No matter how perfect we appear on the outside, no matter how put together our lives seem – we all are helplessly living imperfect lives.
GOOD LORD IS THIS TRUE.
None of us are what we wish we were. None of our stories are only written with highlighted, proud, happy chapters.
All of us carry chapters we want to hide. Bits and pieces of our soul that feel so unlovely, so imperfect so darn shame filled that we want to slam them shut and never speak of them again.
I wish this were one of those blogs where I could present myself as perfectly holy.
Where I could stand before you and say I’ve done it all right. Where I’ve hit the mark every single time and been a perfect wife, mom, friend, pastor and whatever else. I wish I could write about all of my victories and mountain top moments. And, believe me, there have been some great ones.
But, to not expose the valleys…the dark valleys where I feel like I’ve fallen. Where I feel like I’ve let God down. Where I feel like I’m a failure and will never be good enough and never get it right…
Where I’ve landed in a heap of tears on my bathroom floor crying out for help. Or when anxiety grips me and I have a full blown panic attack and don’t know that I’ll get through the next 5 min let alone the day.
If I don’t expose these moments, I’m not telling the whole truth. I’m not showing the full picture.
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
NONE OF US HAVE THIS THING FIGURED OUT YET.
NONE OF US.
And I think anyone who says otherwise is a big fat liar.
Which brings me to a complaint.
An official complaint.
When did we stop allowing people to fail?
When did lumping shame onto every mistake a follower of Jesus makes become the norm; the standard protocol? We do this to others but more importantly, we do this to ourselves.
WHEN DID THAT BECOME OKAY????
When I look at some of our heroes of the faith (Abraham, Noah, Jacob, David, Peter, just to name a few) guess what they all had in common?
FAILURES. TONS AND TONS OF THEM.
And not just ones before they had an encounter with God. No. They had numerous ones after that.
Numerous mess ups.
Numerous big times fails.
But, you know what else they all have in common?
God didn’t remove his purpose or plan from their life after they failed.
Not a single one.
He stayed faithful.
I’m learning that this following Jesus thing is less about how faithful, steady, strong, perfect we are – and more about how faithful, steady, strong, perfect HE IS.
I’ll be honest. That was a hard one for me to land on. Because I want to feel like I’ve arrived somewhere great in this journey. I want to feel like I’ve obtained some merit of “doing good”.
I want to feel perfect and faultless.
DARN IT, I WANT TO BE THAT CHRISTIAN WORD CALLED “BLAMELESS”!!!
But, here’s the kicker. The real deal that seals this entire gospel message up. If I ever feel like I’ve arrived, if I ever feel like I’m perfect in this journey or that I’ve obtained some level of being blameless in every area of my life – then I’ve completely missed the entire thing.
This whole event of Jesus being murdered on a cross was to settle this score keeping thing once and for all.
The entire purpose was to redeem just how messy and broken we are.
Not because of how terrible we are. Not because of how much we need to be corrected or fixed – but because of how much freedom we need from shame.
To really understand this concept, is to embrace the idea that even on my worst day, even when I’ve totally blown it, completely failed miserably – that I’m still blameless in the eyes of God.
Not because of anything I did or didn’t do.
But because I’m God’s beloved child.
Because of that event where everything was settled.
It’s in these fail moments, where sons and daughters are defined.
When we run to Him, covered in mud, he actually delights in that moment. When we fall into his arms, covered in our mistakes, he wraps his arms around tighter. These moments draw us close to the heart of God and seal us. They mark us. These moments of failure are what define us as children of heaven.
God’s children know the mud well. They’ve been covered in it from top to bottom. And they’ve experienced infinite love and grace in it.
WE HAVE TO FAIL IN ORDER TO KEEP GROWING.
When we experience failure, we get to experience the true, beautiful, amazing heart of God. One that loves me when I am the dirtiest. When I’m the messiest and the most at fault. That love changes us. Redefines us. Renames us.
When we come out of an encouter with God, we should never feel fear, shame, guilt or anxiety. That’s not him. Instead, we should feel peace, loved, wanted, valued and more brave.
I never want to miss that. I never want to stop experiencing that kind of love. I never want to stop growing, changing and learning. NEVER.
HEAR ME PEOPLE.
YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO FAIL.
YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO NOT ALWAYS GET IT RIGHT.
GOD HAS NEVER BEEN A SEEKER OF PERFECT BEHAVIOR.
So, rise up sons and daughters. Climb out of your mud pit covered in mud. Come out of the shadows. Shame and anxiety were never meant to be your portion. You are not an eternal screw up. You are not a hopeless case. You are not going to lose God’s love. NONE OF THOSE VOICES ARE TRUE. Instead, you are a candidate to experience fierce, wild love.
Cling to this truth: there isn’t ANYTHING that can separate you from the love of God. Never ever ever.