I’ve never considered myself a rule breaker, but when it comes to society’s rules for how to have a relationship with God and how to act in order to receive His love and blessings, I’m somewhat of a rebel!
I like challenging the “rules” for what a Christian is. I require myself to be transparent and authentic in my writing to show people that I am immensely unqualified, undeserving, and full of selfishness. I listen to online sermons through Elevation Church but I don’t attend a church in person. I had a child out of wedlock and am no longer in a relationship with her father. I’m very impatient and judgmental, and forgiveness is not a strong point of mine. In other words, I do not meet the “criteria” for what a Christian is. And yet, I’m still living with the peace of God.
I used to want to hide my pain. I used to shield myself to avoid judgment. When I had my daughter young, at 19, I hid the toxicity of the relationship I was in and the immense stress I was under. I didn’t want the statistics and stereotypes that society pinned to young mothers to be pinned on me. So, I struggled in private. I felt like a failure, and I didn’t need other people to help me; they didn’t need to see that in that season, I was living a life that young adults were warned about and protected from.
Times have changed, however. Thank God! I no longer feel bound by those preconceptions and judgments. I no longer fear what people think of me, because I know that has absolutely nothing to do with my worth, my ability, and God’s blessings for me! My writing has been a beautiful journey of putting my weaknesses and vulnerability on display, while subsequently showing the world that God has given me the confidence to own everything I’ve done, everything that has happened to me, and everything that I know I can be!
I so badly want people to see how broken I am as a human. The hurt of my past. The self-destructive thoughts I often have. How much I envy at times and how unforgiving I can be (that is one of my worst offenses). My mindset, at default, is one that tends to hoard what I have and not give to others. If I do give, I have to push myself to not give only what I have “left over” but give whatever the other person needs, regardless of what is left for me. It becomes easier to give without calculations and planning the more I do it, but I am still not where I want to be.
I want to share all of this so people that read this understand that I am NO different than them. I am no better. I am not a different kind of human, sprinkled with the “chosen dust” from God. And yet, despite everything I do that God tells me not to, despite me turning away from Him in times of chaos and stress, I am STILL living with a joy and fullness in my heart that is unmatched.
I am still loved so deeply by God that it moves me to tears.
I want you to see how much God restores. How much joy he creates. I want you to see that I have never in my life been as happy as I am, and that is because of God alone. My circumstances didn’t change – I’m not happily married, I don’t have more kids, I don’t own my own home – but He has touched my heart and mind and I will never be the same.
All of your judgmental thoughts, your ill wishes on others, your lying, stealing, and cheating over the years… God wants it all. He wants all of you. And as soon as you surrender to Him, and accept that He loves you precisely as you are NOW, with all of your baggage and “bad” behavior, you will be changed. You will no longer be defined by your failures or your wrongdoing. You will no longer be chained down by who you’ve been up to this point. You will no longer feel like you can’t be whatever you want to be.
You will be gifted clarity.
You will be gifted tranquility.
You will be gifted confidence.
And you will be gifted an ability to love others deeper than you’ve ever been able to before.
There is nothing you can do on this earth that disqualifies you from having God’s love and favor. Nothing. So pack your suitcases, folks, and start your journey to a whole new world!!