I think the biggest misconception about diving back into your faith is that God waves His magic wand and life instantly gets easier for you. When life gives you lemons, it’s easy to make lemonade because well, you’ve got God on your team! If God is sovereign, God is good, God is almighty, and God’s love never fails, then we can mix those ingredients together and you’ve got the best tasting lemonade around, right? For me this wasn’t exactly the case as I journeyed back into my relationship with Jesus. I often found that my feelings of unworthiness and my feeling of being completely broken kept God at arm’s length. My lemons seemed to be the worst of the batch and I couldn’t ever see how God was going to turn them into something sweeter. I never felt like I could accept the fact that He loved me too. I found it difficult to accept that He had a greater plan for me. I felt stuck and didn’t realize that He was waiting to turn everything around. I knew God loved everyone else, but I didn’t believe that He loved me. I knew that God could work miracles, but I didn’t ever believe it was going to happen to me. I thought I was the one person on this earth who was searching for God, but He wasn’t searching for me. Naive right? But it was how I felt deep in my inner core, and it was a huge hindrance in allowing me to dive deeper into my faith. So how do we find hope in God amidst all the brokenness that is within us?
We as Christians, are often told of God’s unending mercy and God’s limitless grace. The bible paints a beautiful picture of how we are to set our eyes on Jesus, on Heaven above, and not let worldly things hinder our faith in God’s goodness. But what happens when you can’t accept the fact that Jesus loves you just as you are? That the grace and mercy He talks about so often in the bible is meant for you as well?
I struggled with being lost in my brokenness for as long as I could remember. I felt like God had left me alone and I would struggle with these dark emotions forever. Some days were easier than others, but I often felt weighed down in my emotions and struggled to see where God was working in my life during these dark times. Naively, I used to think that becoming a Christian meant that my life was going to become instantly easier the moment I said yes to Jesus. That I was going to have a radical transformation and I would no longer struggle with the demons and dark emotions of my past. That I would wake up one morning, leave my past behind and head off into the glorious future that God had planned out for me. I no longer would deal with these feelings of unworthiness and heaviness. I saw people around me who had these radical transformations and because I wasn’t experiencing this change, I thought I was somehow so broken that not even Jesus Himself could save me.
What I have since come to learn, is that this is simply not the case. Nothing can separate us from God’s love. I was watching a sermon by a pastor named Matt Chandler, who runs a church out of Dallas and he said something that profoundly hit home to me… “As a believer in Jesus Christ, thinking you are too broken for Him to save you is simply known as reverse pride. The idea that you are too far gone, that you are the worst of the worst, and that the salvation that comes with Jesus’s resurrection on that cross can’t possibly apply to you, is just as bad as thinking that you don’t need Jesus to be the King of your life at all.”
This hit me straight to the heart. God so loved the world that He gave his only son for us! This meant EVERYONE. He literally died for people who were going to turn against Him, who would commit heinous crimes, and people who would deny his existence all together. He is always there to welcome them with open arms when they accept Jesus as their savior. He died for them, so why did I think that this love didn’t also apply to me? This is where I learned the lesson that prayers really do get answered. As I started to ask Jesus to heal the brokenness in me, I slowly started to learn that the thoughts and emotions I had been feeling were not ones that God had given me. They were not how He thought of me. Those little lies that constantly plagued my mind were not coming from the One who loves us most. We have an enemy and he will do anything to make you think that you are not worthy of God’s love. These little lies are placed in your mind to make you feel distant from God in hope that you will eventually turn your back on Him. Once you realize that these feelings are not yours, it becomes easier to realize that they are lies. I found that as I drew nearer to God, He drew nearer to me. Exactly like the bible says. God cannot lie, His words are truth. Once you learn who you are in God’s eyes, you have so much more power to turn from those nasty little lies that are placed in your mind to hold you back.
I’ve talked in past blog posts about how I was always looking for something or someone in this world to fill a void in my life. This lead me to make some choices that were not in my best interest. When I got back into my faith, I quickly learned that what I was missing was Jesus. But at that same time, I dictated to myself that I was only worthy of God’s love once I became a better version of myself. That the person I was right now, wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t the prettiest, or the kindest, or the most selfless, and I definitely wasn’t the most giving person around. I found myself surrounded by my weaknesses and I slowly started to feel the weight of them crushing all around me. The guilt I felt for how I had been living my life came in like a tidal wave and further fueled the brokenness that I felt. I found that I would try on my own to fix my weaknesses and was ashamed of the ones that I had. This is exactly when Jesus showed up for me. I learned that His grace and His mercy shine brightest through our weaknesses. The areas of our life where we cannot seem to overcome, that’s when our need for Him is the greatest. I’ve since learned to accept the areas of my life I cannot change, as the areas He works the greatest in. It affirms my need for Him and generates more and more thankfulness for the fact that He loved us so much that he died for us. It’s a humbling view point to recognize the need you truly need for Jesus.
Finding myself in Christ has been a slow process, one that I am sure I hinder every day by focusing on things that shouldn’t be as important to me as they are. I constantly find that I am trying to control my life and make it how I think it should go. I am stubborn and am always trying to do things my way just one more time. But the brokenness that had always left me empty, quickly became the areas where God’s grace was the most present. He loves to be welcomed into broken peoples lives. He works with our brokenness. As soon as your start realizing that He loves you for exactly who you are in this very moment, that you don’t have to be the perfect Christian to attain His love, your whole life changes. At least it did for me. There will still be days when you struggle, but knowing who you are in Christ and recognizing the lies for what they are, is transformative. God is always with you and nothing can separate you from that love.
It can be tough when you come face to face with your brokenness. But isn’t that where God meets us? In our imperfections? I do think that God is always working things out for our good, that He does have a genuinely good plan for each and every person, and that He is always with us. It’s often easy to get lost in the mess of our own lives and forget that He is always there. While the world may change around us, we have a God who never does. He is always for us. He is always there to show you how much He loves you. All you have to do is ask. We can always find His love, even amidst the mess, chaos, and brokenness of ourselves.
Christianity is not about us attaining perfection. It’s about learning that we are loved exactly as we are. Brokenness and all.
It’s about acknowledging our weakness and accepting the fact that we weren’t ever meant to save ourselves.
Be patient my dear, let God do His things on His time. Your brokenness is always welcome with Him. Accept who you are, including your flaws.