Surrounded By Nothing But Love

I met Savannah Daniels only two months ago when she first came to an ELEVATION High School service here at North Cleveland. She came with her friend, Ashley Bieger (you can watch her story here), to our service. I stayed after service that night and had a very long conversation with her as she began to open up her life to me. It never ceases to amaze me how much the hurting in this generation are simply longing to open up to others if we will just make the time for it. Savannah was dealing with self-harm that was spurred in her life from past abuse. I shared scripture with her that night, and then I prayed with her believing God’s love to wash her clean. I wish I could say things changed immediately. But they didn’t. In that case, they never usually do happen on our schedule. But He knows exactly what He is doing. I just kept pushing her to stay consistent with coming to ELEVATION and building relationships with our students. Below is the account she wrote from this past Wednesday night. You think God is getting some glory out of this trophy of grace now? Blessings as you read.

“He redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and I will live to enjoy the light.” Job 33:28

My scars represent my redemption. They represent Christ’s love for me. I struggled with self-harm for five years in many different forms. Everything changed on Wednesday, September 26, 2012. It is hard to explain what happened at that night’s service. I went into the day feeling alone again; I felt like I was having to fake being okay for everyone. I felt like I was never going to overcome those mental obstacles. I went into the service and went through the motions in worship, yet I kept feeling this little ache in my heart. Something kept telling me it was okay to cry. Pastor Craig then came up and was preaching and I found myself tearing up often. I remember thinking, “What is wrong with me!?” Pastor Craig then had us sing the worship song over again, and I began to cry. I thought, “No big deal, I’m emotional”. When we knelt down, I lost it. I found myself asking God to come into my life and lead it. I gave up cutting, the eating disorder, and the suicidal thoughts. I gave it all up to Him, including my past. I asked for forgiveness of my sins, and repented for them. I remember shaking and just sobbing uncontrollably. I no longer felt alone. I knew He was there. He was in charge of my life. He loved me. After standing up and praying for each other, Charity looked at me and said, “You are not alone”. I lost it again at that moment. I surrendered everything to the Lord. I gave up the self-harm, and asked God to come into and lead my life. I had been in church my entire life, but I had just been going through the motions. I wasn’t really living the life that God had intended me to live. Something deep within me was going on inside of me on that day. I felt broken, alone, and I just wanted to kneel down and cry. I realized that I could no longer go on without Him. I needed Him in my life. I needed Him to lead my life. Every muscle within my body was shaking, I have never cried so hard. I have never felt so loved though. I went into that service feeling so alone, and now I feel surrounded by nothing but love.

“I have called you by name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

I am His. He loves me. I was never alone. When it seemed like nobody on the earth cared for or loved me, He did.

I didn’t need to hurt myself. I had Him all along. He loved me. I remember hiding my scars, being ashamed up until that day. I am no longer ashamed though. He loves me scars and all. I am beautiful in His eyes. No crash diet, pair of scissors or razor can make me feel the way I feel now. I feel completely surrounded by love. He has placed so many loving people in my life that I did not fully see until that night. God is great, and He changes lives. He definitely changed mine.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. “ Isaiah 41:10

God has a plan for me. He’s not finished with me yet. I am so incredibly thankful that the Lord was watching out for me Saturday during the over dose, because I wouldn’t trade this joy for anything. God loves me! He sent his son to DIE for me! He has never left me alone, and never will.

“Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me.” Psalm 27:10

God will fill the void from the lack of parents. God will provide me with Christian friends on campus. I just need to trust in Him through this process. His Word says, “I have called you by name, you are mine (Isaiah 43:1).” I am His. He will never fail me, even when humans will. He loves me. He cares for me. He always has.

– Savannah Daniels

There are so many more “Savannah’s” around you today. They cross you every day at school, work, the gas station. Be sensitive to those around you. He died for them. And He is longing to set them free.

To God be the glory.