Confession…my life is happening just as God intended it to happen.
I’ve spent much of my life believing that “maybe if (fill in the blank) had not happened I wouldn’t be like this” or “if it wasn’t for the (fill in the blank) I would be a more normal person”. But the cold hard truth is, I am just as I am supposed to be. Now before those of you who know me start to comment, hear me out. I have faults and failures and I am washing those under the blood of Christ and working hard to follow the Holy Spirit’s guiding as God regenerates my heart. What I mean to say is, those things were already part of the plan. The assaults on my purity, the abandonment by my father, the sin I engaged in as a result of both of those events…those were all known to God before they even happened. It wasn’t like I was assaulted and God was surprised. “Gees, where did that come from ? I didn’t even see that coming!” He knew. He knew my heart would be broken by the sin of others. AND He knew I would break His heart with my sin. It was all known.
I spent much of my 20’s being angry with God about a plethora of things. I behaved as if I was entitled to a perfect life. I behaved as if I was the one who was jilted out of something that was owed to me. The 30’s came with the realization that nothing is owed to me. I am a sinner who would sin with or without cause. I didn’t need a reason to sin. I was going to sin no matter what. The only difference with my reason is in society’s eyes I have the right to sin. I was hurt as a child and left without a father and tainted with evil from a young age. Of course I am going to make bad choices. Of course I’m going to head in the wrong direction. No one expects anything from you when you’re past is so discolored. So there really is no reason to try. Right?
The problem with this thinking is there is no room for what God says about me. My favorite passage comes from Isaiah 61.
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn;to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
I remember reading that as an 16 year old and thinking “That’s me. I’m the brokenhearted, the captives, the prisoner.” I remember praying and asking God to keep that promise to me. At 16 my future wasn’t looking too good. I was making some messed up choices. I was on a road to destruction. I remember thinking, if this Bible is true and this God can do what He says He can do, then I don’t have to be a statistic. I can beat the odds with God’s help. HELL! God can beat the odds for me!
It’s hard work living Isaiah 61:1-3. It means, I don’t take the easy way out and feel sorry for myself. It means I don’t indulge in the pity and sadness. It means, when depression tries to cover me like a cloak I call for reinforcements and prayer. It means, I verbalize the lies I hear in my head to my support system and when I can’t speak the gospel to myself, I allow them to speak the gospel to my lies. It means, I am vulnerable and honest. It means, I keep moving forward when everything in me wants to look back. It means, I trust that while my past has been hard and heartwrenching, my God has already figured out a way to deliver me from it. I HAVE TO TRUST THAT! I have to hold on to that with every fiber of my being. I have to know that the same God who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it. So in essence, we’re right on schedule. I’ll keep moving forward with my confidence in God.
I dare you to move.
Until the next confession…