Lots running through my head these days. Funny how bringing a few key people into our lives shows us things about ourselves that we never really want to see or admit. These past weeks and months have been just that. So here, today, is a gut wrenching, overtly honest post on me, my life, my choices. And let me preface with, Praise God for His grace and mercy!
I'm a liar.
Yup. I said it. I'm one of those liars who omits certain facts about certain things so as to not offend someone or to save face with those I love. So I leave out the details. If I'm not asked, I don't tell. It's just easier that way, right? But what I'm finding is that truth will surface whether we like it or not. Truth will come forward in everything. Truth wins.
This is the case in my life, even as of this morning. I have a very discerning friend, who calls me out on my ish. Though everything in me cringes when something I've intentionally left 'vague' is brought to light, I know it's for the better good of me to hear it. Everything in me wants to run from any type of confrontation. But God knows I need to experience those very things to grow into the woman of character He so desires me to be. Ouch, Jesus- I don't like this!
I'm a doubter.
I often don't believe God has good for me. Nope, I often think quite the opposite. it seems more and more in my life that the more I pray, the more He says no. And I don't like no. I want a yes when I fervently ask for something. It's been no for so much of my life that I am in a season, right here, right now of utter doubt in His love and goodness. I barely have the words to pray. It's more a few moments of 'ugh... Ugh!!! UGH!!!!!!' No words. I have nothing, my bucket of hope is empty. :/
I'm not a virgin.
Oy! This is not something I freely admit. No, this is something that I hid for far too long. It's only been in the past year that I've had the courage to bring this, one of my biggest regrets, to light. I slept with a man who was not my husband. I allowed it to continue for years. And the funny part? The Spirit of the Lord was upon me so powerfully everytime I chose this sin. So incredibly so that I was brought to my knees in agony and tears.
When it all ended, what was left was a shell of a woman, shamed and remorseful. Over and over I prayed for forgiveness, but I still hid. I didn't let a soul into it. No one ever knew. And the enemy had a hayday with me.. 'If you tell, no one will ever want you. If you tell, people will hate you. If you tell, you're going to hurt others.' And the truth only came out when someone finally cared enough to ask. And I lost it! But in the midst of that, God brought me something I cherish to this day - freedom. And His constant reminder of His forgiveness is found in my favorite color... pink (another post coming on the significance of this soon!)
Sometimes, especially recently, I just don't care. I find that I lack the responsibility, compassion, and even patience with life in general. I get frustrated easily. I don't have the energy to listen to the truth of others. I don't really care to grow or change. I'd rather sit in my own little world. Alone. Without the drama. Without the pain. Without the frustration. Without the expectations. Without the mirror staring back at me. Without every draining thing. I want to post up shop with a 'do not disturb' sign on the door.
Despite every last one of these things, one remains. God's forgiveness. Though I mess up, stumble, or fall - God is always there to catch me. He's there in the roommate that loves me enough to sit down and tell me over and over that I can never do anything to change that love. He's there in the embrace of a new friend who barely knows me but sees the eyes of my heart. And He's there in the moments of 'ugh' where I know not what to say. It's by His blood and His pure mercy that the color pink shines through most brightly in my life.
And as I sit in the refiner's fire, I remember that everything is for my growth - as iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Ok, Jesus, I trust you to do this...
Recently, it seems that God is over and over revealing the simplicity of his love and eternal sacrifice. For so long my life has been led by all these colloquialisms, all this verbiage of who God is, what God does, how God works, when God's coming, where God's leading, etc. All of which are good things to study and to understand. The truth of the Gospel is so much deeper than we can ever even begin to fathom.
But, at the same time, Gods love is simple. He chose to create us, we chose to disobey Him and ureka we have what has now become our world, our reality. But the hope is no longer gone for God, in an example of eternal forgiveness and sacrifice sends himself, in His son, to this messed up, sin ravaged world and says, 'because I love you, because I choose you, oh humans, whom I created in my own image, because of all these things, I'm going to take what you've made perverted and make it new. How? Through my death for your sin, my burial for your choices, and finally my being raised to life again so that you too can walk in freedom, forgiveness... So that you may have LIFE once again!'
And the best part, He sends His Spirit, which is far too often forgotten, as our constant companion. The spirit makes it's home in our hearts...
Simple. Everything, and I mean everything, that is the Christian life, is all dependent on one choice. Our choice to chose Him. He's already chosen us... And He leaves the door open to our response.
But we fall into the 'what if' trap and the voice of the enemy resounds... 'What if this is just a bunch of hype? What if this God never actually shows up? What if everyone makes fun of me, or better yet, what if people walk away from me because of my choice? What if I lose everything tangible... Everything I know and love??'
But what if you're wrong? What if you don't choose freedom? What if you just keep living your life without Him? Just take a few moments to see the brevity, the depth, the reality of these questions.... Does it mean fear/anxiety for the rest of your life? Does it mean drug or alcohol addiction for the rest of your life? Does it mean continually walking in abusive sitations? Does it mean working your life away without a purpose? Does it mean going through the motions every minute, every hour, of every day for the rest of your life?
What if I told you, the simplicty and the grace of the gospel breaks the chains? What if I told you the mercy of the Father washes you clean, to perfection? What if I told you LOVE overcomes all the fears? What if I told you this one choice could bring you everything for life on this earth? Would it be worth it???