Receive and experience the amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, deep, deep within yourselves.Philippians 4:23
I woke up on the floor of my prayer closet, my eyes were bloodshot red and puffy, I was dehydrated, and exhausted and I could not remember when I had fallen asleep. It all seemed like a dream, but the message on my phone jolted me back to reality. It was over.
I was staring at another failed relationship and broken heart. I was once again unable to finish the story, couldn’t reach my happily ever after. I was once again staring at the beginning of the brokenness, which was a result of rejection. The result of someone not choosing me. I didn’t think I could handle this anymore, the tears began running down my cheeks as I prayed to God to just fix it. I mean this time was different. This wasn’t like my last relationships, I had prayed, hard, for this one. The proof was in the multitude of prayers all over the walls of my closet. I had stood by him, and tried to support him. This time was SUPPOSED to be different, and yet here I was, crying, wishing I could just go back in time. Knowing, this time, was truly my fault.
I’d finally made manifest the lies I had been telling myself for years. I wasn’t good enough, I was a screw up, no man would ever love me as I was, and what was worst, I had spent the better part of this past relationship being exactly who I thought I should be, and even that person was not enough. I was completely devastated. This is an important fact to remember, and probably the thing that helped catalyze the growth that has brought me to where I am today.
I had spent that relationship being who I thought I needed to be, but if I am completely honest, accepting the truth of my authentic self and my identity in Christ has always alluded me. I spent most of my energy striving for perfection. I exhausted all of my strength trying to fit what was acceptable to society. I had family and friends who loved me but I maintained a very specific distance for fear that if they saw my scars and new I was broken, they would abandon me.
In hindsight, it was this inauthenticity that alienated me more than my scars.
I am so grateful, however, that we serve a loving God. He knows our hearts, and gives us earthly examples to magnify our relationship with him. It was during this time that I began a small group called Living In Freedom Everyday. Within the safety of this group, God began to reveal to me that I was not only striving for perfection and being inauthentic with man, but I was also acting that way in my relationship with God. If I was ashamed of something, or felt guilty, I would neglect to mention that in my prayers. I prayed, but they were very religious prayers, or very short. I felt like I had already done too much to be truly used by God. I felt that my past was too murky, and everything bad that happened to me was well deserved because while I believed in God, while I had accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior, I still felt bound to the things of the world. I felt like it was too late for him to do anything with me, and I projected my human feelings of guilt, shame, and condemnation on a God who only saw me through the eyes of Grace.
Grace is defined as unmerited love and mercy of God towards us. Its unearned, and it’s given without measure or prerequisite. Only because God desires us to have it. What I was failing to understand in hiding from God was that I was not keeping God from extending grace to me, that is a given. What I was doing was denying myself the chance of being touched by the grace of the Father. As the scripture for the day states we should not only receive, but also experience the grace that God extends to us.
Today, lets purpose to accept this generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved gift. Let’s not doubt Gods goodness, lets not deny ourselves from a touch from the father.
Prayer: Lord in Heaven, I thank you for your grace! I thank you for your concern for me and for giving me freedom in you. Father forgive me for choosing to believe that I had to work for your love. Forgive me for believing that I had the power to make you love me more! I ask that you would wrap me in the knowledge that you love me with an unconditional love and you do that because of who you are! In Jesus’ name, Amen.