I once heard an awesome quote: All who wander are not lost. That resonated with me in so many ways. If I were to look right over my shoulder, it seems like just yesterday I was in the most confusing spiritual battle of my life–COLLEGE. I grew up knowing God at a young age, accepting Him as my Savior before I went to middle school, and having a very close “Samuel-like” relationship with God…loving the newness He showed me everyday. When I went all the way to West Virginia for school (I’m a Jersey girl, so that was a TRIP), I was challenged in so many ways that by the end of my journey, I felt like a soldier who had all the tools to face the attacks of the enemy, but failed to use them. If I were honest with myself, I couldn’t even blame the devil for all of my transgressions (because unlike God, the devil cannot be everywhere all the time); while he was off eating ice cream at someone else’s stoop, I was voluntarily entering into sin knowing it was wrong. Sure, I graduated; even went on to grad school. And while the accolades poured in from friends, family, and peers on my “successes,” the only thing going through my mind was “To you all, I’m a success, but I failed. I have used the best parts of me to be my own enemy.” In short, I believed (and lived) as if I was not good enough.
My feelings about myself trickled into my personal worship. Oh, I still went to church; sang in a couple choirs; even served in ministry. Maybe I felt that I had to “work off” my sins…I don’t know. Whatever it was, It wasn’t enough. NOTHING I DID WAS ENOUGH!!! And I struggled everyday to LOOK for a reason to praise God (past the usual ‘Thank you God for this day, and for giving me another opportunity to see another morning, and for your grace and your mercy…yadda yadda yadda).
I thank God that I lived long enough to hear a powerful message that transformed how I viewed myself: I AM A GOOD ENOUGH REASON TO PRAISE THE LORD! I never meditated on Psalm 139 that intently before, but if you have a moment, I suggest you open it and read it! There is NOTHING that I have done, or said, or thought that was not known to God. Even at times when I tried to run away from Him, there was no escaping His presence. Yet, even still…with ALL of my faults, “I (have learned to) praise God because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14). He created me, knowing my pitfalls, but that did not stop His plan or purpose for my life. He still nudges me to push myself, even when I feel I can’t go any further, because He knows my limits. He still calls on me to serve others, knowing that through my service, I too will be served. He still has the audacity to place within me hope and visions…even when I still have so many things to correct within myself. Yet, He still trusts me! Without FEAR or REGRET…HE loves me just the way I am and has been pleased for some time…I just had to learn to accept that.
Of all of His creations, we are the most valuable and precious to Him (sorry PETA) because we were made in HIS image and likeness. He wove and stitched us so delicately and carefully–creating individual pieces of art that cannot be duplicated. Therefore, we are worthy of awe! We are worthy of celebration! I am important enough to give Him glory, despite my flawed self, failed expectations, or frustrations. Yes, there are certain things that are “truths” concerning my life–there is no denying that. But there is a difference between “a truth” and “THE TRUTH.” And THE TRUTH of the matter is, I am still the wonderful, beautiful, well-thought out creation God saw me to be…even before I was born. Once you find out THE TRUTH, you will no longer dwell on your past.
The main point is this: IF YOU BELIEVE THE HYPE ABOUT YOUR HOPELESSNESS THAT’S HOW YOU’LL LIVE! YOU ARE NOT YOUR EXPERIENCES; IT IS JUST WHAT YOU HAVE GONE THROUGH.
BE WONDERFUL…and praise HIM for it!
THURSDAYS WITH IFY