God’s favor — you want it. His grace — you long for it. You want to be chosen by God.

But I know what you’re thinking: “God chooses others, just not me. I am the cosmic rejected child. God’s approval is beyond my wildest dreams.”

You think it’s because of your secret, don’t you? — that awful thing in your past. That abortion. That affair. Your divorce. Sexual promiscuity. The shameful business failure. Addictions. Your eating disorder. Chronic depression. The lies.  

It’s not. I know for two reasons:

1. Jesus said, “You did not choose me, but I chose you…” (John 15:16a).

2. I am one of you.

Like some of you, I lived with the shame of sexual promiscuity, alcohol, and drugs — a life based on lies. For nearly forty years, I repressed a childhood of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

Moreover, I disassociated from the original cause of my anger and helplessness and found expression in destructive acts against others and myself. I tried to fix everything on my own. I failed.

At the lowest point in my life, I called out to God. He heard me. I'm living proof that it doesn't matter who we were yesterday, what happened to us, or what we did: God wants to do something with our lives today.

The poem “The Chosen Vessel” tells how God picks a vessel to use:

"Take me,” cried the gold one. “I'm shiny and bright,
“I'm of great value and I do things just right."

But God passes by the gold, silver, brass, crystal, and wooden urns, and chooses the vessel of clay. The poem explains why:

Then the Master looked down and saw a vessel of clay.
Empty and broken, it helplessly lay.
No hope had the vessel that the Master might choose,
To cleanse and make whole, to fill and to use.
“Ah! This is the vessel I've been hoping to find,
I will mend and use it and make it all mine.”

Why would God deliberately choose improbable people? I believe it is because he wants to make clear that the power lies in Him, not in us. When people observe drastic healing and transformation in their broken lives, their eyes turn toward Him.

Throughout the ages, God continually chose to heal and transform the most improbable candidates. And He never changes. From the beginning, his permanent and everlasting plan was to save us from life’s wounds as well as our own disasters.

The last verse of "The Chosen Vessel" reads:

Then gently He lifted the vessel of clay.
Mended and cleansed it and filled it that day.
Spoke to it kindly, “There's work you must do,
Just pour out to others as I pour into you.”

From personal experience I can tell you with Christ’s confidence: Like the clay vessel, God chose me. He chose me to be set free.

You, too.

Jesus’ message to you is simple but profound:

1. Hope is available to you through Him.

2. You can be mended and set free.

Crosswalk.com welcomes contributor Jan Coates. Look for Jan and Rebekah's monthly column where she will explore God's role as the Healer, offering women with broken pasts hope for the future.


Jan Coates is the founder of www.setfreetoday.com, a ministry where you can come as you are and leave with a new beginning. Jan is an author, speaker and consultant. She is a frequent conference speaker and appears on national television and radio programs. For additional information, please email her at jan@jancoates.com.  

Rebekah Montgomery, author/speaker/teacher, is a gifted, dynamic communicator. She is the author of more than seven books and has penned 1,100 articles. She shares tough real-life topics and biblical application in a simple easy to grasp manner. To book Rebekah for your next event visit http://www.rebekahmontgomery.com. Rebekah is also the executive director of Set Free Today ministry.