I’ve wanted to share a little deeper piece of my faith for so long in this space and today finally feels like the right day. As we walk through the days of Jesus’ death and resurrection I realize the gift now more than ever this day brings. My walk has not been a straight and narrow path but one I look back on knowing there was only one whose heart broke most for me and carried me through even when I was not worthy and even when I was doing my best to run the other way.
As a young girl I do remember having a huge heart for Jesus. I loved the way I felt when I was in Sunday school and church. My family was one who believed personal faith was a private matter and there really was not much sharing at home. The older I got the further ahead many of my peers became with knowing the stories of the bible and understanding the plan God set forth and my confidence began to waiver.
I never doubted His presence, though, even if there were times it took some huge sign to remind me. When I was 14 we were encouraged to write a prayer and place it in a self addressed stamped envelope during a youth New Years Eve party. Randomly these letters were mailed out to us throughout the year. My prayer was for my daddy to stop drinking. Two weeks after he entered rehab my letter arrived in the mail and I can remember trying to explain this occurrence in some other way but the only explanation was Jesus was walking with me and answering my prayer.
Satan though, he knows so well just where to find the deepest darkest places of our heart. He entered mine with a task to use my insecurities about my teenage body, my dysfunctional family life and my desire to please to turn my heart away from Jesus. Without the love of Jesus in my heart I filled my heart with the attention of boys and lots of partying. The more I turned away from the love of Jesus the more satan fed me the lie I was unworthy. I could never ever be good enough.
Even when I longed for Jesus again and tried to enter church I found myself so insecure. Others were able to spout off bible verses with ease and find stories from the bible immediately to identify with real life situations. It was so overwhelming to me to know how far behind all the “good Christians” I really was. Was there really any reason at all to try because surely I could never make up for all the terrible choices of my past or even the daily mistakes I continued to make? So I continued to give up and satan continued to present the opportunities in front of me to give me just enough filling up before ripping a hole in my heart. The pain of sin can be incredibly debilitating.
Then one day I walked into a church and God used a pastor to speak straight to my heart. Believing Jesus died for my sins means my debt is paid. I am sure I heard this message many times but that day I absorbed it the way God intended and I believed it to my core. It was the most incredible day in my life to know I was free. I was enough and I was worthy and Jesus DOES love me! His heart breaks when I make horrible decisions but He will not dessert me. He walks with me and gives me hope and I know no matter what I will never be alone.
Jesus is my favorite because he provided the ultimate sacrifice. He gives me grace every day beyond what I deserve which means I have learned to give so much more grace to others. He loves me through my hard times which leads me to be a little softer and more willing to meet others right where they are in their walk. He chose me which makes me want to strive to be a better person every single day!
Loving Jesus does not mean I’m perfect. It does not mean I am unaccountable for the choices I make. It does not mean I am not a sinner! Loving Jesus means I have hope for a life so much bigger than anything I can even imagine here on this earth. It means I am redeemed!
So this is my story. I still have so very much to learn but with an open heart I know I will. If you are struggling to believe you are worthy and chosen today I would love to pray for you.
There are two songs I’m leaving you with today. When I listen to these two songs my heart swells and my emotions are high. I hope you all have an amazing weekend worshiping with your families.
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