For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,
neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
When I was in college, I took the opportunity of a lifetime and spent a summer in Uganda. It was the farthest I had ever been away from home, and back then there was no email, cell phone, or Internet to keep me connected to my friends and family back home.
I really didn't even know the members of my team that well. I had never felt so isolated and alone. On top of feeling lonely, I got malaria. I was violently ill for 2 weeks of the trip, traveling miles over bumpy roads every day. It was the hardest thing I had ever done.
The beauty in the hills of Uganda, and the beauty of the people we served every day drew me nearer to God than I had ever been . I was learning that summer that truly, nothing could separate me from the love of my God. I claimed this verse as my own, and lived it out every day.
At the end of our trip, a pastor we had worked with left a small note of encouragement for each of us. In my note, he wrote, "Michelle, nothing, nothing, nothing can separate you from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus your Lord. Claim Romans 8:38-39 as your own always." He did not know how I had clung to that verse all summer long. I knew it was God reaching through that man into my heart to seal that truth forever.
Even now, so many years later, I remember the moment God burned that verse into my heart and left His permanent mark on me.