only that mine would grow daily for Him. I want to love Him back with every fiber of my being! I want to serve Him! I want every person in my life to just know from talking with me that my heart belongs to Christ. I'm ready to change the world around me for Him; to start a revolution in my life that'll have a ripple effect on anyone who crosses paths with me. He's worthy of everything I can give Him and even more. I'm so grateful that even in my times of acting as the prostitute, He still loved me. That He still wanted me even when I was hurting His heart and chasing after other lovers. How amazing is that?
And I will make you my promised bride forever.
I will be good and fair;
I will show you my love and mercy.
I will be true to you as my promised bride,
and you will know the Lord.
Life has been REALLY great, but just as busy as great! And that's okay. I love keeping busy. I want to celebrate my best friend, Ashley! She was recently married and I had the opportunity to be her maid-of-honor on the big day. Seriously, what a year it has been though! So many things have transpired, but God grace has just been so sufficient his blessings all around.
Have an amazing day!
❤ Ariel Christine