In Matthew 11:28, Jesus invites all who are weary and burdened to come to Him for rest. The rest that Jesus promises here is love, joy, healing, and peace with God.

I spent many years searching for rest, but I did it in all the wrong places. I didn’t know that what I really needed was a Savior. Someone who would not only give me rest but who would restore what had been destroyed. Someone who could redeem my meaningless life and set me free. I needed a new life plan, filled with hope and guidance, like the one Jesus offers in Jeremiah 29:11. His plan for my life is good and full of hope. My plans were always hopeless and full of pain.

I spent many years in bondage to drugs. Years of unrest tortured my soul as I sought to find relief from the void in my heart created by my troubled youth. I was so utterly blinded by sin that I couldn’t see my need for a Savior. Nor did I care to have one. So I continued to stay around the wrong people and places and sought only to satisfy my flesh. I was out of control and found myself in and out of the corrections system because of my rebellion.

In 2015, while in jail awaiting transport to yet another prison, I decided to turn my life over to God. I was so sick and tired of being sick and tired. I was desperate for rest. So I let go and, as they say, let God. I had tried everything else, and somehow I finally knew that He was my only hope for a new life. I accepted Jesus as my Savior and then started to make life choices that would bring me closer to Him. And that’s when my weary soul found rest.

I surrounded myself with like-minded people—ladies who like me desired freedom, peace, forgiveness, and restoration. I joined faith-based programs in prison that helped me grow closer to my Savior. My Deliverer. My Redeemer. I read His Word and applied it to my life.

Romans 12:1 says we are to present our bodies to God for all He has done for us. We’re to be a living and holy sacrifice to Him. It’s the best way we can worship Him. And so that’s what I’ve done. Giving my life to God is a daily responsibility. Every day I must decide to lay aside my desires and follow Him. I must be willing to be used by Him, however He sees fit.

Since I know God only wants what’s best for me, I can trust Him with my life. He proved  that He loved me when He gave His Son’s life for mine (John 3:16). If He gave up what was most precious to Him (Romans 8:32), will He not give me anything else I need? Because of His love and sacrifice, I joyfully volunteer my life to Him, for His service.

Following Christ is the best decision I’ve ever made. He has restored my life and made me a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). I’m no longer restless and searching for peace. I’m restful. God has redeemed my life and restored what my past had destroyed.

Today, I am home with my family, all of whom love and serve the Lord. I am privileged to serve Him as I fill the role of caretaker for my beautiful 85-year-old mother. My loved ones have wrapped their arms around me and, together, we celebrate my new life in Christ. I praise God for His rest and redeeming love.