To my friend in Christ who has forgotten who she is, may you find yourself in this:
I’ve been there too. I know what it’s like to wake up feeling like you just don’t know who you are anymore. You’ve lost your sense of life, you’ve lost your sense of self, and you’ve lost all sense of Christ. You feel alone and unworthy. You are confused and battered. You carry scars of past abuse both inflicted by others and also yourself, and you stare at them – the unfriendly reminders of who you were and where you’ve been, and you’ve convinced yourself that you just must still be that person. You are so far disillusioned that you’ve begun to believe the antithesis of the words that flowed from the very mouth of God…
Even though you were conceived in iniquity and brought forth in sin (Psalm 51:5) God knew you from the beginning of time, He knew the very amount of hair on your head, and He knitted you together, stitch by stitch (Psalm 139:13). You were wonderfully made with intention and love, and He has called you by your very name (Isaiah 43:1).
He saw you in your struggle – your hurt, and your pain – and in the greatest act of Love the world has ever seen, He became your Savior, and is beckoning you to a life of freedom and space. He is your Rescuer and He will do what He promised if only you let Him (Psalm 18 :16-19). Through His redeeming death and resurrection, He rescued you from your former life simply because He delights in you, and wants you to live freely and abundantly (John 10:10).
You were wonderfully made with intention and love, and He has called you by your very name.
And it would really be enough for Him to simply rescue you from your past, your present and your future – from the wayward ways you go each day, even in the small or subtle – and provide The Way to be in intimate relationship with Him (John 3:16), but He didn’t stop there. No, that’s not really how He works. Because He is an upside-down, backwards-first kind of God, and He took it a step further and said, “Even though it was your sin that put my Holy Son to death, come and join my family, receive His inheritance of eternal life, be free from your bondage of that which enslaves you and stand with Me in Glory as my own child, whom I love (Romans 8:17). Not only has a holy God acted on your behalf and provided the ultimate Sacrifice for your inability to measure up (a sacrifice by death would only do), He adopted you in as a child of God, in whom He is pleased because of Christ in you (Eph 1:5). We are sons and daughters of the God Most High, in intimate relationship with Him, could there be anything greater?
Indeed because of what Christ did on the cross for you in the propitiation for the wretchedness inside you, oh yes, it is inside all of us (Romans 3:23), you have been saved by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone, and you my friend, are a new creation (2 Cor 5:17). You can forget what is behind you and strive for the gift of an abundant life in Christ as He sanctifies you to become more like Him (Phil 3:13, John 10:10). That is a life worth living.
Be free from your bondage of that which enslaves you and stand with Me in Glory as my own child, whom I love.
Because now it is no longer you who lives, but Christ who lives in you (Gal 2:20) and you radiate Light wherever you go (Matthew 5:14). You have the power within you to infect and fragrant those around you with something so sweet, so unbelievable, so impossible, that those who see, smell, and taste, receive an invitation to experience Almighty God (2 Cor 2:15, Rom 1:20), because the joy we receive from Christ is infectious.
I am confident in this, my friend, the good work that God has started in you, He will one day complete (Philippians 1:6) and whatever has happened to you, or is happening now, or will happen in the future, may not be good but will be used for your good and His glory (Romans 8:28) because our God is in the business of making old things new. He paves a new way – streams in the desert – and His purpose is larger than our perspectives will ever be (Isaiah 43:17-18). In your victories and sufferings trust that what the Lord is doing is rooting a faith deeper and more intimately connected to Him.
So as you journey on, running, walking, stumbling, or maybe even stopping, know that He’s vying for your attention – don’t take your eyes off the true Prize, my friend, for your reward is in Heaven (Heb 12:1-2). Let’s not disillusion ourselves with the place over the person – Heaven is not your greatest reward. Instead we find Hope that one Day we will be in the very presence God, our Savior and King, and Christ is our reward! May you throw off everything that hinders you and press on toward Christ, the ultimate Goal and Prize (Phil 3:14). May you continue to be strong and courageous, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you (Deut 31:6). He is with you in your victories and is with you in your suffering – you are not forgotten.
Whatever has happened to you, or is happening now, or will happen in the future, may not be good but will be used for your good and His glory.
Most importantly, in the midst of your striving and achieving and failing, remember that it is because of His gracious lovingkindness that you were saved and redeemed and let me give you some Good News friend, there’s nothing you can do to make God love you any less or any more. His love for you is not contingent upon you, but upon the holiness of His Son’s sacrifice for you. Will you rest in that today? Rest in the fact that wherever you are in this very moment, He loves you. He loves you because you’re His daughter, period. Whether you’re too skinny or too squishy, not smart enough, not tall enough, not selfless enough, not sober enough, not kind enough, too judgmental, too unmotivated or simply too busy, He loves you, friend, and has saved you a seat at His table and is asking for you to come just as you are. May you always remember it’s not what you bring that’s important, but Whom – and because you are His, you are enough.
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Image Credit: Mr. Wang, Creative Commons