Listening to Casting Crowns’ song “One Step Away” as I woke up this morning began my day, mulling over how grateful I am for God’s complete and total forgiveness and how that gift has completely changed my options. I was completely defeated by my past. There was nothing I could do to change or unmake that choice. There was no possibility of me going back to being the person I was before that day. Guilt and shame had me so twisted around I deep down believed I had blown it so bad that I could never fulfill the purpose I was supposed to accomplish (or what that WAS!) – until I took that step. One step from continually trying in various ways to make my way back to regain the person I thought I wanted to be back there…one step. Turning to Jesus (with the help of others who had been exactly where I was) and begging Him to make the pain stop. Surrendering that day, those choices, those consequences, the results that happened afterwards, and accepting that forgiving Hand. Jesus made it possible to lay down those old chains, take up my new name, and realize that my purpose all along had been to reach out to others who were still wrapped up in those lies, still bound by shame and guilt by something many parts of culture applaud as beneficial, a “right” – something those of us on the other side of that choice realize too late is a bear-trap in disguise that brings with it pain you never thought possible. An emotional roller coaster you think is just the way it has to be now; one you can never get off of. But that’s a lie. My choice was abortion, but yours could be something else. An addiction, lifestyle, attitudes that keep you defeated…but it doesn’t have to stay that way. You don’t have to stay where you are. You don’t have to get back to where you used to be. You can take one step toward Home to arms wide open. Jesus is one step away. When you take that first step toward Him, He’s right there with the Mercy you need, because He already paid the Justice your choice required. He promised He will instantly forgive the weight of your guilt and trespass, all you have to do is turn around, repent and reach out for His Hand. He already did everything else required. Your best life truly is ahead of you! Come on Home!