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My Only Hope Was Jesus!
-Natalie Henry

My Only Hope Was Jesus!

My name is Natalie Henry, and this is my story.
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Since my parents were overseas missionaries, I attended church my entire life. I was surrounded by Christians and repeatedly told the Gospel story. My mother homeschooled me and my siblings using a faith-based program, which also included Bible time every day. We participated in weekly programs that encouraged memorizing Scripture; I learned very early on that I was a sinner according to God’s Word (Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”). In our home, we had consequences for sin, but my parents modeled how to discipline in love. This set the stage not for rebelliousness, but for a revelation that I was a sinner and could not ever earn my way to heaven. This left me hungry for answers. What could I do about all my sin? 
When I was six years old, I started to personalize Scripture that I’d memorized over the years. Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” I knew that I was on a path that led to destruction and my only hope was Jesus.There was nothing that I could do about my sin because Jesus had already taken care of it all. I just had to receive the gift of salvation. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” 
"This left me hungry for answers. What could I do about all my sin?"

One day while my family was back in the United Sates, I spent time with my mother praying and asking the Lord to forgive me of my sins. I accepted Christ as my personal Savior as I acknowledged my need for Him and my faith in His Word (Acts 16:31). 

Though hard to admit, growing up surrounded by Christian friends and family made it hard to exercise my faith in God. However, God desires for us to grow in our knowledge of the Word and in our faith. During my high school years, God began allowing things into my life that would drive me to Him. These trials that God allowed into my life were physically and emotionally painful. More than once, I felt completely broken. It seemed as if I had been stripped of my health and my happiness. The future looked bleak if I allowed myself to view things from the perspective of my doctors. My parents lovingly stood by my side as I wrestled with my thoughts. I’m so grateful for my upbringing that I had truth to stand on. I began to see that there was nothing in life apart from God. I took the Scriptures that I had learned in my childhood and applied them to my life. My faith grew as I held onto the truths of the Bible to see me through the difficult circumstances. Perhaps the two most important truths that I clung to were that Jesus loves me (John 3:16) and that God is good (Mark 10:18). Even through the pain and anguish, God was with me, loving me, and working it all out for His glory. I learned that these truths were enough to fill my heart with gladness, to love the unlovable, and to continue serving my Lord and Savior no matter what the cost. 

As God continued to work in my life to draw me closer to Him, He also used His Word and my relationships to show me just how wicked my heart truly is. Jeremiah 17:9 says “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” The more God revealed my wicked heart, the more my gratefulness for His gifts grew.

"The Bible makes it clear that God loves each and every one of us. His workings within our life are intended to draw us closer to Him."
 This may seem confusing but please let me explain! Salvation begins with an acceptance of our state and our problem—our sin (Sin is any time that we disobey God and fall short of the commandments that He has established). Once we have even just a small glimpse of the sin within us, God’s love for us becomes truly supernatural. And God did not simply say He loved us; He demonstrated His love for us by seeking a relationship with us. He paved the way for us to be together one day by dying on the cross and paying the penalty for our sin. Romans 5:8 states “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God’s perfect example of love is breath taking, humbling, and worthy of worship.
These lyrics to “Worthy of Worship” have been the theme of my heart these last few years.

Worthy of worship, worthy of praise,
Worthy of honor and glory;
Worthy of all the glad
songs we can sing, 
Worthy of all the offerings we bring.

Worthy of reverence, worthy of fear,
Worthy of love and devotion;
Worthy of bowing
and bending of knees, 
Worthy of all this and added to these.

Almighty Father, Master and Lord,
King of all kings and Redeemer,
Wonderful, Counselor,
Comforter, Friend, 
Savior and Source
of our life without end.

You are worthy, Father, Creator.
You are worthy, Savior, Sustainer.
You are worthy,
Worthy and wonderful;
Worthy of worship and praise.
 This may seem confusing but please let me explain! Salvation begins with an acceptance of our state and our problem—our sin (Sin is any time that we disobey God and fall short of the commandments that He has established). Once we have even just a small glimpse of the sin within us, God’s love for us becomes truly supernatural. And God did not simply say He loved us; He demonstrated His love for us by seeking a relationship with us. He paved the way for us to be together one day by dying on the cross and paying the penalty for our sin. Romans 5:8 states “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God’s perfect example of love is breath taking, humbling, and worthy of worship.