He has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given to us Christ Jesus before time began.2 Timothy 1:9 CSB
So, clearly I’m back from a month long hiatus. July was super hectic for me. Although we’re in the middle of a pandemic, it still kind of felt like business as usual for me. For some reason I thought it would be a ~great~ idea to take not one or two but FOUR summer classes. On top of that, I started a podcast (which is a discussion for another post) and had just the regular trials of being a girl in her early 20s trying to figure out life. Suffice to say I found it pretty difficult to stay organized this past month with the pandemic and all.
Anyway, that’s kind of what this post is about. There’s this misconception that we need to give ourselves grace, but really it’s that grace can only be received from God. Thankfully for us, it never runs out!
I think one of the biggest lessons God’s taught me in the past month is that His grace TRULY is sufficient for me. And if I ignore it, so be it. Life continues all around me and whether or not I choose to fully be present is ultimately up to me. Which goes for every single one of you, too.
It is no secret that life is always changing and filled with trials (HELLOOOOO PANDEMIC??!!) but I would argue that being a young adult in this time really wrecks my soul at times. Especially being trapped inside, for the most part, and having social media as my main form of being connected to others.
Honestly, it is FAR too easy to fall into that trap of comparison. To be super transparent with y’all, I really did fall off the wagon in July. I stopped exercising as much which turned into being more careless with my diet and that kind of spilled over into every other part of my life. I’ve definitely found that when I lose discipline in one area of my life, it tends to snowball into most or all areas of my life.
It then spiraled into just tons of toxic and horrid self hatred talks – most times things that I would not even say to my worst enemy.
But honestly, even with all of my mistakes in July, it was also one of the most transformative months of quarantine for me. I was able to come out with a 15 minute testimony video on Instagram and really just pour my heart out to strangers on the Internet. And since I’m being completely transparent, it was more terrifying to bare my soul to those who know me. I don’t know if y’all have figured this out by now or not, but I really, really H A T E being vulnerable. It makes me so nervous to let people in because of my past, but I believe this is the way to invite others into lives filled with love. Cause as I’ve said before, Jesus meets us in the mess. But anyway, I’m getting off topic (who would’ve thought).
I was so afraid of what those who have known me, for any length of time pre-quarantine, would think of me as a fraud. How could this girl who has this past suddenly be in love with Jesus? I mean, there’s no way that someone like her could ~possibly~ turn her life around and be completely transformed. And truly, if anyone thought along these lines, they’d be right. In fact, no one can do these things alone.
For it is by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.Ephesians 2:8 NKJV
If you’re new here, ask anyone who has known me before this moment and they will tell you how drastic my transformation has been. Slowly, but definitely surely I have been opening myself up to be in the yes position to Jesus. The thing is, before this time of my life, I was filled with so much hatred. And it was directed towards no one but myself.
I was constantly comparing myself to others and wondering where I was falling short because it seemed no matter what I did, it was never good enough. I was never enough. I still do at times, but it is FAR less than where I was a year ago or where I was one month ago.
What I’m getting at here is that I would not be where I am without the undeserved grace from our Heavenly Father. I was texting one of my best friends the other night (Taylor) about life and friendships and Jesus when I had this epiphany: it has been my prayer since January of 2019 that God would remove people who were not good for me from my life and replace them with those who love Him. Here I am about a year and a half later seeing this prayer come to fruition. Truly, the way I have been blessed with people who are learning to love like Jesus and the lessons these friends have taught me have been invaluable. A year ago, I had no backbone. I was so scared to step into who Jesus made me to be. I did not want to face the reality of my life because I did not want to see how imperfect I was.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me.2 Corinthians 12:9 CSB
A year ago, the relationship upon which I was building my life came crashing down. I was paralyzed for a while because of this massive explosion. I had a choice to make – I could either choose the rabbit hole of destruction or find healing in Jesus. Like I have shared before, quarantine was the necessary time I have needed to dive deeper into my relationship with my Heavenly Father. And with this past month, I have been able to reflect even more on the DAILY blessings I have received from Him. The biggest blessings have been in the smallest details.
I think the one lesson He has been teaching me over and over is to let it go and give it to Him. And it is truly terrifying to give control of my life to someone else, but God is not just anyone else. He is the only one who is FULLY good. No matter how much we may think that our friends, family, significant others want the best for us, they’re human. We can only put our trust fully in Jesus. Which is terrifying, but also so incredibly freeing. I don’t know. I can’t fully comprehend that my Creator wants the best for me and wants a relationship with me despite how broken I am and how many times I have fled from His love. But that’s the whole point isn’t it. No matter how many times in a day I fail Him, He still calls me by my name, not my sin. He says that no matter what, His grace is enough to meet me where I am and call my soul home.
I think there is this idea that once we know Jesus our lives will no longer have hardship. That is fully false. It is fully true that we will be able to get through every single trial when we are standing in His presence. Why? Because the Creator wanted so badly to be in relationship with His creation that He gave up His life for us. He said come to me all who are weary and I will give you rest.
But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.Galatians 5:22-23 CSB
It is high time we stop hiding behind our busyness and stand in stillness so that we can fully receive all that comes with His grace. I was listening to a sermon on my way home from my mom’s tonight and the pastor was saying that where the enemy calls us by our sin, God calls us by our name.
I believe that God created every single one of us to be in relationship with Him. I also believe that there should be no way I deserve to be in relationship with Him because of my brokenness. But because of His amazing grace, He calls me to know Him. His desires are the same for all of His creation.
If you are having trouble remembering this or believing that you are loved because of His grace, I suggest you read the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). No matter how far we run, God will ALWAYS celebrate us when we come home to Him. By nothing other than His grace.
However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me – the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.Acts 20:24 NIV
I have been a “Christian” for my whole life, but the moment my relationship with God became truly real was when I let myself become vulnerable. It was the moment I finally said “Okay God, I can not live this life alone. I need You to lead me. I want to know you. I need You to heal me.” I still struggle with imposter syndrome, eating disorders, lust, judgment, etc. However, I have found the more vocal and open I am about my struggles, especially with God in my life, the more His power truly shines through me. He gives me the strength I need to choose Him over my sin. I still make mistakes every single day, but that does not mean that He does not want to use me. It has become a much easier choice to make because I am learning how much He loves me and what His grace has done and will continue to do through me. In fact, I believe it makes me more malleable to His good and perfect will. I think the same is true for you, too.
I have found no greater honor than to be one of God’s vessels. This is my promise to be as transparent as I can with y’all so that I may be a better vessel for His works. My prayer is that you will finally allow yourself to be vulnerable. That you would invite God into your storms and allow Him to change your heart too.
The good news is truly this: His grace will ALWAYS be sufficient for you!
Keep picking those daisies!
p.s. there will be a new post every Saturday, so stay tuned!