a creative encouragement project by Sarah J. Kass

Monday, May 13, 2013

Here We Go

Today God did something big in my life.

Not only did he relieve me from the anxiety i have been developing over my studies, he chose to show me what he thinks of me, what he really thinks of me.

I cannot stress this enough.
In the middle of my mess, after all this time, Striving, hoping to be good enough, thinking the Lord could only love me if i do what is best all the time, well you know what? I was wrong.

He loves me. I knew this already in my head, but finally my heart is getting it, he loves me now, he loves me as i am. 

And he loves you .

When we are lost to our mistakes, he loves us. When we are powerless, he loves us.  when we feel lost and there seems no way forward from here, he loves us. Whether we choose to listen to him or not. In our messiest and in our best. When we have absolutely nothing put together and hide ourselves from the world, raggy lives and all. Here, Brokenhearted. Here, where so lost and lacking self-worth, i can't even find the strength to seek him 'properly'. Oh my goodness, he loves me.

Do you know what this means?

I am not subject to my own failures, God lifts me up. I am not subject to my weaknessess. God is strong. I am not called to be perfect. I am called to be me, loving him. That's it.

This feels like such a general thing about being a 'christian'. Knowing god loves you so much he sends Jesus to die on a cross. But until now, i have always struggled to accept it. And i think that is common with alot of christians, not just 'young' ones either. I've been loving God now for 16 years, and walking with him is my favourite thing ever!! - but when i'm down, or i fall short, i get trapped in the bog of questioning how he could possibly love me. So imperfect. The christian who puts herself together for the people she meets but cant seem to accept herself when she is alone. The christian who preaches and youth leads and encourages, but can't even encourage herself or let people know she is struggling. The christian who is so scared to talk about God to other because of how it might make them feel uncomfortable.   That's not the way its going to be in my life any longer. I am going to be honest.  I have, for a long time, put on a big facade that says 'everything is alright' 'i am a christian', in the hopes that somehow people will see me past what is going on that is causing me to feel weak and lonely. But no, Jesus shows me a different model. When he was struggling with heartache, he did not hide his pain. When he saw Lazarus'sisters crying over their brother's death, (John 11) he wept. Jesus. Wept. Publicly!

Furthermore,  I have, up to this point, struggled with running to God when i get down when i make mistakes. I struggle on the wavelength between saying 'take me Lord, i'm yours' and the next second crying out, lost to fear and doubts ''you can't want me, i'm broken.' Why do e let this happen to us?
When i say ''you can't want me, i'm broken.'

God says to me  instead:
'The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.'
 Psalm 34:18

When i was a teenager, god spoke this verse to me. I heard him, and felt comforted, but did not feel worthy of his love. But when i say things like  'God if i just try a little harder then i will seek you' 'God is so disappointed in me i dont deserve to seek him' and the personal favourite: 'God- how can you possibly want to help me?!'  God says:

For I am the Lord your God
    who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
    I will help you.
- Isaiah 41:13

TOday, i am beginning to actually realise that he died for me to prove that his love conquors death, the kind that kills the body and the kind that haunts the mind. And he showed this authority by rising again.

 I'm not afraid when poeple say things against God or the bible or about Jesus to discredit him or attack against religion. Because I'm not afraid because i'm not living under religion.  I am living in a relationship. And what you say has no impact on that. With Jesus, the one who loves me above all else i can lean back in his arms. He is my friend. My saviour. The one who shows me i am beautiful, and points me to God with words like those of Psalm 139.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me. 
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways. 
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.

 And i can see it, the changes that he is making in my life. Even now, right now. The way he proves his love by fighting the battles i cannot win. By helping me through depressive patches where my heart feels broken. By comforting me when i am anxious. Taking the the actions that have hurt me and their memories, and bringing healing. the thoughts i struggle to control, the whispers of ''you're not worth it' 'you don't belong here' 'they won't like you' 'you don't deserve to be loved'.

In John 10 Jesus says 'The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;' - this is true,  there are painful things that happen in life. BUT note the semicolon in that passage, Jesus does not leave it there! He acknowledges the brokenness and then says: 'I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full'. 

Jesus loves me, but he actually also likes me.
So here today, know that Jesus died to love you, so you may experience all the fullness of life in his love and power and comforting strength. Dont forget today the beautiful value that has been placed on your life.  That you are so genuainly precious. He has he loves you and he died to deal with all the junk in our lives, to give us a clean slate. We just need to let go and embrace this.

 You are beautifully and wonderfully made.
Remember it today.