It took me 29 years to realize that....
BECAUSE HE IS ALREADY ON MY SIDE, I can advocate for orphans.
BECAUSE HE IS ALREADY ON MY SIDE, I can never do anything to make Him love me more.
BECAUSE HE IS ALREADY ON MY SIDE, I can love those around me who are really difficult to be around.
BECAUSE HE IS ALREADY ON MY SIDE, I can believe that He will move my mountains.
BECAUSE HE IS ALREADY ON MY SIDE, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
BECAUSE HE IS ALREADY ON MY SIDE, I can.
It took me 29 years to get that. I heard over and over again that "Because God is already on my side, I can love people, advocate for orphans, I can treat other people different than me with LOVE."
When I heard this, it was like rubbing salt in a festering wound because it felt too vulerable. Surely God couldn't love someone like me. After all the mistakes I have made?
Then I heard a sermon that completely changed my heart.
The power to help anybody, to love others different then myself, is a power that flows from the Gospel knowing that we are already accepted.
I have always struggled with not having to "earn" God's love through action. I struggled with it being free. Just a gift I had to receive? That's it?
I didn't know how to do that. Until this week.
It wasn't something I was used to feeling.
A lot of my life, growing up, I felt like when I did something wrong, it was taken away and I was left to with an emotional wound -trying again to do the next "right thing" to earn favor in the eyes of people I loved. This left a thick shell around my emotions and my heart that became harder with everything I did wrong.
Thus, creating in me the fear of failing. Craving acceptance. Being saturated in genuine joy. Freedom in being me without shame.
I have found all of those things. My new realization has completely changed my prospective on my relationship with my husband, with my kids, parenting, my relationship with God, my partnership in my marriage, reaching out to those who do not know God.