God’s been showing me some things. It’s been hard, painful even, there were times when I just didn’t understand why things were happening, but damn, I am so thankful that the pain happened.
It’s so obvious. I regret those nights I spent in tears yelling at him. I regret the mornings I woke up just to start crying again knowing that this day will be just as bad as the others. With no hope, my heart hardened, I look back in wonder and (selfishly) sadness at that old, pathetic me just wanting to go back with comfort and make known the that hope exists. Outside of myself.
I cannot remember what exactly happened this summer, but the memories I do have are so different, they don’t even feel like mine. I say this because my life changed first in my head. He answers prayers. He answered my prayers. When I asked him to help me take every thought captive, to set my mind on things above, to take the focus off of myself every minute of the day, he did it. It took time, discipline, and a lot of breaking, but holy God, I’m so thankful.
Friends, I’ve fallen in love with God’s grace. He’s changed me, with still a long way to go, but by grace & lovingkindness he has saved me. I remember being so sad, so hopeless. I remember asking God to take me because of my uselessness, pathetic-ness, and the fact that I am pure evil. I remember asking God to change me over & over and life just getting harder & harder. Then he removed everything I could run to (which I asked him to do, but it hurt.) Joy diminished in everything I did. The only thing that was left was the cross. Jesus. That was the “only” thing I had left in my life and I didn’t get it. And life wasn’t even that bad. I was bad. I was evil. I made my life suck. I put hope & significance into things that did not matter, not Jesus, selfish things that I knew (& that people told me) would turn into absolute ruin. Yet, Jesus was still there waiting. My evil nature finally shown through, it shown through bright enough to convince me that I am the most evil person I’ve ever met.
That’s saying something. I mean, to be so evil that I could not justify myself anymore… I was so ashamed. But I couldn’t cover it anymore so I just floundered. And Jesus was still there.
And just a couple of weeks ago, after getting rebuked again, Kate the Wise asked me “Why are you so sad?” Why? What do you mean why? Didn’t you just see how I suck? I shouldn’t even be here. Why am I still here? I shouldn’t be allowed to have relationships I’ll just screw up again. I’m so evil, I don’t know how you’re sitting next to me right now.
Then, she showed me a passage in Lamentations.
“Yet I still dare to hope
when I remember this:
The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance;
therefore, I will hope in him!”
The Lord is good to those who depend on him,
to those who search for him.
So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.”
And she said, “You have grace. When God looks at you, he sees Jesus.” All the years I’ve been around the Bible, how many times I’ve heard this, how many times I’ve heard grace, but I heard these words like it was the first time.
And damn. Was it good. Motherfucking. News.
And my life has changed. To realize that God still loves me. Even if I fail over & over again, even if people see me as evil, even if I yell at God and waste the precious life he gave me, he still loves me. He loves me with all of his love, he sacrificed so much for me. He takes my punches everyday, along with everyone in the world going against him, he takes time for me. He’s put people in my life that will look after me because he loves me that much, he doesn’t want me to be joyless. Why? Because he’s loving. He’s gracious. He’s the best thing in the universe & I am the worst. So why waste time on me when I will just fail him again? Because he is forgiving. Because it is no longer I who lives, but Christ who lives in me.
My life’s changed, guys. He’s answered all of my prayers. He’s changed my thinking & even what I feel. He’s taken away my sorrow & replaced it with joy in his grace. I have purpose. I’ve had such joy that every day is better than the last. Every day he’s given me is another to share this joy, this hope, this relief with other people. Every day I see why I should go out & love others: not because I should, but because Jesus loves you! Just like he loves me! And they don’t know that.
What is this that is so good? Why is God so good to us? I don’t understand!!! But shit, every day I am so thankful. I am so overjoyed. Grace is so undeniable. It’s the best thing in the world, I am so thankful. I want my friends to see it, too!
So, for all of you who wake up just to know that every day it gets worse, hope exists. Love exists! Meaning exists!
I’ve never felt this much joy. It’s not because I’m doing super awesome and have been getting people saved left & right, no I’ve actually been failing a lot, but it’s because it is not I who lives, but Jesus who lives in me. It’s because it’s not what I do, it’s that Jesus has forgiven me. It’s not how awesome I am, obviously, it’s that he’s so awesome he will be glorified for eternity. & I want him to take over my wants & my will. I don’t want to be me anymore, I want Jesus.
He’s even changed my thoughts to revolve around him, reminding me who he is, stringing verses through my head, presenting opportunities where I can spread his grace. Reminding me of his love.
He’s even given me people to love. I feel like shouting this news on the streets & he’s trusted me to tell people. Even with how evil I am & how I keep failing him he has trusted me with his sheep. Glory to God is what I want to live for. I want to pour into someone selflessly the way Jesus gave up himself for me.
And there’s no time! No time to be selfish! I’ll have time to relax in heaven. As the Beta girls said minutes before they were baptized: “We’re going to be partying in heaven together forever.” Yeah, so let’s make this a big party!
God is so good to us. He’s redeemed us over & over, every day. I’ve done some shit, you’ve done some shit, but he’s all about cleaning up your shit so you can live free of it. He’ll accept your shit with open arms! What the fuck?? Who does that??
It’s like I’m starting over, he’s reminding me who he is. Like I forgot. I did. I forgot why we do what we do.. Or maybe I never fully knew why I was doing what I did. I don’t know. But living for God is awesome. His discipline is hard against the flesh, but loving & awesome. How he is leveling my pride is awesome. How he has given my friends faith & life & success is awesome. How he looks at our faith is awesome. How he accepts me even when I suck is awesome. It all adds to why we should want our lives to glorify Him.
And lastly, it’s been a hard couple of weeks. Satan has been all up & down this shit, but the Lord’s been looking after us. Giving us faith & joy through the attack. Like we’re on fire!! I feel like I see my home church & they glow!
Praise God! Seriously though, PRAISE GOD!
“For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you.” 1 Cor 13:4