For 32 years, over and over again I felt God tugging at my heart, desiring to fill the hole there that wasn’t shaped like any other thing I understood or knew. And every single time I got enough nerve to walk into a church I felt like a fish out of water. I didn’t understand the “rules,” I didn’t know why we recited prayers or repeated certain words, or stood up, or sat down, or knelt on pews, or at the altar. I looked around and saw people who didn’t seem to struggle with drinking, cursing, doubts, jealousy, anger, sexuality, selfish ambition and 1000 other things I myself struggled with. I felt like an orphan looking in from the outside at a family laughing around a dinner table with a home cooked meal. I thought that if I kept going to whatever church that was, that it was just a matter of time that they would figure out I wasn’t really good enough and they’d maybe let me stay, but they’d never really accept me. . .
And then one day, I heard a woman teach on Paul. Paul who had been Saul. A man who spent his whole existence persecuting Christians himself and standing by watching Christians be murdered. A man who was redeemed and transformed into one of God’s most incredible warriors and teachers of the good news of Jesus. And I thought, if Paul was good enough, maybe, just maybe, I am too. Maybe it wasn’t too late for me. I started to understand grace and the gift it is because I don’t deserve it and no one does. I started to look around and see how so many people were sitting in those rows next to me who had no clue what was going on and who were massively flawed and struggling. I started to realize that it wasn’t about the church building or fitting in, it was about a God who loved so much that he gave his only Son. I heard a Pastor talk about his temper and another talk about their doubts. I was taught the truth of God’s word from women who didn’t pretend to have it all together, but who openly shared their imperfections and innermost desires.
And I was scared, and unsure, but one day it clicked, that God wanted ME. He wanted to fill that God shaped hole in my heart. He wanted me with all my doubts and issues and flaws. And it rocked my world. And it changed my life & my marriage & my kids lives & hopefully, their eternities. And I still struggle with 1000 different things, but each day I get to start fresh, to try to walk a little closer to God, because I know that the Grace that God extends me through Jesus covers it ALL. And I want that for literally every person I know, every person I love, every person I call family, meet, see, pass by in a car, hear talking on the radio, disagree with about anything and everything, remember from elementary school, buy groceries from. Every. Single. One. Because it’s theirs for the taking too.
“The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off-for all whom the Lord our God will call” Acts 2:39
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