Thursday, October 16, 2014

Day 16 - embracing the epic fail

This is Day 16 of my 31 days of writing series called "Confessions of a Road Kill Christian" If you haven't read Day 1 yet you can click here first. I am linking up with #write31days. I hope that through this series of posts we'll be encouraged by who God is and who He says we are in Him.


 

One thing about being a shiny, "holier than thou" style Christian is that there is not a lot of room for failure. Sure, we admit we are sinners and we speak solemnly and in hushed tones of our struggles with our sin, but if we could just be honest, we know that pride isn't the same thing as one of those "really bad sins" and we stand before God and pray "thank you God that I am not one of them."



Until one day, you are. You are that person, who willfully disobeyed God. You are that person you looked down your nose at when you were younger. You are that woman straying away from her faith. You are that woman who is kept only by the grace of God from going off into all-out family-wrecking sin. You aren't shiny and holy anymore, you are a full-on mess. Your wedding-gown of grace is muddy and torn and in desperate need of saving.

It took walking across that invisible line of us and them to realize that there is no line. There is no distinction in God's heart. He had been teaching me for years that His love for me was deep and wide, lavish and extravagant but it took a season of walking around with life's tire tracks stamped across my forehead to realize that God's love for me also had nothing to do with my performance.

I sat at a my church's Ladies Retreat (two years ago almost to the day!) as God showed me I had been living under a glass ceiling. I thought my disobedience and doubt meant that I could get this close to Him but no closer. I felt I was disqualified. But He broke the glass ceiling and said "come". He drew me near in forgiveness and love and full acceptance, through the death of Jesus Christ covering my sin and he led me into a new season of growing closer to Him.

I'm not saying "keep on doing whatever you want" because in obedience I have found freedom and healing and life and in sin there is only bondage and death. But there is bondage in a performance-driven relationship with God too. There is death in defining ourselves by our own performance good or bad. In my walk with God He has shown me over and over again it's not about that.

It's not about my check-list, it's not about my good behavior, it's about my heart and it's about my relationship with Him. Out of a heart that is right with God flows what is right, out of a heart filled with God's love flows love, and no amount of good behavior can cover up a heart that is filled with fear and doubt and self.

I was a road-kill Christian but I don't carry the weight of the shame of this anymore. I have been forgiven, and God has restored and even made better-than-new the places in my heart that were shattered, those years have been redeemed but it took embracing my epic fail.



P.S. these photos are with my "baby" Eli who is 3 years old now!!



9 comments:

  1. "It took walking across that invisible line of us and them to realize that there is no line. There is no distinction in God's heart." I love, love, love this. Thank you so much for sharing.
    It's all about the heart - so true!
    Gratefully,
    Renee

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  2. yes! These words are just what I needed to be reminded of (again!)

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  3. I love this... this welcoming in of Grace unearned (because, how crazy is it that we know better but still fall into the trap of working for it anyway?) Great post! I am visiting from our 31Dayers fb group... and your 'baby'... precious!

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  4. "But there is bondage in a performance-driven relationship with God too. There is death in defining ourselves by our own performance good or bad."

    Yes! I think the reason there is bondage in this performance-driven relationship with God is that in performing, we lose sight of what is really going on deep in our hearts and it becomes about who we think we are "supposed" to be and the image that we're trying to present to the world of the "good" Christian. It's hard to keep up that kind of facade and it does bind us and keep us from becoming who God wants us to be -- repentant of our sins (which are harder to see if we're performing), reconciled to Him, and living, moving, and cooperating with His grace in our lives.

    I know you're not Catholic, but this very thing speaks to why I love the Sacrament of Reconciliation (aka Confession). It is an opportunity for me to examine my conscience and ask God to show me how I have failed Him, to speak my sins aloud and ask His forgiveness, to receive that forgiveness, and to offer up a gift of myself and my time (usually this takes the form of reading and meditating on scripture or spending time in prayer) to say in a more concrete way "I'm sorry." It helps me to be more like the tax collector who said, "O God, be merciful to me, a sinner." I'll admit though, I'm nowhere near perfect in this, but it helps.

    God bless you, my friend! I look forward to reading more!

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  5. I love grace reminders because I am SO DARN NEEDY.

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  6. Thank you for this fresh reminder of GRACE. It took me a long, long time to understand I couldn't be good enough, and I couldn't earn my way. It took a long fall into the deepest and darkest pit, but honestly, I'm grateful because then came the surrender. My surrender...
    Blessings of GREATEST JOY on your journey with Jesus!

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  7. Tremendous truth and revelation here. I hope you'll continue to share how you live out the challenges you face on a daily basis. It is really encouraging. It is evident that grace is operating in your life! Your sparkle and the laughter and peace on your baby's face are evidence of Christ working in your life as well. If you're comfortable, don't hesitate to share what you consider your failures, we've all had them. I'm really interested in how you and Daniel capitalize on the things you agree on and downplay the things you don't agree on. Do you talk about it openly, laugh about it, pray about it? Or just leave it alone. The children seem to be thriving and what do you want all of us praying about and does he read the blog? It's obvious he is a good and kind husband and father. I am falling in love with your family. God has a big purpose for you and who knows, it could bear some really big harvest for His Kingdom. Every tear and every prayer you have prayed and cried is a seed.

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  8. Oh, I LOVE this! Sin is sin. Going my own way (even if it isn't bad) is just the same as murdering someone. It took me a LONG time to figure this concept out. We all sin--some of us just have more obvious sins than others.

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  9. Faith, this is so good! So good. "You are that woman who is kept only by the grace of God from going off into all-out family-wrecking sin." - that just hit me in the gut, hard. God is speaking through your words. Thank you for this.

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